What is apartment insurance?
Tenants who rent apartments generally don’t have to insure the building itself, but they aren’t immune from risks. Most renters who have apartments in Massachusetts should protect their possessions and themselves with apartment insurance.
Apartment insurance is specialized homeowners insurance for tenants who rent apartments. Policies typically cover possessions and liability lawsuits, and can offer additional protections.
What Massachusetts residents should carry renters insurance?
Most Massachusetts residents that rent an apartment should carry renters insurance. This includes tenants who rent their primary residence, a seasonal cottage, off-campus housing or for another reason.
In some cases, tenants may be required by the terms of their lease to carry a certain amount of liability coverage. Insurance is generally recommended regardless of whether a lease has any such requirement.
What coverages are included in renters policies?
Renters policies normally provide three primary coverages, which are:
- Personal property Coverage, which normally covers belongings such as furniture, dishes, clothes, etc.
- Personal Liability Coverage, which normally covers accidents that a tenant is responsible for
- Additional Living Expenses Coverage, which normally covers payment for different loading following a disaster
Should a tenant be responsible for damage to the apartment building they live in, personal liability coverage might cover any resulting liability. For example, the coverage could apply if a tenant causes a kitchen fire that spreads.
Renters policies typically don’t cover other causes of damage to a building, though. That responsibility generally is the landlord’s.
Do short-term renters need to purchase renters insurance?
Residents and vacationers who rent only for a few days or weeks normally don’t need to purchase renters insurance specifically for the stay. They typically already have protection from a homeowners or other renters policy. A short-term renters policy might be appropriate in select situations, however.
Renters who have longer leases (e.g. possibly 3+ months) are more likely to need a renters policy. The specific length at which renters insurance is necessary depends on a lease and a person’s homeowners insurance, if a policy is in place.
Tenants who are unsure whether they should purchase a renters policy can speak with an insurance agent who specializes in renters policies. A specialized agent will be able to review policy details and a lease, and then make an informed recommendation about coverage.
Can tenants purchase insurance together with their apartment mates?
Sometimes tenants who share an apartment are tempted to purchase a renters policy together with their fellow leaseholder(s). While splitting premiums could save a little money, the amount saved often is quite little because this insurance doesn’t cost a lot.
There also are a couple of drawbacks that usually make purchasing a renters policy together ill-advised:
- Any claim payment would likely be made out to both parties, making cashing the claim inconvenient (especially if there’s ever a falling out)
- A claim filed by the other party could raise future renters policy premiums for both people, regardless of whether the claim is for both people
Any future premium increase would probably be greater than what’s saved by splitting premiums, especially since the increase can last for a few years.
Tenants generally can purchase a renters policy with their immediate family members without issue.
Do renters policies cover roommate theft?
Renters policies normally protect personal belongings against theft, but many policies exclude theft by roommates. The exclusion arises from how hard it is to prove roommate theft. For this reason, everyone should trust whomever they decide to share an apartment with.
How can residents in Massachusetts get apartment insurance?
For help finding an apartment insurance policy, contact the independent Massachusetts insurance agents of Flavin & Flavin Insurance. Our agents are well-versed in renters policies, and will make sure you’re well protected.