Insurance Often Overlooked
First time renters can find themselves in big trouble if they don’t carry renters’ insurance. So many unexpected things can happen costing Big Bucks for the unwary. Don’t assume your property manager/owner is going to bail you out.
Kathy had two roommates her first quarter in college. She didn’t know them very well…she had run an ad to find students to share her 3-bedroom apartment in a large complex near the university.
A Sunday night she returned from visiting her parents in Seattle to find the apartment in disarray. One of her roommates had a “little” party while she was gone. She was missing some jewelry and a valuable handbag. There was a hole in the wall, a beer stain in the carpet, and cigarette burns both on the balcony and the bathroom counter. Her roommate apologized, saying the “party had gotten a little out of hand”.
Most first-time renters assume that since their landlord owns the property, they are automatically insured as a tenant. As Kathy found out the hard way, nothing was covered by insurance and the roommates would have to pay for the repairs.
An Ounce of Prevention
Renters’ insurance can help you repair or replace property after loss from many types of damage or theft. It should also provide liability coverage for an accident at your residence, like a visitor falling on the stairs.
Theft is the most common problem. Burglars grab small, valuable items that are easy to carry, like phones, laptops, smart watches, and jewelry. You’ll be stuck buying new ones and probably fixing the damage caused by the break-in.
Kitchen fires can damage not only the room, but smoke smells stay on walls and clothing. If you must move out during repairs, good insurance should pay for a hotel stay and even restaurant meals because your kitchen is unusable.
A flood from a clogged toilet may ruin your carpet (so learn how to turn off the water!) or even worse, your sprinkler system might go off and cause water damage to your apartment and the ones below.
It’s bad enough feeling violated and scared because a stranger went through your belongings, but the financial loss can be devastating. The cost of renters insurance is lower than almost any other insurance and knowing you have it offers a feeling of security.
A Pound of Cure
A good property management company will require renters’ insurance for your safety from liability, and to keep their property in good condition. In addition, the owner should have a 24-hour maintenance team on call for emergencies.
About Windermere Property Management
All Windermere tenants are required by contract to keep renters’ insurance to cover the loss or damage of the tenant’s personal belongings. On the policy, tenants must provide legal liability insurance that will cover a loss to the asset that is deemed “tenant caused damages/loss.” Coverage must include a minimum of $100,000 in liability to the rental property. Windermere Management must be listed as additionally insured or as an interested party on the insurance policy. Be sure that all occupants of the unit are on the insurance policy.
Since 1962, locally owned and managed Windermere Property Management has been caring for responsible owners and tenants in Whatcom County. Our staff is experienced, highly trained, and available to help. Other companies have come and gone, but we are always here to make sure your property is safe. Our 24-hour maintenance team is here for on-call emergencies.