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What is Renter Insurance?

Tenants may not own the residences that they lease, but that doesn’t mean they’re free from risk. Tenant’s personal belongings can be damaged, and they themselves can be named in liability lawsuits. Renters insurance policies protect Massachusetts residents who lease from risks like these that are covered.

Renters insurance is an important and affordable coverage, but it’s one that tenants vastly underutilize. The Insurance Information Institute reports that just 37 percent of renters have this type of insurance policy.

Who in Massachusetts Needs a Renters Insurance Policy?

Generally speaking, anyone who leases a residence in Massachusetts on a long-term basis may benefit from getting a renters policy. In addition to residents who lease their permanent residence, this also includes:

      • Employees who lease a place while temporarily working in Massachusetts
      • Vacationers who lease a place for the season
      • College students who move into off-campus apartments or houses

What Coverages Are Included in Renters Policies?

Renters policies normally include three primary coverages:

     • Personal Property Coverage, which might cover a policyholder's belongings
     • Personal Liability Coverage, which might cover a policyholder from certain lawsuits
     • Additional Living Expenses Coverage, which might cover the cost of getting alternative housing after a covered incident

As is true with most types of insurance, the precise provisions offered in a renters policy can vary. Some policies may offer coverages not listed here.

Renters Insurance Massachusetts

What’s the Difference Between Replacement Cost and Actual Cash Value Coverage?

There are two main types of personal property coverage that renters policies may offer: replacement cost coverage and actual cash value coverage. Replacement cost coverage usually provides coverage up to how much it would cost to replace lost or damaged belongings in a covered claim. Actual cash value coverage tends to cover up to the items’ depreciated value, which is often less than replacing the belongings would cost.

Do Renters Policies Cover Buildings?

Renters policies typically don’t cover buildings like homeowners policies usually do. Since renters don’t own the buildings they live in, it’s normally not their responsibility to insure the building against fire, wind and similar perils. That responsibility generally falls to landlords, who can procure coverage through landlord insurance policies.

Should a tenant be found responsible for damaging or destroying a building, they may be held responsible for the loss. In this situation, a renters policy might provide coverage if the cause of damage is covered. This coverage, however, tends to fall under the liability portion of a renters policy rather than a building portion.

Renters Insurance Massachusetts

What Are HO-4 Policies?

HO-4 policies are basic renters policies. Renters policies are categorized with homeowners policies in the insurance industry, which is where the “HO” abbreviation comes from. HO-4 is simply the standard renters form within homeowners policies. Most HO-4 policies will provide similar protections, although renters can frequently supplement them with additional coverages.

Are Renters Policies Expensive?

While premiums can very, renters policies are highly affordable. In many cases, monthly premiums are quite low and policies offer a good amount of protection.

To find out how much a renters policy would cost them, tenants should contact an independent insurance agent who can compare quotes from several insurance companies.

How Can Tenants Get Quotes for Renters Insurance Policies?

If you lease a residence in Massachusetts, let the independent insurance agents at John P. Russell Insurance assist you. Our agents can quickly get quotes from several insurance companies that offer policies in the state, and we have the expertise necessary to help you select the one that best meets your particular insurance needs.

What Our Clients Say

"Thank goodness I have an agent who will go the extra mile for a client. I deeply appreciate it!"

Andrea, Stoughton, MA

"John, you and your office have done a great job for us and I really appreciate it. You guys are very professional and considerate. That goes a long way with me".

Karen, Medfield, MA

"Your staff did an exceptional job helping me with a recent claim. They took care of everything in a professional and prompt manner. They were very nice, extremely helpful, and took the burden off of me. Their help was greatly appreciated".

Lori, Quincy, MA

"Thank goodness I have an agent who will go the extra mile for a client. I deeply appreciate it!"

Peter, Brockton, MA


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