Downsizing to an apartment? Here's what you need to know about renters insurance

Monday, February 4, 2013
stock art

Many seniors eventually downsize from a large home to a low-maintenance apartment, condo or duplex. You may have fewer belongings after downsizing, but you still need to make sure they're insured. In fact, Angie Umfleet of Chap Arnold Insurance in Cape Girardeau says anyone who has personal belongings should also have a renters policy.

"You don't have to start all over. A renters policy allows you to replace your belongings and start again," she explains.

Too many tenants wrongly assume that since someone else owns the property, they don't need to worry about insurance.

"The owners of the property do not have any coverage for the personal items that you move into the home," says Bard Womack, an agent with Farmers Insurance in Cape Girardeau. "Whether something is stolen, you have damage that's fire or weather related, or a pipe from upstairs ruins your property, it's very important because no other insurance will cover that."

Renters insurance also provides some liability coverage in case someone is injured at your residence or you cause damage to the apartment, such as by accidentally starting a fire.

"It protects the renter and the building owner as well," says Womack.

Renters insurance policies are pretty straightforward, but Womack says one thing tenants do need to make sure of is that the policy covers the replacement costs of personal property: It's going to cost more to buy a new couch than your old couch was actually worth.

Umfleet advises clients to create a running inventory of everything they own, including jewelry, guns and other collectibles. And if something does happen to your apartment and/or belongings, be sure to call your agent right away, she says.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: