By Patrick McCarran
Real Estate Broker
The share of Bay Area households that rent their homes has grown significantly over the last decade — by about 5 percent and now over a million people in the Bay Area alone are renters. Many of these people are renting to save a down payment, they don’t know how easy it is to buy or simply do not want the responsibility of ownership. It is a common misconception that the landlord or owner’s policy will cover the tenant’s possessions but that is false. This is what makes it imperative that you obtain a renter insurance policy. A basic renter’s insurance policy is usually just a few hundred dollars a YEAR.
Perhaps you are in bed sleeping soundly and a rusty pipe bursts, drenching everything in dirty water or you take your family to the movies complete with popcorn and soda, only to come back to find your home ransacked and empty. In the event of calamities such as these and more, the owner’s policy will only cover the owner’s property. If you are the tenant you may have lost everything including the roof over your head in an instant and have been burdened with the cost to replace it all. The renter’s policy may be used to replace your belongings and often pay for temporary housing or loss of use. Coverage is also provided for personal liability protection and medical payments to others.
But wait, there’s more! Did you turn away from the stove for just a brief moment or was it one misplaced candle? What if the bathtub or sink overflowed, would you be responsible? Don’t forget about other tenants or nearby homes and their insurance companies that are going to look at your assets, and your future earnings to recover their loss.
Can someone sue for damage caused by your negligence if there’s nothing to take? Yes. We live in California, where anyone can and often will sue anyone for anything and everything. You might not have anything to take today, but the person holding that judgment will sit on it, renew it as necessary, and then pounce when there’s finally something to collect. Is that the shadow you want to live under? California renter’s insurance liability coverage is designed to prevent that from happening.
This article is meant to get you thinking. I am not an insurance agent and this is not meant to be advice but rather a conversation starter. You won’t know until you get a quote so get peace of mind — and full protection. Call your insurance company today!
Patrick McCarran is a local Realtor and Broker DRE# 01325072. He can be contacted by phone or text at
(925) 899-5536, email@example.com or www.CallPatrick.com. An independently owned and operated office. In association with Realty One Group Elite DRE# 0193160.
Equal Housing Opportunity.