If you’re thinking of moving to Florida, there are plenty of good reasons to do so: a relatively affordable cost of living, beautiful beaches, a multitude of sporting events, and more. The climate is also famously pleasant — the summers may be hot, but the winter months in Tampa and the surrounding environs are some of the nicest in the US.
But if you’re looking to find an apartment in Tampa, it might be worth thinking about adding renters insurance to your budget. You might already be familiar with renters insurance, but there are some finer points to obtaining renters insurance in Tampa that are worth learning more about.
What Is Renters Insurance?
First, let’s establish what renters insurance actually does. Much like homeowners insurance, renters insurance is designed to protect your belongings in case of accident or disaster. Renters insurance is not the same as landlord insurance — the latter covers the property and the building in which you reside, but will (unfortunately) not benefit you as a renter if disaster should strike. Renters insurance is specifically for your personal belongings and liability, should something happen in your rental space.
Renters insurance is not required by law in Florida, although many landlords do require it as part of the lease agreement. Because it benefits both the landlord and the tenant, renters insurance is becoming more common, especially because of the liability coverage it provides.
How Much Does Renters Insurance Cost in Tampa?
When determining how high to set premiums, insurance companies look at a number of factors: the value of your belongings, your location (insurance premiums can differ from one zip code to another), and what kind of coverage you choose. The average yearly premium for renters insurance in Tampa is $233, although Ross Martin at The Zebra points out you can find prices as low as $167 a year, depending on which insurance company you choose — a great reason to shop around and compare quotes before you sign the dotted line on a policy.
What Does Tampa Renters Insurance Cover?
As previously mentioned, renters insurance typically belongings such as furniture, electronics, clothing, jewelry, etc. should they be lost or damaged during a disaster or burglary. It also provides liability coverage should someone get in an accident while on your property. In many cases, renters insurance will cover you for the cost of temporary housing should your rental unit become uninhabitable (for instance, due to fire or earthquake).
It’s worth noting, however, that renters insurance works a lot like homeowners insurance, in that certain perils are not commonly covered. If you live in an area prone to certain events, chances are you’ll need to purchase additional coverage, as it is included by default. That’s why it’s prudent to read your policy carefully and talk to your agent about any potential holes in your coverage.
Perils not commonly covered by standard insurance policies include flooding, earthquakes, your own negligence, and (sometimes) high-end items like jewelry and artwork. You will most likely have to add an endorsement to your existing policy to make sure these items are protected.
Why Florida Renters Insurance is Important
If you’re a renter, you may think it’s somewhat pointless to purchase insurance. But there are a few reasons why it’s important to give it some consideration.
For one, Florida is no stranger to hurricanes, and an extreme weather event doesn’t care if you own or rent. If a hurricane damages or even destroys your apartment building, insurance can help you with temporary housing and help avert financial catastrophe in case of injury and lost possessions.
Florida is also home to many retirees, some of whom have pets. If you’re a pet owner, renters insurance can be especially helpful, as it often covers damages caused by your pets, or even injuries caused to others.
But what if you don’t have any furniture to insure? Many apartments in Tampa come already furnished — is renters insurance worth it then? The answer is: still yes. While that furniture (and the appliances) might still be owned by the landlord, the things that are uniquely yours — whether they’re clothes, computers, or sentimental objects — still need protection in case of theft, accidents, or damage. The good news is, that if you’re only covering some personal items and not an apartment full of furniture, your premiums might be significantly lower.
In short, getting renters insurance in Tampa might be one of the more sound financial decisions you can make. It’s affordable and offers valuable protection not just for your material possessions, but against possible legal liability. Hurricanes and extreme weather events are inevitable sooner or later, and unfortunately, accidents can happen almost anywhere at any time. Having renters insurance can afford you a little piece of mind while you enjoy life in Tampa.
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