Coburn & Feeley
Professional property management since 1978

346 Shelburne Rd.
Hickok & Boardman Place, Ground Floor
PO Box 4057
Burlington, VT 05406

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Protect Yourself with Renter's Insurance

At Coburn & Feeley, we often get asked by our tenants about the need for renter's insurance and what it Coburn & Feeley Renter's Insurancecovers? We asked the experts at Winooski Insurance to answer this question. Joe Burkhard, President of Winooski Insurance tells us that renter's insurance is designed to cover your personal property you own while renting an apartment.   It also provides coverage for liability insurance if you are negligent and cause bodily injury or property damage to another party.

Why is having this coverage important for a renter? 

First, Joe says, your landlord is not responsible for your personal property should the apartment, condo or house you are renting be damaged, resulting in the destruction of your personal property.  If your building suffered damage from a fire, windstorm or lightning, for example, you can easily lose all of your belongings and have to start over.   The renter’s insurance policy will provide coverage for losses of this nature and if you choose adequate coverage, restore you back with a settlement.

Having multiple renters in a building would certainly increase the chance of a loss more than a single family home.   Each tenant can increase the chance of a loss as a result of their personal habits and put you and your property at risk.   For example, a neighbor may like to burn candles or smoke in their apartment.  Those kinds of behaviors could make your apartment more prone to a loss due to their lifestyles and choices.  Grilling on the back deck can cause severe fire losses - something we can all relate to.

The second part of the coverage is something people rarely think about - liability.   You might be asking why you would need liability coverage as a tenant.  Here are several reasons:  If your pet injures another person is an easy one but what about someone tripping on a rug in your apartment or a guest slipping in your shower?  Let’s go back to grilling on your deck for a minute.  Here’s a likely scenario:  you cause substantial damage to the building you are renting.   The landlord’s insurance policy will pay for damages and then look to you for recovery of the damages since you were the party that was negligent.  Ouch!  Did you know that was a possibility?   Well, it sure is and it happens all the time.

Joe’s recommendation:  always purchase as much liability coverage as you can afford.

Base policies come with $100,000 but buy more.   It only costs $14-$20/year to increase to $300K or $500K. In Vermont the cost for a policy is about $150/year for $10,000 of coverage for your personal belongings. For more information about renter's insurance, contact Joe Burkhard at Winooski Insurance, 802-655-9000.

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