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News Release

New Jersey Department of
Banking and Insurance


Commissioner Ken Kobylowski

For Immediate Release:
March 19, 2015

For Further Information:
Ed Rogan or Marshall McKnight (609) 292-5064


New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance Reminds Renters of the Importance of Having Renters Insurance

TRENTON Department of Banking and Insurance Commissioner Ken Kobylowski today reminded consumers of the importance of having renters insurance and provided tips on shopping for the coverage.

“Some recent events, most notably the apartment fire in Edgewater earlier this year, demonstrate how important it is for renters to have renters insurance,” said Commissioner Kobylowski.

“Many renters, whether they are living in a house, an apartment, or a condominium, may not realize that they are responsible for the contents of their home in the event of a fire or a theft. While the landlord or property owner is responsible for the building itself, renters are responsible for their contents, such as furniture, clothing, and electronic equipment. Anyone who is renting a property should seriously consider purchasing renters insurance,” said the Commissioner.

Consumers considering buying renters insurance should understand the following:

Renters Insurance Defined

  • Renters insurance protects personal property against damage or loss and also covers the renter in case someone is hurt while visiting the premises.
  • Not everyone needs renters insurance. Dependents, college students for instance, may be at least partly covered by their parent’s or guardian’s homeowners policies. A typical provision covers up to 10 percent of the parents’ policy limits in the event of a loss. Consumers should contact their agent or company representative about coverage specifics.

Reasons to Purchase Renters Insurance

  • A landlord will not cover property owned by a tenant in a rented apartment, house or condominium when a fire, theft or an unforeseen circumstance causes a loss.
  • Renters insurance is relatively inexpensive. Premiums for renters insurance average between $15 and $30 per month, depending on the covered tenant’s property and location.
  • In addition to protecting personal items, a renters policy may provide living expense coverage if the unit is rendered uninhabitable by a loss.
  • The policy provides legal defense and coverage against certain lawsuits if found liable for a covered loss to another individual.
  • When considering renters coverage, consumers should also contact their auto insurance provider to find out if a discount for bundling renters with personal auto insurance is available. This could make the renters policy even more affordable and may reduce auto insurance premiums too.

Renters Insurance Policies

Most renters policies in New Jersey include the following common coverages:

  • Personal property if damaged or destroyed by a covered loss.
  • Loss of use pays additional living expenses if a renter is temporarily displaced due to uninhabitable rental conditions resulting from a covered loss.
  • Personal liability defends renters in court against certain lawsuits and provides coverage if the court finds the policyholder legally responsible for damages.
  • Medical Payments to others pays the medical bills of people hurt on the covered property. It might also pay for some injuries that happen away from the rental, such as a renter’s dog biting someone at the park.

Consumers should make sure they understand whether the policy pays the actual cash value or replacement cost of personal items. Actual cash value pays the current value of personal effects including depreciation, less the deductible. Replacement cost pays for a new item less the deductible.

Make Sure the Insurance Company is Licensed

To File a Complaint      

  • Consumers who are unable to resolve an issue with a homeowner’s or auto insurance carrier should contact the Department at 609-292-7272.
  • To file a complaint online go to: http://www.state.nj.us/dobi/consumer.htm and send in copies of pertinent documents with the complaint.

More Information

For more information, go to:
http://www.state.nj.us/dobi/division_consumers/insurance/renters.pdf

and

http://www.state.nj.us/dobi/division_consumers/insurance/ins_menu.htm

Or call, 1-800-446-7467.

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