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Renters also need to be prepared

September is National Preparedness Month and the Michigan Department of Insurance & Financial Services (DIFS) is reminding college students and other renters about the importance of purchasing a renters insurance policy to protect their belongings in the event of storm damage, fire, or theft.

“Renters can suffer significant property losses caused by severe storms, fires, and other events, so it is important that they have the coverage they need before disaster strikes,” said DIFS Director Anita Fox. “It is critical that every Michigander, whether they rent or own their home, has the appropriate type of insurance coverage to protect themselves, their families, and their belongings.”

Many Michiganders who rent an apartment, house, or dorm room are unaware that their personal belongings are not covered by their landlord’s property insurance. Typically, the landlord’s policy only covers structural damage to the landlord’s property and does not extend to the renter’s personal belongings. This means that if a fire, severe storm, or theft occurs and a renter’s personal belongings are damaged or stolen, the renter is personally responsible for replacing or repairing their items unless they purchased a renters insurance policy before the damage occurred.

Renters insurance will provide coverage for a person’s belongings if they are damaged by events such as a tornado or a fire. In addition, renters insurance will help covered individuals find alternative living accommodations if their rented apartment or home is damaged in a storm, fire or other covered peril. Renters insurance can also help protect a renter in the event that someone sues them for damages or injuries they or a family member cause on the rented property. Most renters insurance policies do not cover flood damage, so renters should consider adding a flood insurance policy to cover their belongings in the event of a flood. More information about flood insurance is available at [FloodSmart.gov]FloodSmart.gov.

“Renters policies are usually inexpensive, but they provide important coverage and peace of mind that you and your belongings are protected,” said Fox. “If you purchase a renters policy from the same company that writes your auto or other type of insurance policy, you may be entitled to a multi-policy discount. This Preparedness Month, we encourage all renters in Michigan to work with a licensed insurance agent or company to investigate their coverage options.”

For questions about renters insurance or other types of insurance, visit Michigan.gov/DIFS or call 877-999-6442 Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Consumers may file a complaint online by visiting Michigan.gov/DIFScomplaints.

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