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Your landlord's insurance covers his losses, not yours. If someone drives their car through your living room wall or a kitchen fire destroys the place, your landlord's insurance won't pay a dime toward your lost property or expenses. The same holds for personal liability issues. If a guest trips on your dog's chew toy, she can sue you, not your landlord, for damages. If you rent, you need your own insurance.
Many insurance companies offer renters insurance. If you have an insurance agent, ask her about it. Renters insurance isn't usually expensive, and can run as little as $350 per year for $50,000 in coverage, according to "10 Tips for Tenants" on Nolo.com.
If thieves steal your possessions or a fire damages them beyond repair, you'll need an inventory list of what you own to give to the insurance company.
Ask your insurance agent whether your policy covers the "actual cash value" of your property or if the the policy will pay to replace what you've lost. This is important, because if your furniture, computers and other items necessary for day-to-day living get destroyed, their actual cash value is probably far less than what it will cost you to replace them.
Flood and Earthquake Riders
Renters insurance often does not cover some natural disasters such as floods or earthquakes. Ask about getting a separate rider on your insurance policy to cover damages caused by excluded events.
Standard renters insurance won't cover damage to equipment used in a home business, or liability for a delivery person who slips and falls when bringing you a work-related package. If you do any kind of business from home, including direct sales of cosmetics or kitchenware, get a home business rider on your insurance.