West Bend Mutual Insurance Company

What You Need to Know About Renters and Condo Insurance

Trends in homeownership are changing – and the Milwaukee market is no different.

By - Feb 5th, 2020 10:31 am
Vignette at The North End. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Vignette at The North End. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Apartment List has been surveying millennials for the past five years – in 2019, 12.3 percent of millennial renters said they plan to “always rent,” up from 10.7 percent just one year ago.

An analyst from a commercial real estate data company says that vacancies have decreased even though the metro Milwaukee area has added almost 7,000 new apartments since the beginning of 2017.

While living in a condo or apartment may differ than buying a house, what doesn’t change is the need to insure your valuable property.

Here’s what you need to know about insurance if you live in an apartment or condominium.

Renters Insurance

More families and individuals are choosing rentals over ownership than ever—now, over 100 million Americans are renting their place of dwelling. Renting property brings a host of benefits—shorter-term living accommodations, fewer maintenance responsibilities, and maybe some of your utilities are covered by the building.

With much of the responsibility on the landlord, it’s easy to think you can pass on getting your own insurance, but that is far from the truth.

Why do I need renters insurance?

Your landlord will have the building as a whole insured, but this typically only covers the building itself, the surrounding area and certain facets of a unit, like large appliances, cabinets or other provided fixtures. Personal belongings like clothing, electronics, furniture and small appliances are certainly not protected under your landlord’s policy.

While some won’t see much purpose in this kind of protection, the value adds up, and to lose these items in a fire, flood or to theft could cause a large financial burden. Consider our existence in the digital age: the value of our electronics alone, from our laptops to phones and video game systems adds up quickly.

In addition to physical assets, renters insurance can help protect you if a guest falls and sustains an injury in your apartment and help cover alternative housing if a disaster has rendered your unit temporarily unlivable.

And with a price as low as $150 a year, or $12.50 a month, renters insurance is a manageable and invaluable investment.

Condo Owners Insurance

If you want to graduate from rentals, but owning a free-standing home isn’t on your radar for 2020, maybe you’ve considered buying a condo? Condominium ownership experienced a boom in the 2010s due to the affordability in comparison to home owning, the amenities included with many newer developments and the ability to own property in or near the city.

In a condo, some of the dreaded maintenance tasks will fall to a building owner or homeowner’s association (HOA) to make your life a little easier. However, as with renting, insurance for your unit is not covered by the master policy.

How is this different than renters insurance?

Let’s start with the similarities. Like renters insurance, condo insurance will cover the things you own within your apartment in cases of theft or disaster. The same liability insurance exists for any potential injuries, and you will not be tasked with paying for temporary housing if your unit is rendered unlivable by disaster.

However, when you own a condo, you have a little more responsibility for the unit itself. While a renter need only be concerned with things like furniture and smaller personal belongings, condo owners, depending on the stipulations of the HOA policy, may have more to consider. Permanent fixtures like lighting, large appliances or cabinets may not be covered and could be affected by things like flooding or power surges.

Whether you’re a homeowner, condo owner or apartment dweller, a level of insurance should be on your to-do list to protect your property.

Other helpful posts from West Bend Cares Blog:

Visit thesilverlining.com to learn more about condo and rental insurance or to be connected with an agent.

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