By: Dorothy Liftig Martin
“Lucy got so excited to see my neighbor yesterday, she almost knocked her down.” My heart sank as my friend told me about her near disastrous walk with her dog in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood. Working in claims for 15 years, I know accidents happen all the time and risk is everywhere, but I have learned to choose my words carefully in my personal life – no one wants a constant reminder that disaster can strike at anytime.
“You have a renters insurance policy, right?” This time I had to say something. I figured my highly accomplished friend surely would have bundled auto and home coverage with ample limits; she would answer with a ‘yes,’ and we would continue our insurance-free conversation over coffee.
“What for? I rent now. I am so glad to be done with the worry of being a homeowner. I will never buy a house again. All I care about is my pets. If there is a fire, I can replace everything, except the pets. I don’t need insurance.” She said knowingly as she took another sip of her latte.
My frustration increased as I heard this reply, but I am keenly aware of the common misconception that renters insurance coverage is just for personal items.
“Not to bring up my day job, but what if Lucy had knocked your neighbor down and she broke her wrist? You would likely be held liable for the actions of your dog.”
“Oh that won’t happen, she’s a good dog.”
I let out a sigh. I didn’t want to remind her of the litigious society we live in on a sunny Saturday morning, but liability coverage is vital, even to those who believe they don’t have many assets to protect.
My friend gave me a silent nod, acknowledging she would resign herself and let me stand on my insurance soapbox. I reminded her that I read suit papers on a weekly basis – nothing is off the table when it comes to potential liability exposure. Even more frightening, a large liability suit can not only result in loss of current assets but garnishment of future wages as well! The good news is, for a small cost each year, you can purchase a renters policy. This insurance contract will provide worldwide coverage for accidents that result in property damage or bodily injury. Who wouldn’t want that peace-of-mind?
I was relieved that my friend did take my recommendation seriously and called her agent first thing the following Monday morning. Upon discussion with the agent, she also learned she could easily insure some inherited jewelry!
Contact your agent today to discuss the many features of this often overlooked (but important) insurance policy.