12 On Your Side: Renters insurance should be on your winter storm checklist

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News 12 at 6 o'clock / Jan. 27, 2014

12 On Your Side

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Everything from downed trees to frozen pipes that rupture flooding your home or apartment. can be a reality.

Experts are urging folks who do not have renters insurance to get it now.

"If a pipe breaks and freezes and it runs and it ruins your contents that's your problem," Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens said.

It could be a very cold reality for some renters and even homeowners who do not have property insurance as what looks like a significant winter storm is expected to hit, in just hours. The storm could leave downed trees and even property damage.

"They need to contact their insurance agent and get what they call a renters policy. It's just like a homeowners policy," said Hudgens. He said renters often think they don't need coverage but your landlord's policy will not protect your personal belongings.

"A homeowner's policy protects a house plus the contents, a renters policy protects your contents and your landlord's structure," said Hudgens. Chris Douse with State Farm in Augusta said about 70 percent of renters go without insurance coverage.

"That's true and partly because for one, you don't have to have it. It's not like auto insurance where the state says you have to have it," Douse said.

Renters insurance covers: fire or lightning, windstorm or hail, freezing of plumbing systems, theft and more. If someone is injured during an accident in your home, renters insurance can help protect you in the case of a liability lawsuit.

"It's very inexpensive and its foolish not to have it," said Hudgens.

Renters insurance policies can cost just pennies a day. You can set up automatic debits from your bank account or you can add it to your car insurance for more convenience.

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