Massachusetts Renters Insurance From Effective Coverage Protects You From Boston To The Berkshires
Massachusetts is known as the Bay State. The name draws its origins from when Pilgrims landed, and the state has played a key role in American history ever since. Since Massachusetts renters insurance hinges on definitions of particular terms, we feel compelled to point out that the “state” is actually the Bay Commonwealth.
This dates back to the constitution that was adopted in 1780, declaring that the people created a “state by the name of The Commonwealth of Massachusetts.” For all intents and purposes, though, Massachusetts operates much like any other state.
If you’re looking for a new apartment in Massachusetts, you have two main choices. You can go for the city lifestyle in Boston, Worcester, Springfield, or Lowell. All of these cities offer populations over 100,000 and everything that you expect from a sizable city. On the other hand, the western half of the state offers natural beauty, a different side of history, and all the charm of small towns that retain easy access to large cities.
Apartments in Massachusetts are likely to be expensive no matter where you live, but living here is worth the money. Often, smaller towns offer less expensive living but with a commute tradeoff. The Mass Pike may have gone to all-electronic tolling, but it’s still costly to commute any distance every day.
You could get caught up in working and maintaining your lifestyle, but Massachusetts has much more than that to offer. While Americans on both sides of the aisle have spoken of leaving the country after elections in 2008, 2012, and 2016, the Boston Globe (soft paywall) suggests that moving to Massachusetts might be a better and easier solution.
The Globe’s rationale is that Massachusetts will still have universal healthcare no matter what happens nationwide, because the state laws pre-date the ACA. Massachusetts was also one of the earliest states to legalize same-sex marriage, and now has legalized recreational marijuana for adults. With a moderate governor and easy access to poutine just hours away, you get many of the benefits of escaping without leaving the good old U. S. of A.
Whether you’re just moving to Massachusetts or you’ve lived here your entire life, there are many good reasons to rent. Property taxes have a somewhat smaller impact on renters than on property owners. If nothing else, the costs of taxes are spread across the year for renters. Renters in Massachusetts also benefit from significant tenant protections. We dig into this more below. Renting an apartment or home also protects you from many unexpected costs such as maintenance.
No matter why you choose to rent in The Bay State, Massachusetts renters insurance should be part of your lifestyle. Whether you’re living in a single-family rental or a professionally managed apartment community, you’ll need proof of coverage to move in. Notwithstanding that, only forty-four percent of Massachusetts residents are covered. Many renters aren’t aware of the coverage or have made incorrect assumptions about the cost.
Massachusetts renters insurance in 2021 is less expensive than in many other states. The national average is $187.00 a year, but you can often get covered for substantially less money. Whether you’re young and expect to accumulate future assets or you already own a great deal, renters insurance protects what you work hard for. Your policy can protect your bank account and other savings from lawsuits, as well as protecting your personal property against a long list of renters insurance perils.
Regardless of the reason you need a policy, Effective Coverage is here to help with your Massachusetts renters insurance. We work to educate people about the coverage available to them because a policy is the single most affordable way to protect what’s important to you. Our mission is providing solutions for those buying and requiring insurance, because insurance is our world and we want you to get back to yours.
You can start the process online, and a friendly insurance expert who can help you choose coverage is just a quick phone call away. If you’re a landlord, Effective Coverage offers efficient solutions for insurance compliance tracking in Massachusetts. Tracking renters insurance, commercial insurance, and other types of policies has never been easier.
Massachusetts landlords need to track tenant compliance with renters insurance requirements, and an Excel spreadsheet just doesn’t cut it anymore. Effective Coverage insurance tracking solutions scale seamlessly from five units to fifty thousand units and offer you a real-time view of your tenants’ compliance with additional interest tracking handled by our processing center.
You get the benefits of always knowing the status of any given policy, while your employees get the benefit of not handling all of the paperwork generated by policies. Our central processing center for additional interest notifications incorporates machine learning and OCR technology to take the paperwork off your desk.
Whether you need renters insurance in Massachusetts or you need easy Massachusetts certificate of insurance tracking solutions for apartments, Effective Coverage has the answers. We make it easy and let you get back to the rest of your life. We’re easy to reach, online, by web chat, or by calling a friendly insurance expert at (800)892-4308.
2021 Massachusetts Renters Insurance Guide Table Of Contents
- What Should I Know About Massachusetts Renters Insurance In 2021?
- Is Everyone In My Home Covered By Renters Insurance In Massachusetts?
- Does Massachusetts Renters Insurance Cover Theft?
- Are Frozen Pipes Covered?
- How Do I Know How Much Coverage I Need On Massachusetts Renters Insurance?
- Massachusetts Renters Insurance Fast Facts
- Bonus Section: 2021 Guide To Renting In Massachusetts
What Should I Know About Massachusetts Renters Insurance In 2021?
- While the law may not require renters insurance in Massachusetts, your lease probably does.
- If you have a side hustle or other secondary source of income, you should disclose it. You may need an endorsement or a commercial policy because the income threshold for “business pursuits” is quite low.
- It’s easier than ever to get Massachusetts renters insurance. Just call an insurance expert at (800)892-4308 to get covered in minutes.
Contrary to what anyone may tell you, there is no state law mandating that you have renters insurance in Massachusetts. No state has such a law. However, the law in every state makes you responsible in some way for damages to the apartment caused by your negligence.
While some landlords try to hide behind a law that doesn’t exist, it’s important to realize that your lease requirements carry the force of law. In 2021, your lease will require that you have Massachusetts renters insurance with an additional interest. That doesn’t give them coverage, it just makes sure they are kept aware of the policy status.
In 2021, many people have a side business or other source of income that they run from their home. Whether business is being conducted in the home, and whether property belongs to the business, are important considerations for coverage. Massachusetts renters insurance doesn’t cover business pursuits, or business personal property. It may be possible to endorse on permitted incidental occupancies, but make sure to read the endorsement and understand exactly what’s covered and what isn’t.
There was a time in the recent past when buying any kind of insurance in Massachusetts required a trip to an agent, reams of paperwork, and tons of questions. Today, you can get covered the same day with one phone call. The paperwork is all online, and you can get instant proof of coverage for your leasing office or landlord.
Is Everyone In My Home Covered By Renters Insurance In Massachusetts?
- Renters insurance in Massachusetts covers the named insured. That’s defined in the policy, and includes a number of people related to you.
- Roommates aren’t covered under your policy, but they can and should each have their own policy.
- You are responsible for knowing what’s in your policy. Read it carefully, and if you have questions about coverage call an insurance expert at Effective Coverage to get clarity quickly.
Renters insurance in Massachusetts is designed to cover the named insured. That named insured can include the person named on the policy, a spouse who lives with them, and resident relatives. All of this is set out in your policy, at the very beginning. Anyone not defined as part of the named insured is not covered.
You’re not limited to one policy per location, however. Roommates can and should have their own policies. The benefit is that it’s clear who the check for a claim gets made out to. It’s also clear whose property is covered by which policy. In the event of a fire or other loss to the rented premises for which multiple people are responsible, each policy could potentially respond to defend and pay for the portion of the loss attributable to the insured.
Never make assumptions about your coverage. You are ultimately responsible for knowing what’s in the policy. The policy document governs the coverage, so it’s very important that you read and understand it, along with your declarations page. The declarations page tells you who the named insured is, as well as how much of each type of coverage you have. If you have questions about your policy, help is just a phone call away from a friendly Massachusetts renters insurance expert at (800)892-4308.
Does Massachusetts Renters Insurance Cover Theft?
- Theft is covered on renters insurance in Massachusetts, as are many other perils.
- You should understand exactly what’s covered – a stolen computer can be replaced, your work product cannot.
- Replacement cost coverage is standard on most policies, so you can buy new property of like kind and quality.
Theft is just one of many covered perils on your renters insurance in Massachusetts. If your property is stolen, you can file a claim for it. It’s important to be aware of exactly what’s covered. If your computer is stolen, the computer and commercial software can be replaced. Your work product, however, can not. In other words, if you’re writing your Ph.D. thesis you would be well advised to back it up to the cloud.
When an item is stolen and you make a claim on your renters insurance in Massachusetts, the policy generally dictates that the claim should be paid at replacement cost. You’ll get the amount of money you need to buy a new item of like kind and quality. The purpose of insurance is to return you to the financial condition you were in before the loss happened. Replacing your property with a new item accomplishes that goal.
This coverage isn’t just limited to computers, of course. It’s also not limited to theft. If there’s a fire, the same replacement cost coverage on your policy applies. In the case of a fire, it would apply for whatever was lost. This is important because this coverage is what allows you to go buy new property instead of only getting the actual cash value and having to shop for replacement property at a thrift store.
Many apartments in Massachusetts are converted from older residences of wood frame construction. A small fire in one apartment can quickly turn into a large fire that engulfs the entire building. The risk is real. You can plan effectively for your own safety against fires, but you can’t prevent your neighbors from making dangerous decisions that could impact you. Renters insurance protects you from the risk that other people present to your property.
And don’t forget that renters insurance in Massachusetts covers those expensive textbooks, computers, and the other things college apartments and grad student apartments are filled with.
Are Frozen Pipes Covered?
- Frozen pipes are covered by your policy.
- If pipes burst, loss of use coverage pays for you to stay somewhere else.
- Personal property damaged by the burst pipe is generally covered at replacement cost.
Frozen pipes are a mere annoyance when they impede your supply of water. There’s more danger when those frozen pipes burst. Water in your apartment can destroy your property, especially after it filters through a floor or a wall filled with insulation and years of dirt and debris. Burst pipes can lead to ceilings caving in, which is dangerous for those below them. The good news is that Massachusetts renters insurance covered frozen burst pipes.
It’s the landlord’s responsibility to repair the pipe itself, of course, but the damage to your property is covered. Your personal property damaged by the water from the burst pipe can be replaced. In addition, you’d need to stay elsewhere for a few days while things dry out and repairs are made to the apartment. Loss of use coverage on your policy pays for a hotel and your other additional living expenses after a covered loss.
How Do I Know How Much Coverage I Need On Massachusetts Renters Insurance?
As noted above, Massachusetts renters insurance generally includes replacement cost coverage for your personal property. To find out how much renters insurance personal property coverage you need, add up the cost to replace everything in your apartment or home. Make a list, and take pictures of valuable items or items that are difficult to inventory. The list and the pictures should, of course, be stored off-site in the cloud.
But what about liability coverage? If you’re wondering how much liability coverage to get on your renters insurance in 2021, the answer is “as much as you can.” Lawsuits for bodily injury or property damage are a very real possibility, whether you’re a college student or a retiree. If you’re sued, the policy pays for your defense until the claim is settled or litigated.
Loss of use coverage is proportional to the amount of personal property coverage on your policy. Medical payments to others starts at $1,000 but can be increased to $5,000 for a very small cost. This is a no fault coverage that pays for small injuries suffered by guests in your home where a liability claim isn’t appropriate because no one is at fault. Renters insurance in Massachusetts is a package policy and provides you with a great deal of coverage for very little cost.
Massachusetts Renters Insurance Fast Facts
- The average price of renters insurance in Massachusetts is about fourteen dollars a month.
- Renters insurance in Massachusetts can protect your entire family, including children who can’t contract for their own policy.
- The average fire loss per structure is $20,700 according to the NFPA.
- Just because someone has insurance for the damage you cause doesn’t make you not liable. Their insurance company can sue you for the money they paid to cover the loss. Your policy defends you and pays for the loss up to the policy limit, if you’re liable.
- Renters insurance protects you from liability risk, risk to your personal property, and costs incurred following a covered loss
Bonus Section: 2021 Guide To Renting In Massachusetts
Finding An Apartment In Massachusetts
If you’re looking for an apartment in Boston, be prepared for a challenge. Competition is high, and supply is low. If you’re coming from outside of the state, you’ll want to make sure you understand the difference between the unique and distinct areas that make up Boston. You’ll find different offerings, as well as different prices, in each part of the city so it pays to do your research.
Apartments in Boston normally become available about six weeks before the lease is up. You’ll want to start early to make sure that you get the apartment you want when you want it.
Otherwise you could find yourself paying rent in two places, or with an awkward and difficult time in between the apartments. The closer you are to the T and to downtown, the more money you will pay. One bedroom apartments can run three thousand dollars a month or more, so roommates are popular.
You can expect to complete an application when you go to visit the apartment. You should, of course, visit the apartment before you commit. You’ll also want to visit the apartment with your credit information, job history, references, and cash for a deposit, first month’s rent, and any fees available. “I’ll get it to you Friday” isn’t going to fly with Boston landlords.
Finding an apartment in cities outside of the Boston metro is often easier. You can still expect to need to show up with the references, the cash, and the application. But there’s less competition and more of a handshake element to the process. Don’t let anyone tell you that you don’t need a written lease, though. A handshake does not replace a written lease.
Massachusetts Tenant Rights
Fees And Payments
- A landlord or agent with a real estate license can and may charge a fee for an apartment. No one else may.
- Only certain fees and money may be collected before you move in.
- In return for your deposit, you must receive a signed statement of the condition of the apartment from the landlord.
- Tax escalator clauses are legal on Massachusetts leases, but they must be written correctly.
- Late fees may not be charged until rent is 30 days late. Discounts for advance payment are similarly illegal, because the net effect is the same.
You can be charged a fee to find an apartment in Massachusetts, but only by someone with a real estate license. If your landlord simply has a few apartments, but isn’t a broker or salesperson, they can’t charge you a fee for one of their apartments. Anyone who has a real estate license can, however.
In addition, the landlord can only collect certain monies before you move in. They can ask for the first month, the last month, a one-month security deposit, and the actual costs of a lock and key along with their installation costs. The landlord must give you a receipt for the last month’s rent as well as the security deposit and a statement that you’re entitled to interest on that last month’s rent.
If the landlord takes a security deposit, they must sign and give to you a statement of the condition of the apartment. This statement should include a list of any existing damage to the apartment. If you disagree with the document, you need to return a corrected copy to the landlord within 15 days.
Don’t forget that tax escalator clauses are valid in Massachusetts leases. Your rent can be increased based on your landlord’s property tax changing. This is a legacy of a time when property taxes in Mass were rising rapidly year over year.
The landlord may not require that you pre-pay rent beyond the above. No interest or penalties can be charged on late rent until it is 30 days late, but that doesn’t mean you can pay 30 days late. The landlord can start the process of getting you as soon as the rent is one day overdue.
The landlord also cannot offer a discount for early payment. This would still equate to a penalty for late payment.
Before You Sign A Lease
- Before signing a lease, make sure that you want the apartment.
- Your lease must include ways to contact the owner or party responsible for maintenance and repair.
- The lease must also contain the amount of the security deposit and your rights to the deposit under the law.
- If the lease conflicts with the law, you’re entitled to a full refund of the deposit even if there are damages.
- When you find the perfect home, get the perfect protection with Massachusetts renters insurance from Effective Coverage.
You’ll want to be sure that you want the apartment before you sign a lease and give the landlord any money. Sure, you might be able to get the money back if the landlord hasn’t accepted, but that can be far more trouble than it’s worth. Make sure you know how much utilities will cost, especially heat. Any repairs that you expect before moving in should be in writing in the lease.
Your lease must include contact information for the owners and anyone else responsible for maintenance and repair. It needs to include contact information for someone authorized to receive notices of violations and notices of lawsuits on behalf of the owner. Your lease also must set out the amount of your security deposit as well as your rights under the security deposit law.
If your lease conflicts with that law and they either try to enforce the illegal provision or get you to waive your rights under the law, they cannot keep your deposit for any reason – including damages.
Once you’ve found the perfect home, make sure you have the perfect protection. Just call (800)892-4308 or click above to get the Massachusetts renters insurance you need with easy payments and coverage you can rely on. Effective Coverage insurance experts are happy to answer your questions and help you to understand what type and amount of coverage may best fit your personal situation.