You might think you can get away without buying renter’s insurance — and you may have plenty of excuses for why you don’t need it:
- Your landlord already has insurance.
- You don’t want another monthly expense.
- You’re not required to carry it.
But we’re betting you’d throw those excuses right out the window if you truly understood the kind of protection that renter’s insurance offers.
If you have an apartment and you don’t have this protection, there are a few things you really should know about the benefits of carrying renter’s insurance. Read on!
It’s cheaper than you think.
According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the average renter’s insurance policy costs between $15 and 30 a month. That’s cheap compared to the cost of replacing everything in your apartment.
Don’t think your stuff is worth very much? Think again. The average person has more than $20,000 worth of belongings that wouldn’t be covered by a landlord’s insurance, according to State Farm. Could you afford to buy back all of your things if there was a disaster? (To get a grip on how much stuff you have and what it’s worth, try this home inventory tool.)
It covers what your landlord’s insurance won’t.
If something happens to your apartment and all of your belongings are destroyed, your landlord isn’t liable unless there were problems in the building that he knew about and ignored. His insurance would just cover the building, not your stuff inside. You wouldn’t be able to make a claim for your goods on your landlord’s insurance, but you’d be covered if you had your own renter’s policy.
Name a disaster. You’re likely covered.
Renter’s insurance covers property damage from all sorts of disasters, like:
- Fire and lightning strikes
- Wind and smoke damage
- Explosions and electrical surges
- Snow storms
- Water damage
- Vandalism and robbery
But it doesn’t stop there.
You may not realize that renter’s insurance protects you against more than just natural disasters and theft. It also covers your liability if someone hurts himself in your apartment. In that case, the insurance would cover the claimant’s medical bills and any resulting lawsuit, up to a certain dollar amount specified in your policy. Renter’s insurance also protects you if you damage someone else’s property — for instance, if you break a neighbor’s window while playing softball.
You’re covered away from home.
One of the nicest perks of renter’s insurance is that your belongings don’t have to be in your apartment in order to be covered. Do you take your bike to work? If someone stole it from your workplace, it would still be covered. Do you have a storage space? If it were flooded, your damaged goods would be covered under the terms of your policy. Your insured items are covered even when you take them out of your apartment.
It can put a roof over your head.
If your apartment were damaged and you had to live elsewhere while repairs were made, renter’s insurance would cover those costs, too. If there were a fire that caused smoke damage or a pest issue that required fumigation, for example, your coverage would likely pay for a hotel room and meals.
It keeps your identity safe.
Renter’s insurance can also help you protect your identity. If credit cards or other personal information have been stolen, your insurance provider can work with banks and credit bureaus to help clear your name and recover your money. Even your legal fees could be covered.
Convinced yet that you need the protection of renter’s insurance? You may already qualify for a discount on a policy through your existing car insurance provider; to get a quote, start with them. Or compare rates through major providers like Esurance, Progressive, State Farm, and Allstate.
Photo credit: Shutterstock / Dusit