When you move into your new apartment, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of decorating, unpacking and getting used to your new environment. However, planning for the future — even for potential problems — is essential. Apartment insurance may seem like an unnecessary additional monthly expense, particularly if you’ve never experienced problems such as break-ins, fire or water damage. It’s enough to make you question if you really even need renter’s insurance.
The answer? Yes, you do.
Though most apartment communities and owners will have their own insurance, it generally only applies to the actual structure and dwelling. That means if there’s a fire or damage, their policy will not cover your personal belongings, leaving you forking out the money for replacements or repairs. Some communities even make having renter’s insurance policy in place a requirement on your lease.
When it comes to getting yourself set up with basic renter’s insurance, you’ll need to look at two types of coverage:
Though you will have to pay a deductible, which you agree to at the start of your policy, most renter’s insurance policies are likely to cover the following:
The personal property in your house.
This can include everything from your clothes to your computer. Keep in mind, your policy may have limitations on payouts for certain items, such as electronics or jewelry. If you have specific items that you’re concerned about, such as an expensive bike or high-end stereo equipment, you may want to look into getting additional coverage.
“Loss of Use.”
Something happened at your apartment that’s made your space unlivable, such as a fire or severe water damage? That’s deemed as “loss of use” in the insurance trade. This covers you for staying elsewhere such as at a hotel and for living expenses such as food while your apartment is repaired to a liveable standard.
Liability for accidents.
Like the overflowing bathtub that ruins your downstairs neighbor’s ceiling discussed above, liability coverage ensures that you’re protected from any negligence on your part that causes bodily harm or damage. Someone comes into your house, trips on a rug and breaks their leg? Your cat bites the woman next door? All of these can be covered by your liability insurance.
While it may seem annoying to have to shell out for yet another expense on a monthly basis, apartment insurance is certainly more affordable than trying to replace everything yourself if the worst happens.