Bekah Steenbock
apartment fire

These days, you have to have insurance for nearly everything. Most states require you to have car insurance. The government has required health insurance. Depending on the state, you may not legally need to have renters insurance. Even so, it’s an extremely important thing to consider if you’re renting an apartment.

What IS renters insurance?

Renters insurance is there for your personal property and other things you’d need to consider as a renter. It doesn’t cover the actual structure of the apartment – the landlord is responsible for that insurance – so it’ll cost far less than you’re expecting. While it varies based on how much coverage you get, renters insurance generally costs in the range of $15-30 a month, making it very low cost for the potential benefits it has.

What does renters insurance cover?

No two policies are the same, but there are some common elements to renters insurance. The following link provides a good overview of renters insurance but it typically covers the following:

  1. Personal Property
    You probably have a lot more things in your apartment than you realize. All of your belongings fall under renters insurance, so you’re covered if something is damaged or stolen.
  2. Liability
    Liability renters insurance covers you if you’re responsible for an accident or someone else gets injured on the rental property.
  3. Living expenses
    If your apartment becomes unlivable and you’re forced to stay somewhere else, renters insurance can help out with hotel bills and other living expenses during that time.
  4. Disasters
    This is the area that varies most from place to place, but some natural disasters can be covered by renters insurance. If you live in an area particularly prone to specific natural disasters (for example, earthquakes in California), you may need a separate insurance policy for that.

Related: 5 reasons every renter should have renters insurance

Why do I need renters insurance if my landlord has insurance?

Their insurance only covers the building itself. Your belongings are your responsibility, not covered by your landlord’s insurance.

Some landlords require renters insurance

A landlord can require you to hold renters insurance to live under their roof. Dealing with replacing tenants’ belongings isn’t their business, and making tenants have renters insurance makes sure that they don’t have to deal with the problems that can cause.

Tip:  If during a move-out inspection, damages to your apartment exceed the security deposit, your landlord can go after your renters insurance.

What if I live in a safe neighborhood?

You may never experience a break-in, and that would be wonderful. That’s not the only thing that can be a problem – fire, flooding, or someone injuring themselves can all cost you a lot of money, and having renters insurance will cover you in that situation.

Where can I get renters insurance?

Most insurance agents sell renters insurance. If you have car insurance, you can often bundle renters insurance into your package, and save a few dollars a month. If not, that’s OK too. Renters insurance is still a low-cost way to protect your valuables.

When moving, the last thing you want to think about is insurance. You have many other things on your plate. But, don’t let getting insurance go by the wayside. If something were to happen, you don’t want to be left uncovered. Your lease might also require you show proof of insurance. A quick call to your insurance agent will give you the peace of mind you need to enjoy your new home.



About The Author

Bekah Steenbock is a freelance writer with a background in real-estate and business growth. She is a native Austinite, but has called Seattle, Mankato, Milwaukee, Las Vegas and Atlanta home. Bekah, her husband, and their three children love exploring the outdoors in their spare time.