Deep Dives
Why Do I Need Renters Insurance?

Most people have a love-hate relationship with insurance. No one wants to buy it, but everyone is sure glad they have it when they have a claim. Maybe you think your “stuff” isn’t worth insuring, but as we’ll show in this article, renters insurance provides coverage for more than just the lumpy couch you were handed down from your parents.

Why Do I Need Renters Insurance?
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July 5, 2022

Most people have a love-hate relationship with insurance. No one wants to buy it, but everyone is sure glad they have it when they have a claim. You know the law requires you to have auto insurance if you own a car, and it’s just common sense to have health insurance. But what about the apartment you rent? Maybe you think your “stuff” isn’t worth insuring, but as we’ll show in this article, renters insurance provides coverage for more than just the lumpy couch you were handed down from your parents.

What Does Renters Insurance Cover?

Renters insurance protects your “personal property” items in your apartment or home such as furniture, electronics, clothes, small appliances, etc. in the event they are damaged by the following perils:

  • Fire/lightning
  • Windstorm or hail
  • Explosion
  • Theft
  • Smoke
  • Riot or civil commotion
  • Aircraft
  • Vehicle
  • Vandalism
  • Falling objects
  • Weight of snow or ice
  • Freezing
  • Volcanic eruption
  • Accidental water or steam discharge
  • Accidental damage caused by artificially generated electrical currents
  • Sudden accidental tearing apart, cracking, bulging of plumbing, heating and air conditioning and some other systems

It also covers your items even when they’re not in your home. If your smartphone or laptop gets stolen while you’re on vacation, your renters insurance will cover the cost to replace those items. Items stolen from your car are also covered by renters insurance (NOT your auto policy!).

But It Also Covers…

Ok, so maybe you knew your “stuff” was covered, but renters insurance also provides liability and medical payments coverage. If a guest at your party slips and breaks their arm or your buddy burns himself on your barbecue, you could be liable for the costs associated with the injuries. Medical payments coverage may be sufficient for small incidents, but personal liability coverage will come into play for larger amounts you are legally obligated to pay for incidents at your home.

Wait, There’s More!

Another benefit of renters insurance is loss of use coverage. If your place becomes uninhabitable because of a covered loss, renters insurance will help pay for the additional living expenses incurred when you’re forced to stay somewhere else while your home is being repaired. For example, your apartment is damaged by a fire and while it’s being repaired, you have to stay somewhere else. Loss of use coverage will help cover the additional expenses you’ll incur like:

  • Renting a place to stay (hotel/motel, rental home, etc.)
  • Food expenses
  • Laundry
  • Additional car mileage
  • Moving costs
  • Storage costs
  • Pet boarding

How Much Does It Cost?

Are you ready for the best part? Renters insurance is cheap! You could get all the coverage listed above for a monthly premium equal to 3 Skinny Vanilla Lattes! Renters insurance is one of the cheapest financial coverages you can buy. The average cost of renters insurance less than $20 per month:

Average Monthly Costs of Other Expenses Compared to the Cost of Renters Insurance

 

Additional Considerations

  • Deductible: the deductible is the amount you’re responsible for before the insurance company will pay for your claim. For example, if you have a $500 deductible and your phone gets stolen, you will pay $500 and the insurance company will pay for the amount of the claim above $500. The higher the deductible, the lower the premium.
  • High value items: if you own any rare or valuable items (art, jewelry, furs, bicycles, cameras, etc.), you will need to purchase additional coverage for them. Check your policy for the limits provided- if your items cost more than those limits, buy a personal articles floater. 
  • Valuation: most policies cover personal property at actual cash value (ACV), meaning the cost to replace the item minus depreciation. It’s worth getting coverage at replacement cost, or the actual cost to replace the item, for a few extra dollars.
  • Perils not covered: earthquake, flood, infestations, accidental loss of property, certain breeds of dogs.
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Jodie Williams