Several mistaken assumptions prevent most renters from purchasing renters insurance. They assume their landlord’s insurance already covers their rental apartment, they think it’s expensive, or they believe their belongings are not that valuable to be worth insuring.
Firstly, the landlord’s insurance only covers damage to the main structure. It does not cover damage to your belongings inside your apartment, nor does it cover accidental damage done by you to the belongings of another renter. Secondly, renters insurance is one of the cheapest and most accessible types of insurance available. Lastly, the total cost of your laptop, your phone, your TV, your furniture, your clothes and shoes, and your small kitchen appliances is much more than you’d be comfortable losing.
Here are five reasons why it’s smart to get renters insurance:
1. The cost is minimal
The monthly premium of a renters insurance policy is between $12 and $25 per month for a coverage of $30,000 in property damage and $100,000 in liability coverage. The cost of having your belongings and yourself protected in case something bad happens is about the same as the price of a pizza dinner per month. The premium amount depends on the value insured, the more value your things have, the higher the premium. Like most other types of insurance, renters insurance also has a deductible in case of a claim, the lower the deductible, the higher the premium. To find out exactly how much it costs to get your property covered, you can request a free quote.
2. Your belongings are worth insuring
Do a mental inventory of your things and try to add up what it would cost to replace the top 10 most valuable items in your rental apartment if they were to be damaged or stolen. Did you arrive at an amount in the thousands, maybe more? Renters insurance will cover this amount in case your apartment is broken into, or if there’s a fire or water damage. There are two kinds of coverage with renters insurance: replacement cost coverage, which will pay for the cost of replacing the damaged belongings, and actual cash value coverage, which will reimburse you for the depreciated value of your belongings at the time the damage occurred. Cash value coverage is cheaper to get, while the premium for replacement value coverage is about 10% more.
3. You are covered for accidents caused by you
In case you accidentally cause damage or harm to others, you become liable for compensation to that person. Accidents can happen to anyone. If you forget a faucet on when you leave for work and end up flooding your neighbor downstairs, or if a guest trips and gets injured inside your apartment and sues you for his or her medical bills, your renters insurance will cover these costs as well through personal liability coverage. Lawsuits can be very expensive to defend, medical bills tend to be high even for the smallest injuries, so a small premium to curtail the impact of such situations is well worth it.
4. You get a place to live in case your apartment becomes uninhabitable
Unfortunate things can happen anywhere despite all safety measures. An accidental kitchen fire, gas explosion, broken pipe, or electrical issues can turn your apartment uninhabitable in minutes. In these emergency-type situations when you will need a place to live while repairs are underway, renters insurance will cover the cost of a hotel room or a temporary rental, and sometimes meal expenses.
5. You can get added coverage for special valuables
Standard insurance policies do not cover certain valuables, such as jewelry, collectibles or any kind of gadgets used for business purposes. However, if you believe this is something that applies to you, renters insurance policies have the option to add a “floater”, which covers such valuables in case they are damaged or accidentally lost.
Fire, smoke, theft, vandalism, explosion, water damage, and windstorms can happen to rental apartments just as they can happen to any home. The smart way to insure yourself as a renter against such losses is to get a renters insurance policy from ResidentShield.
ResidentShield is a sister division of RentCafe.