Renter’s insurance is often a confusing sector of insurance and often disregarded. Many renters are young adults who tend to overlook the very real threat of fire, burglary, or disaster. However, for those who rent any size of property, renter’s insurance can protect not you, but your belongings and your loved ones as well.
Q: Why do I need Renters?
A: Renter’s insurance is important because it protects your personal items. You may not own your own home, but the electronics, furniture, personal items, jewelry, and other valuables kept in your apartment should be covered. Depending on the individual coverage options, your renter’s insurance policy may cover any items lost due to theft, fire, lightning, smoke, windstorms, hail, or vandalism.
If your policy includes liability coverage, it will also pay for those who may be injured on your property or while in your home. Some policies cover living expenses if you’re forced to live elsewhere due to a covered loss.
Q: Isn’t this my landlord’s responsibility?
A: Your landlord is responsible to protect his or her buildings, that’s it. They are not responsible to protect your laptop and jewelry. In the case of a fire, your landlord’s coverage would likely cover structural repairs, but not your personal items. Renters insurance is required to cover your lost furniture, clothing, and anything else in the apartment that was damaged.
Q: I don’t have anything truly valuable, why bother?
A: Most renters would be surprised to learn how much it would cost to replace every item in their home. Even a used TV and a week’s worth of clothing and could set you back hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.
Considering that a rented property is 79% more likely to be burglarized than an owned property (according to the U.S. Department of Justice), there is reason enough to carry insurance. Unless you can readily afford to replace every single thing you own today, you would benefit from a simple renter’s policy.
Q: How does my insurance pay for my stuff?
A: Your insurance company will pay you back for lost items depending on the type of policy you have. If you have an “Actual Cash Value” policy, the payout amount will be equal to the cost necessary to replace your items minus the depreciated value.
If your policy is a “Replacement Cost Coverage” plan, the insurance company will pay you back exactly what you paid for the items. Because Replacement Cost Coverage typically pays out more, it is more expensive.
Q: I’m a college student and I live on campus, isn’t that safe enough?
A: Surprisingly, college campuses are not immune to theft. If anything, they are more prone to it. According to the Insurance Journal, the average student will bring between $5,000 and $10,000 worth of personal property to college. In today’s world of tech gadgets, a laptop, tablet, and cell phone alone are thousands of dollars to replace.
Q: Do I need liability coverage too?
A: Liability coverage is designed to pay damages for unintentional bodily injury and property damage. This means that if you have guests over and someone is hurt or injured on your property, they could sue you for their medical bills. Liability coverage will pay these costs up to your policy limit and may also help cover legal defense costs.
Q: Can me and my roommate share a policy?
A: Renters insurance policies are designed for single individuals and families, not unrelated individuals. So if your roommate is your sister, you might be able to piggyback on the same policy, if not, it’s best to get your own policy to cover your own stuff.
Q: Does renter’s cover my stuff if it’s not in my apartment?
A: Renters insurance often will provide additional protection beyond the occasional household theft or damage. For example, renter’s policies may protect your luggage if it is stolen while on vacation, or if your computer is stolen from your car. These coverage options are important to discuss with your local agent.
By Matt Reynolds - Google+