Renters Insurance: You Do Need It, and You Can Afford it

Renters often have specific reasons for not purchasing renters insurance, like “I don’t need it,” or “I can’t afford it.” In fact, a May 2013 Insurance Information Institute poll found that only 35% of renters have renters insurance. But you do need it, and you can afford it.

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the average renters insurance policy costs between $15 and $30 per month. Consider the cost of replacing all of your possessions or being held liable for an accident; chances are either scenario would be far more costly than the renters insurance. And renters insurance is certainly less than what you might spend at Starbucks each month, or for lunch at the office.

What’s most important is that you do need renters insurance. Renters face the same risks as homeowners: your belongings can be lost to fire or theft, and you can be sued for causing injury to someone else. Your landlord’s insurance does not protect you or your possessions; it only protects your landlord for structural damage to the building and for his or her own liability concerns.

Renters insurance covers your possessions for losses related to fire, smoke, lightning, vandalism, theft, explosion and windstorm and water damage (not floods). Renters insurance also provides liability coverage that protects your assets when you, a family member or a pet injures someone at your home or somewhere else. It will pay for your legal defense as well as any damages you have to pay if somebody sues you.

Most renters insurance policies will cover additional living expenses if you are unable to live in your apartment because of a fire or other covered peril. These expenses might include hotel bills, temporary rentals, restaurant meals and other expenses you incur while your home is being repaired or rebuilt.

A basic renters insurance policy will only provide a limited amount of coverage for high-value items like jewelry, computers or other electronics. Additional coverage for valuable items is available with a scheduled personal property rider or floater. Scheduled personal property riders provide appropriate coverage for items whose value exceeds the limits that the basic policy specifies. In addition, they also provide coverage for the specified items for additional perils, such as accidental loss, that are not covered in the basic renters insurance policy.

We can talk with you about what types of personal property that you want to protect and what types of risks you think you face as a renter. We will help you shop around for the best policy for your needs, and we will ensure that you receive any discounts that you are eligible for. Discounts are often available for renters with security systems, smoke detectors, deadbolt locks, good credit, multiple policies and more.