When you are saving to buy a house or pay down debt, the last thing you want to spend money on is renters’ insurance. Before you decide to fore go buying an insurance policy to protect your personal property, you may want to look a little closer at some of the extras a renter’s insurance package provides.
Remember, policy details vary from company to company. Make sure you understand what your specific policy covers and what it does not protect.
If a fire or wind damages your building and leaves your clothing, electronics and jewelry in a shambles, chances are your insurance policy will pay to repair or replace your worldly goods. In a time of stress, knowing you can buy new clothes, furniture and books without dipping into your bank account is a godsend.
During a disaster your insurance company may also pay for unseen costs you incur as a result of the catastrophe.
Suppose the destruction makes your apartment unlivable for several weeks or months. Where will you stay while your building is being fixed and how will you pay for it? If you have to stay in a hotel or lease another apartment, the unexpected cost can quickly drain your savings and leave you with a mound of debt.
That’s when your renter’s insurance company steps in. Most policies will pick up the tab to replace your personal possessions More often than not, the company will also pay to rent or lease another apartment for you to live in while your building is being repaired.
When it is time to move back into your original apartment or condo, the company may also pick up the cost of moving your new possessions back to your refurbished building.
What if your dishwasher breaks and water drains into your downstairs neighbor’s apartment and damages the ceiling, light fixtures and counter tops? If you have insurance, the company will pay to have contractors fix the ceiling, check for mold and replace any fixtures or other damage your dripping water may have caused.
Without insurance, you will be fixing the damages yourself, whether you do the actual work or have to hire someone to do it for you. Either way it will cost you more than the price of your annual premium for renters’ insurance policy.
You left your laptop computer, GPS and digital camera in the back seat of your car while you enjoyed dinner at an expensive restaurant. When you return to your car, you realize the back window has been smashed and your electronic devices are gone.
Your car insurance will pay to replace the window, but your personal property is generally covered by the terms of your homeowners or renters’ policy under a theft clause.
Before you say “no” to buying renter’s insurance, sit down with an insurance agent or consultant and look at the financial protection a policy can provide for you and your loved ones.
Make sure you understand how the policy will protect you and how much it will cost you each year. It might be a small price to pay for peace of mind.