Renters insurance may quite possibly be the most overlooked of all insurance policies. It is typically not required by law, although some leases do require it, and many renters either think their landlord’s insurance will cover them or feel they have nothing worth insuring. However, a landlord’s property insurance covers only the building, not tenants’ possessions, and renters insurance covers more than just your bed and clothes.
For a relatively small sum of money, renters insurance can provide great peace of mind. Depending largely on the type of policy you choose and the value of your possessions, renters insurance can cost as little as $10 per month. Even the most expensive policies are typically under $500 per year. Renters insurance can provide:
* Replacement of items lost to robbery, fire and most natural disasters. Even if the value of your possessions is low, replacing them will cost much more than the price of an insurance policy. If you think you cannot afford insurance, then you definitely can’t afford to replace your possessions.
* Coverage of medical bills or lawsuits for anyone hurt in your home, including guests. If someone falls in your rental unit, they will very likely want reimbursement for any resulting medical expenses. Renters insurance will pay at least some of those bills, and depending on your policy, may even cover legal expenses if your guest sues. Most policies also cover injury caused by pets.
* Coverage for possessions that were lost somewhere other than your home. Items stolen from your car and even from your hotel room on vacation are covered under most rental insurance policies.
* Living expenses if your rental unit becomes uninhabitable due to a covered loss. Renters insurance will pay for you to temporarily live somewhere else, including meals eaten out if your temporary home is a hotel.
* Coverage for other residents’ loss if it is your fault. If, for example, you cause a fire that damages other apartments, you may be liable for any losses suffered by residents of those apartments. Even if they have insurance, the insurers may try to recover some of their expenses by suing the person responsible for the loss (you). Your insurance can help.
Unfortunately, many people don’t realize they needed this coverage until it is too late and they have suffered a loss or been sued. Some form of covered loss happens much more frequently than you might think. Is it worth the roll of the dice to assume it won’t happen to you?
The minimal cost for renters insurance is significantly cheaper than paying out of pocket for a loss, either yours or someone else’s. And don’t be fooled into believing that because you have nothing you can’t be held liable. The injured parties and/or their insurance carriers will sue and may very well be awarded what little you do have.
Peace of mind comes from knowing that if the worst happens you will be taken care of. Renters insurance offers just that knowledge.