If you’re renting a property, whether a house or an apartment, you might think you don’t need insurance. After all, the landlord probably has insurance on the building, right?
While it’s true that the landlord’s insurance covers the building itself, it doesn’t cover your personal property or liability. That’s where renters insurance comes in.
Renters insurance is an insurance policy that provides coverage for your personal property and liability. It’s an affordable way to protect yourself financially in case of unexpected events like theft, fire, water damage, or any other incident covered in your policy.
Here’s everything you need to know about renters insurance.
What does renters insurance cover?
Accidents happen; they’re not expected. That’s why they’re called accidents. So, even if it isn’t considered necessary, renters insurance is very often worth it because a cheap policy protects you against accidents and the unexpected expenses that come with them.
While you may not think accidents will happen, having renters insurance means your costs will be covered if:
- Your rental has a fire
- A water leak damages your belongings
- Your laptop is stolen
- Your bike’s tires are slashed
- Your dog bites a visitor or while on a walk
- Someone vandalizes your apartment
- Someone slips on the front steps that you maintain
A renters insurance policy will protect you from unexpected costs. It typically covers three main things: personal property, liability, additional living expenses, and, often, protection for minor medical issues.
- Personal property damage: Renters insurance covers your personal property, including furniture, electronics, and clothing. If your belongings are stolen, damaged, or destroyed by a covered event, your insurance will help cover the cost of replacing them.
- Personal Liability: Renters insurance also provides liability coverage, which means that if someone is injured in your apartment or house, or if you damage someone else’s property, your insurance will help cover the cost of legal fees, medical expenses, and other related costs.
- Loss of use: If a covered event damages your apartment or home, and you’re unable to live there while repairs are being made — that’s called “loss of use.” Your renters insurance will help cover additional living expenses like hotel bills, food, and transportation.
- Medical protection: This coverage takes care of medical expenses if someone gets hurt on your property, as long as the injuries are minor and cost less than $1,000 – $2,000. It’ll pay for the medical bills directly, so you don’t have to worry about lawsuits or using your liability coverage.
What doesn’t renters insurance cover?
While renters insurance provides valuable coverage, it doesn’t cover everything. Here are some events that are typically not covered by renters insurance:
- Floods: If your apartment or house is damaged by a flood, you’ll need separate flood insurance to cover the damage.
- Earthquakes: If you live in an earthquake-prone area, you’ll need separate insurance to cover earthquake damage.
- Roommate’s property: Renters insurance only covers your personal property, not your roommate’s. If you’re living with roommates — unless they’re family members — each of you will need your own renters insurance policy.
- High-value items: If you own expensive items like jewelry, art, or antiques, you may need additional coverage to protect them fully.
How much does renters insurance cost?
Renters insurance is typically very affordable, with most policies costing less than $40 a month, sometimes much less. It all depends on certain factors, including how much coverage you need, where you live, and what deductible you choose. According to Nerdwallet, renters insurance costs in the U.S. average about $179 per year — about $15 per month.
How much coverage do you need?
A standard renters insurance policy covers $30,000 worth of personal property and $100,000 in liability. However, you should adjust your coverage to your situation. If you have high-end or luxury items, you’ll need more personal property coverage, while college students usually need less.
When choosing a renters insurance policy, choosing the right amount of coverage is essential. You’ll need to consider how much your personal property is worth and choose a policy that provides enough coverage to replace everything if it’s all lost or damaged.
You’ll also need to choose a deductible, the amount you’ll have to pay out of pocket before your insurance coverage kicks in. A higher deductible will lower your monthly premium, but you’ll pay more out of pocket if you need to make a claim.
Is renters insurance legally required?
Renters insurance isn’t legally required, but many landlords want tenants to be insured to help avoid potential disputes if their belongings are damaged while on the property.
You may find that a landlord will require tenants to have a renters insurance policy — and that’s perfectly legal.
What could happen if you don’t have renters insurance?
If you don’t have renters insurance — and there’s a theft or incident involving your home or personal property — you’ll be faced with paying to replace those belongings yourself. You’ll also have to cover the cost of any injuries that happen at your home.
A renters insurance policy will protect you from such large, unexpected costs. On the other hand, if nothing terrible happens, you’ll save about $15 – $40 a month by not getting renters insurance.
Ready to talk insurance?
Renters insurance is a valuable type of insurance that covers your personal property and liability: it’s affordable, easy to get, and can provide peace of mind in case of accidents or unexpected events. If you’re renting a property, it’s definitely worth considering.
To learn more about what renters insurance covers or how much coverage you may need, connect with us at your convenience.