If you're renting a home or apartment, a renters insurance policy is something you should heavily consider. According to the business intelligence firm, ORC International, only 40 percent of renters currently have renters insurance despite its importance. What a lot of renters don’t realize is that renters insurance can provide an inexpensive yet vital financial lifeline in the event of unforeseeable losses or damages to your belongings.
Do I Need Renters Insurance?
Perhaps the reason so few people purchase renters insurance is that renters assume they will be covered by their landlord’s insurance policy. As a tenant, your landlord’s insurance policy does little to protect your belongings. Damage to the building will be covered in the event of a fire or other hazard, but if your belongings are lost, damaged or destroyed, you could be stuck paying out of pocket if you don’t have a renters policy. If you’re on the fence about purchasing coverage, here are five reasons why you should get renters insurance as soon as possible:
Why Get Renters Insurance?
- It Protects Your Personal Property – A standard renters insurance plan protects your personal belongings from common hazards including fire, theft and vandalism. Your renters insurance policy can pay for items such as clothing, jewelry, luggage, furniture and other electronics that are damaged by such an event. Even if you don’t think you have enough valuables to require insurance, when you add up all your basic belongings, you might find that the dollar amount would be difficult to cover out of pocket.
NOTE: Hazards such as floods, hurricanes and earthquakes typically are not covered by standard renters policies. A separate policy or rider might be required for these natural disasters. There are also lower coverage limits for some personal belongings. If you have high-value items such as jewelry, art or family heirlooms, you would want to look into purchasing additional coverage to protect them.
- It Protects Your Belongings When You Travel – Depending on your specific policy, your renters insurance can cover your personal possessions whether they are in your home, in your car or with you anywhere in the world. If you are moving and something gets stolen from your moving truck while you aren’t looking, your renters insurance should cover it. The same goes for personal items that are stolen from your community's shared facilities, such as a pool or community clubhouse. If your laptop is stolen while you’re using it at a coffee shop, your policy could cover it.
- It Provides Liability Protection – Standard renters insurance policies also include liability coverage. If someone is injured on your property and you are found liable, your renters insurance can pay for the person’s injuries or cover your legal expenses if you’re sued. Most policies also include medical payments coverage which can apply regardless of fault. This means that if your otherwise well-behaved Jack Russel bites the neighbor, or a friend slips and falls in your apartment, your renters policy will also help cover the medical bills related to the incident.
NOTE: Most renters insurance plans provide a minimum of $100,000 of liability coverage and $1,000 in medical-payments coverage. If you think you would like more protection, you can speak to your insurance provider and request higher coverage limits.
- It Covers Additional Living Expenses – If your policy includes loss of use coverage, you’ll be protected if you are temporarily displaced from your dwelling. If a fire damages your house or apartment, or a tree falls through the roof, and your home or apartment is rendered uninhabitable, your renters insurance will help cover things like hotels, food and other additional living expenses while you wait for necessary repairs to be completed up to a certain amount of time such as 12 months.
- It’s Affordable – Every insurance company is different, they each have their own calculations and analyses for determining your renters insurance costs. Still, renters insurance is usually a fairly inexpensive way to safeguard yourself and your belongings. The average renters insurance policy costs just $187 per year. That means that for around $16 per month your belongings are protected. If you calculate the value of just your basic items, you’ll quickly reach the thousands. Renters insurance is an incredibly cost-effective way to protect you from potentially severe financial losses.
Aside from these benefits, having a renters policy might also help you compete in a tight rental market. More and more landlords are requiring their tenants to purchase renters insurance. If you’re competing with others for a desirable apartment, your renters policy might just give you an edge. If you’re still wondering “Why should I get renters insurance?” contact a Wawanesa Insurance professional who will be happy to walk you through all the details. To find out if you can save on renters insurance, get a free quote today.