Whether you’re renting your first apartment or your fifth, renters insurance may give you pause. New renters may question the point of the service, while seasoned tenants may look back at years of paying for insurance coverage while never needing to file a claim. It’s easy to dismiss renters insurance as an unnecessary cost. Hindsight, though, is 20/20. It’s only when we need coverage the most that we realize how important renters insurance really is. While only some landlords may require renters insurance, every tenant should ensure they are covered should a worst case scenario arise.
But what if you struggle to even define renters insurance? If you’re apartment hunting for the first time, the phrase may mean little to you. The most obvious renters insurance definition? It’s a safety net designed to protect you in the face of adversity.
What Does Renters Insurance Cover?
When you opt into renters insurance coverage, you gain that valuable safety net. A typical renters insurance policy includes coverage for your personal property, temporary living expenses, and personal liability. Consider what might happen if your apartment was burglarized. Forgo renters insurance, and you’ll be stuck replacing your stolen goods out of pocket. Invest in coverage, however, and you’ll have a much easier time putting your home back together again.
Similarly, should a guest trip and fall on your stairs while visiting, your renters insurance may cover medical bills incurred because of their injuries. Many renters fail to realize that any time they open their home to a guest, they may become responsible for their guests’ safety. Renters insurance can help provide the financial support necessary to get your guest the medical care they need in the wake of an accident. In addition, if you are found legally liable in causing the injury for a covered loss, the policy’s liability coverage will protect you. Without coverage, you could be forced to pay out of pocket for their treatment.
How Much Coverage Do I Need?
Determining how much renters insurance you need is a delicate process. Spend too much on coverage and you risk losing your hard-earned cash but spend too little and you leave yourself open to significant loss in case of an emergency. According to the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America, the average renters insurance policy covers $30,000 in property and $100,000 of liability coverage. While this may sound like plenty, it’s important to consider the value of your possessions before making a decision.
Inventory your possessions and determine just how much it would cost you out of pocket to replace everything you own. Since renters insurance will reimburse you for damage, loss and theft up to a certain dollar amount, it’s important to understand how much your things are worth. Make a list of your most prized possessions, like electronics, heirlooms and jewelry. Once you tally up their value, your choice for renters insurance will become more obvious.
It’s also important to assess your liability. Because renters insurance protects you in situations where you are found legally liable for your guest’s injuries or damage to their property, you’ll want to make sure your liability coverage stretches far enough. While the $100,000 liability coverage average is sufficient for many renters, those with frequent guests, animals that could bite, or a large amount of assets to protect should consider investing in more coverage.
How Do I Apply for Renters Insurance?
Applying for renters insurance is a breeze. Start by understanding whether or not your landlord requires you to have a specific amount of renters insurance in order to live on property. That figure can guide you as you shop around for quotes. If your landlord does not have any such requirements, consider how much your possessions are worth. Assemble your inventory of possessions and come up with a ballpark figure for how much coverage you think you’ll need. Compare that figure with any renters insurance requirements handed down to you by your landlord.
Finally, get a quote online or over the phone. Be prepared to answer questions about your rental, your background and your contact information. Though relatively easy to answer, these questions will help inform the rate you receive. It’s important to always be honest when answering such questions.
Do I Really Need Renters Insurance?
Purchasing renters insurance is a no-brainer. When you consider just how much damage you can incur from a simple accident or burglary, renters insurance actually seems like a real bargain. The peace of mind afforded by your insurance policy is worth the monthly premium alone. The added benefit of an ally in times of need is what drives so many folks to invest in renters insurance.
Regardless of whether or not your landlord requires it, opting into renters insurance is one of the smartest choices a tenant can make. In the face of a burglary or accident, the last thing you need is to shell out for expensive replacement possessions or medical care. By investing in renters insurance, you will help ensure that your finances won’t take a hit in case of an emergency.
Call or visit Wawanesa today to get your free renters insurance quote or to have any additional renters insurance questions answered by one of our friendly agents.