10 Key Reasons to Get Renters Insurance
Many renters live in apartments, townhomes and condominiums and do not carry renters insurance. For some, they feel the risk is small enough that they are willing to take it rather than to pay the premium for renters insurance. Others are under the mistaken belief that the building insurance will cover their losses in the event of a fire or theft. This is never true. Hopefully these 10 smart reasons to get renters insurance listed below will convince you it is an important consideration.
So, how small is the risk? If you had to replace all the contents of your apartment, how much would it cost you; your entire wardrobe, all your furniture, your music collection, everything in your kitchen, your computer, camera and other electronic items? $7,000.00? $15,000.00? Probably much more than you think.
For some people, the beauty of renting is not having to worry about maintenance or repair costs, landscaping, and other incidentals that rack up your monthly bills. The cost of rent in a condo or apartment covers most of these expenses. What it doesn’t cover is damages, accidents, and other unexpected events that could leave you in a major financial hole. This is why obtaining renter’s insurance is so important.
Rent tenants’ pay is continuing to rise, as landlords look to offset mortgage costs, property manager fees & efforts to keep up with renting regulation . So when some tenants hear the word “insurance”, it’s a roll of the eyes at yet another cost to keep up with. Sadly, you’ll lose a lot more than just a small fee if disaster strikes. Renter’s insurance offers both protection and peace of mind. Keep reading to learn 10 reasons to invest in renter’s protection.
Below are 10 reasons to get renters insurance. Do you have a policy in-place already?
Renters Insurance to Protect and Replace Contents
This is the most common reason to obtain renter’s insurance. If anything happens to the contents of your rental property, you can put in a claim to replace or repair them. Many things can cause damage to the contents of your rental property including fire and water damage. If all the contents of your apartment were destroyed tomorrow, could you afford to replace them with items of the same quality? The answer is probably, no. Renter’s insurance affords you the same opportunity and coverage as a regular homeowner’s policy.
You have two choices — to either insure your belongings for their current value or the replacement value. A policy that covers the replacement value is more expensive and allows you to replace all of your items with brand new ones. On the other hand, insuring your contents for their value means if you have a 2-year-old laptop or TV, you will receive what it is worth at the time, not the value of a brand new item.
Make sure you know which type of renters policy you have in-case you ever need to make a claim. The type of policy you have can save you money now and in the future. These are key reasons to get renters insurance!
Protect Your Guests and Cover Medical Expenses
Although injuries that occur at a rental property are usually covered by the owner’s insurance, as the tenant, you have a certain level of responsibility also. Anyone injured in the common area of the apartment or condominium complex can sue the owner directly for damages and liability.
Unfortunately, if the injury occurs inside the confines of your room or rental unit, you are liable. Renter’s insurance will help protect you and cover some of these unforeseen costs including the injured party’s medical bills and related expenses.
If you have renters insurance, you will have protection against these types of suits. If nothing else, it is peace of mind knowing you won’t lose everything if someone is injured in or around the place you are renting.
Cover Additional (Unexpected) Living Expenses
In the event that damages, an accident, or other occurrences make your living quarters uninhabitable, renter’s insurance will cover the cost of alternative lodging arrangements. Certain incidents including fire or flood may require extensive repairs.
During this time, if you’re displaced, renter’s insurance will cover the cost of a hotel, Airbnb, or other rental property until you can return “home”. In most cases, your rent at the original place of residence is also waved during this time.
This is another instance where you would be very thankful to have an insurance policy in place that would cover these expenses for you.
Repair or Replace Stolen Items
Similar to fires and floods, theft and burglary are unpredictable and tragic events that can leave your rental property and your finances in shambles. Even if your rental property has security systems, a doorman, or an alarm system, you are at risk of being robbed. Renter’s insurance covers the cost of any stolen items.
Similar to content insurance, depending on the type of policy you buy, you will receive a payout to replace the items with brand new ones or their current value. An extended theft option covers items not located on-site including those in storage, a shed, trailer, or another vehicle.
Cover the Cost of Natural Disasters
In 2017, natural disasters caused a staggering $307 billion of damage. While you can not prevent these acts of nature, you can protect yourself against the financial fallout. Your landlord is responsible for repairing most building or structural damage due to things like hurricanes, tornadoes, or wildfires. The inside of the rental property, however, is your responsibility.
Renter’s insurance covers the cost of any contents damaged by a natural disaster. Be sure to check the weather conditions in the area before signing a rental agreement or skipping on renter’s insurance. Some locations are more prone to certain weather events than others. You may even add additional policies (known as riders) for other disasters including earthquakes and even volcanic eruptions!
Protect You Against Fire or Smoke Damage
House fires are more common than people think. Whether they are caused by faulty wires, a candle left burning, or a lightning strike, once the dust settles (and the smoke clears), it is time to assess the damage. While flames from a fire do plenty, smoke can also cause extensive damage to your belongings. Water damage is also common if fire and rescue teams respond and use hoses to extinguish the blaze.
Some landlord insurance policies will replace structural items like the carpet or flooring, but as the tenant, you are responsible for everything else. Renter’s insurance will help mitigate some of these expenses and restore your living space.
Cover Water Damage
While some water damage comes from extinguishing a fire, other damage can come from above (and no, we don’t mean the heavens). If the apartment or condo above you have a leak, it could cause significant complications for you and the other tenants below. Water dripping from the ceiling may ruin your computer, television, and other electronics. Some renters might jump to the conclusion that the landlord is responsible since they own the building. Sadly, this isn’t the case.
Even if the landlord was negligent in performing repairs that led to the leak, you’d have to undergo lengthy court proceedings to recoup your money and get compensation for your damaged items. It’s in your best interest to obtain renter’s insurance so you can replace your items immediately.
Coverage for Any Damages You (or Your Pets) Cause
Even tenants with the best intentions cause damage sometimes. Accidents happen — to both humans and pets! Certain types of renter’s insurance help cover the cost of damages that either you or your animals cause to the property or living space. Stained carpets or floors, broken appliances or windows, or a hole in the wall are all accidents that you, as the renter, are responsible for. You can either repair or replace the items, depending on how extensive the damage is.
Sometimes neither you nor the weather is responsible for damaging your living space. If vandals make entry and destroy the contents or structure of your rental property, insurance can help cover some of these costs. Most policies will repair damage and replace any items that were ruined or stolen (similar to the protection renter’s insurance gives you against theft).
Rental units are becoming targets for theft, much more often than they used to be. Even in a ‘secure’ building, this type of loss remains a possibility. This is another valid reason to get renters insurance every year you are renting.
Protects Your Interests When Renting with Someone Else
A lot of people choose to have a roommate when renting an apartment or condo. Sometimes it is a friend, coworker, or significant other. Other times, it is merely an acquaintance. The main reason people have roommates is to help cut the cost of paying the entire monthly rent themselves. The problem is, your roommate may not share the same level of responsibility or values.
The last thing you want is for another person to cause damage or cost you your security deposit and other unnecessary expenses. Renter’s insurance protects you and your assets in the event your friendship goes south. A little preventative protection makes perfect sense in these type of living arrangements.
Renter’s Insurance Protects You and Your Living Space
Just because you do not own the property you are renting, does not mean you are void of all responsibility. The cost of repairing and replacing items due to accidents, natural disasters, and other unforeseen events sometimes falls squarely on your shoulders.
Having renter’s insurance offers you peace of mind and a financial safety net when the unexpected strikes. Ditch your belief that another monthly payment is not worth it and protect both yourself and your living space with the right renter’s insurance policy.
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