Moving day has come and gone. Your furniture is in place, the utilities are hooked up, and your rental unit is starting to look like a home. Is renters’ insurance next on your to-do list?
If you answered no, you’re not alone. According to the Independent Insurance Adjusters & Brokers of America (IIABA), almost two-thirds of residential lessees in the United States don’t carry renters’ insurance.
Yet a renters’ policy is more important, accessible, and affordable than you might think. But renters are often unclear about what renters’ insurance is and what it covers.
Here are the top five myths-and the facts-about renters’ insurance:
The landlord’s insurance covers your possessions. Don’t count on it. Most landlords’ insurance covers only the building and damages due to negligence. Coverage for some of the most common causes of property damage and loss, such as theft, vandalism, and fire, is entirely up to you. Without
Renters’ insurance is expensive. In this case, the numbers speak for themselves. According to the IIABA, the average renters’ policy costs just $12 a month for up to $30,000 in personal property coverage. That’s solid coverage for less than the cost of a couple of cups of coffee a week.
Still concerned about price? Your insurer will work with you to find the combination of coverage and costs that suits your needs. You might even qualify for a discount by taking some simple home safety precautions or purchasing another policy, such as auto insurance, with the same insurer.
You don’t need insurance if your stuff isn’t expensive. Most renters’ belongings cost more than they think. In fact, the average person has over $20,000 worth of belongings that are probably not covered by a landlord’s policy.
Think that number is too high? Take a moment to add up the approximate cost of your computer, television, stereo, furniture, jewelry, and clothing. If a fire gutted your apartment tomorrow, would you have the cash to replace it all?
Renters’ insurance covers only your possessions. In fact, renters’ insurance covers much more than just your personal property: The average policy also includes up to $100,000 in liability coverage.
That means in the event of a covered loss your insurer will help cover the costs if you’re held responsible for injuring another person or damaging another person’s property, including your landlord’s. Moreover, this coverage applies whether the incident occurred within your residence or elsewhere.
Renters’ insurance is hard to get. The Internet makes getting renters’ insurance easier than ever. You can research providers, compare quotes, and even find an agent online. Or, just as easily, you can place a quick call to an insurance representative. Answer a few questions and you’re likely to get a rate quote almost immediately.