As a renter, you may not realize you could benefit from carrying renters insurance. You might even think you're covered under your landlord's insurance (spoiler alert: you are not!). When it comes to your personal property and liability, your landlord's insurance does not protect you. If you were to face a loss or a lawsuit, either scenario could get very expensive very fast. The most common response to why people do not have renters insurance is “what do I need it for” and “I’d never use it.” That’s simply untrue. Everyone would like to think accidents or a home fire would never happen to them, but there are many scenarios where renters insurance can be incredibly valuable to renters.
For a relatively low cost, renters insurance can provide financial protection from common rental mishaps. The best way to understand why you should consider renters insurance and the risks of renting is to think about situations where you may need it - in which situations would renters insurance be useful? These renters insurance case studies are great examples of times when renters insurance is a helpful part of your personal financial plan.
Renters Insurance Scenarios
Renters insurance can help cover the costs of the stolen items. The amount paid out to you will depend on how much coverage you have, your deductible, the type of loss and if you have actual cash value (depreciated) or replacement cost coverage (actual cost to buy new items).
Injury in your apartment
If a someone (even a friend) slips and falls in your apartment and you have to pay medical payments or even go to court, most renters insurance policies will provide liability coverage for those costs. Whether you are liable depends on a couple of factors, but some situations may fall to the landlord, such as if your landlord failed to repair a broken step.
Theft from your car or a gym locker
"Does renters insurance cover theft from my car?" This a common question we get from renters. The answer is likely yes. When something is stolen from your car it is your renters insurance policy, not your car insurance, that will cover replacing the stolen items. The same goes for items stolen at the gym or from a hotel room. Your renters insurance typically includes limited coverage for personal items away from your home, generally covering them up to 10% of your personal property coverage limits. Whether you're traveling or your car gets broken into,
Fire or smoke damage
While you can be pretty sure your landlord’s insurance would have to cover the building damage and repairs in the case of a fire, it would fall to you to replace any personal belongings in your apartment that were damaged by the fire. Most renters insurance covers fire and smoke damage after your deductible. Once again how much compensation you receive depends on a couple of factors, including how much coverage you purchased, if you have actual cash value or replacement cost coverage, and your deductible.
Damage to your belongings or furniture
You may not think your belongings are all that valuable, but think about the cost of replacing all of your furniture and clothes at once (if you're not sure how much that would be, a home inventory app can help - you may be surprised!). Not a very budget-friendly proposition, huh? Should your belongings be damaged by a covered reason under your renters insurance, your renters insurance would help to replace those items, under the terms set forth in your policy. Intentional damage by you is not covered, but something weather-related likely would. With weather being the leading cause of property damage,“this could happen to you.”
If your rental property suffers damage from a wildfire, hail, or tornado, the landlord may or may not repair the home damages, but you would need renters insurance to replace your damaged personal property. Keep in mind, as is the case for home insurance, there are exceptions, like flood damage and earthquakes.
Read more about renters and flood insurance.
Cost of staying in a hotel
What many renters don't realize is that their renters insurance generally includes what is called “Loss of Use” coverage. This covers living expenses if your home is damaged to the point of being unliveable. Things like hotel, food, and other living expenses you may incur because of this would be covered. Keep in mind this coverage has limits, so if you need to use it, make sure to work with your insurance agent to choose accommodation that would be covered. Typically it will be based on a percentage of your renters coverage, but can vary by insurance carrier.
Your bathtub overflows, damaging the tenant’s property beneath
In this particular circumstance, you would be at-fault and held liable for the damage. Luckily, your renters insurance liability coverage would likely kick in. If it is an issue with the ceiling or tub that your landlord didn’t fix, the situation may be different.
Don’t let something as affordable as renters insurance turn you from a renter into moving back into your parent’s basement (or your old childhood bedroom if you’re lucky enough that it wasn’t made into a “study” or “craft room”). Call an insurance advisor at (844) 300-3237, ask about coverage options and let them give you a quote. Usually, the cost for coverage would work out to be less per month than your Starbucks habit. Though it may not give you that caffeine boost, it can protect your finances from a serious slump should disaster strike.
Call us today at (844) 300-3237 to review your insurance needs and compare renters insurance quotes. In less than 10 minutes, you'll be on your way to better coverage.
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