Is Renters Insurance Worth It?

Is renters insurance worth it? Yes, it is. If something happens to your personal belongings – damage, theft, fire, etc. – you’re out of luck without it.

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Moving is a big job. It’s stressful. And after dealing with all of the packing, unpacking, moving trucks, and all of the other fun stuff that goes with relocating from one place to another, probably the last thing on your mind is insurance – especially if you’re moving into a rental. After all, your stuff is covered by the landlord’s policy, right?

No, it isn’t.

The insurance policy your landlord keeps on your rental home, whether it’s an apartment or house, covers things that might happen to the building itself. These policies usually do not cover the contents of the rental units.

So, if something happens to your personal belongings – damage, theft, fire, etc. – you’re out of luck. Unless you are carrying your own rental policy, you have no way of being compensated for your loss.

Why do I need renter’s insurance?

I used to be a renter. It was a small apartment in a town I used to live in. Nice place, great location.

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The entire time I was a renter I did not have a renter’s insurance policy. Looking back, I now realize just how unwise this was.

What if someone broke in and stole all of my stuff?

What if a pipe burst and soaked my TV, video player, and other electronics?

What if the building burned down and left me with the one set of clothes I happened to be wearing at the time?

I would’ve been in a lot of trouble, that’s what. Thankfully, nothing bad happened during my time as a renter, but something certainly could have happened. That’s what having insurance is all about – protecting yourself from the bad things that sometimes happen in life.

What exactly will my policy cover—and what won’t it?

There are some landlords who actually require their renters to carry renter’s insurance. It’s often written right in the rental contract. Landlords do this because it makes sense – it protects both you and the landlord in case something happens.

You are protected because you can be compensated if something happens to your personal belongings, and the landlord is protected by making it clear up front that he or she is not responsible for your possessions.

A rental insurance policy is a good idea regardless of what type of dwelling you happen to be renting. In addition to apartments and rental homes, it’s also a good idea to consider a renter’s policy if you are going to be living in any type of student housing during college.

Living in student housing can be interesting, to say the least. Parties, practical jokes, and other shenanigans can result in damage or theft of property. A renter’s insurance policy can protect you from the expense of replacing your valuables when things happen.

How much coverage do I need?

Many don’t bother looking into renter’s insurance because they think it’s too expensive. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, renter’s insurance is very affordable.

According to the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America, you can obtain $30,000 of property coverage and $100,000 of liability coverage for just $12 a month. That’s less than many pay for a movie ticket. Some companies have even more competitive prices, you can protect your stuff for as little as $5/month with Lemonade Insurance, for example.

Quick facts about Lemonade Insurance:

  • Offers renters and home insurance powered by tech and driven by social good.
  • Renters Insurance month from $5 Homeowners Insurance monthly from $25 Lemonade reverses the traditional insurance model.
  • They treat the premiums you pay as if it’s your money, not theirs.
  • They take a flat fee, pay claims super fast, and give back what’s left to causes you care about.
  • You can get a free quote.

Considering how affordable renter’s insurance is, there’s really no reason to go without a policy when renting. It’s cheap coverage that could really save your bacon one day if something happens.

What to do before shopping around for a renter’s insurance policy?

Before you start shopping around for a renter’s insurance policy, it’s a good idea to take stock of your possessions. How much stuff do you have? What’s it all worth? Many tend to underestimate the value of the things they own, but it’s vitally important to have this information before purchasing a policy to make sure you obtain adequate coverage.

Make a list of all the possessions you keep in your rental and assign a value to each item – either the purchase price or the current market value. The total will be the minimum coverage you need to obtain.

In addition to making a list of your possessions, it’s also a good idea to take plenty of pictures of the contents of your rental. This will give you valuable proof of ownership in case you need to make a claim at some point.

It’s important to store your list and pictures in a safe place. You could keep them in a safety deposit box or keep digital copies of everything in an online cloud storage account. Don’t forget your password!

How much coverage do I need?

When shopping for a rental policy, don’t skimp on coverage just to save a few bucks. Be sure to buy sufficient coverage for your current possessions in addition to whatever you might buy in the future. In other words, buy more policy than you think you need. There’s really no way to predict what new things you will purchase down the road.

Cheapest rental insurance?

Although you should never skimp on coverage, there are some things that may help you save a little on a policy. You may, for example, be able to obtain a discount if you have fire extinguishers, deadbolts on your doors, or a smoke or burglar alarm.

It may also be possible to receive a discount if you are purchasing a policy from a company you already have another type of insurance policy with. It definitely pays to inquire about possible discounts when shopping for coverage.

Does renter’s insurance cover pets?

There are some renter’s insurance policies that charge extra if you own pets, especially some dog breeds. They do so for the same reason that some landlords prohibit pets – animals tear things up.

Don’t be surprised then if a company asks if you are a pet owner and then charges a higher premium if you answer in the affirmative. They just don’t want to end up on the hook for some sort of damage that Max the Bullmastiff caused when he got all excited over someone ringing the doorbell. Can’t blame them.

I need this! Where do I get a policy—and how much will it cost?

Since renter’s insurance policies are so affordable like Lemonade, there’s really no reason to go without one if you are a renter. At the end of the day, you’re really buying more than an insurance policy. You’re buying peace of mind. And that’s totally worth it.

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Cyrus Vanover
Cyrus Vanover is a freelance business writer who helps marketing managers position their companies for success. Based in Virginia, he enjoys hiking the local trails, exploring new restaurants, and live theater when not writing.


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