What is Renters Insurance?
Renters insurance provides low-cost coverage for your personal belongings, so you can recover from loss, damage or theft. It also covers your personal liability. Your landlord’s policy covers the building and grounds, but will not reimburse you for the costs of your personal items in the event of a loss, or cover the costs of injuries or damage that happen inside your apartment space.
Landlords insure their rental properties with homeowners or landlords insurance. These policies provide coverage for the structure of the building, any personal property the landlord owns (such as appliances and carpeting) and liability for injuries due to the property owner’s negligence in upkeep or safety of the property.
But in the event that your personal belongings and valuables are destroyed in a building fire or stolen by a thief, you need to have a renters insurance policy in place to cover your losses. If you do not have such a policy, you will need to recover from your loss out of pocket.
Should I Get Renters Insurance?
Renters insurance is not mandatory in any state. In some cases, however, landlords will require their tenants to buy renters insurance, and they are perfectly within their rights to do so.
You are most likely to be required to carry renters insurance if you live in an apartment building or other type of multi-unit rental. The main reason for this requirement has to do with liability coverage for the leasing company and the other tenants. If you should accidently start a fire, your landlord and other affected tenants can receive reimbursements through your policy.
Whether or not you are required to carry this insurance, choosing to purchase a renters insurance policy is a wise decision that will protect you from devastating loss.
What Does Renters Insurance Cover?
Renters insurance covers your personal belongings or “contents” against damage and loss, including from theft, fire, and even smoke, which can be quite destructive. Your contents insurance may provide actual-value reimbursement for your items, or, for a slightly higher premium, may cover your full replacement cost. If most of your possessions are older or worn, the more expensive policy is ideal as you will be able to purchase new items to replace everything you lost.
Your rental-home or apartment insurance will typically cover the cost of temporary housing if your home should be uninhabitable for a period of time following a disaster. It is important not to assume that your landlord will cover this cost for you, as that will depend upon the cause of the fire and the landlord’s specific coverage.
Finally, your policy will provide liability insurance should you be held responsible for an injury to a visitor in your home. This coverage can be quite beneficial as medical bills can add up quickly. Even something as minor as a trip to the hospital for stitches can cost more than a full year of renters insurance coverage.
Is Renters Insurance Expensive?
The average renters insurance policy costs between $15 and $30 per month, this is not an unmanageable expense; most people spend more than that on pizza each month. Replacing all of your possessions or being liable for an accident on your premises will cost much more. If you are fortunate enough to never have to file a claim, the money will have still been well-spent for the peace of mind it can provide.