5 Surprising Reasons You Need Renter’s Insurance
At least 60 percent of renters are taking a big risk by not protecting their belongings
Tonya Rapley of Brooklyn, New York, considered canceling her renter’s insurance to make room in her budget for other expenses. She decided against it — a decision for which she is now grateful. Recently, in the dead of winter, she came home to find water pouring from her bedroom ceiling from all the snow that had accumulated on her roof. Nearly all her clothes, jewelry, and furniture were ruined. Luckily, her insurance covered her for up to $8,500.
Unexpected events like leaks, floods, theft and accidents can happen at any moment. If you’re a renter without renter’s insurance and your belongings are damaged, those unfortunate occurrences could mean a big hit to your wallet. Yet more than 60 percent of renters are taking a risk by not protecting themselves.
Maybe you’ve decided the changes of your apartment being robbed are slim and so you’ve skipped the insurance. But here are five reasons to have insurance that you might not have considered.
1. It can cover things your apartment complex won’t. Apartment buildings typically have their own insurance policies in place, but they don’t cover everything — especially when it comes to your belongings. If there is a fire or a flood, your renter’s insurance would be responsible for covering the cost of your belongings. (Depending on where you live, your policy may not cover all natural disasters unless you pay extra, so be sure to find out.)
2. It can help protect your personal liability. Many rental insurance plans come with some personal liability coverage. What does that mean? If something happens to someone else in your apartment, your personal (financial) liability is waived. You’d be covered if someone gets injured or if you get sued. For example, if a guest trips and breaks his leg — and you are found to be at fault — your liability coverage will help with the associated costs.
3. It protects you from theft inside and outside your apartment. Let’s say you go to a coffee shop to work on your laptop. On the way home, you stop at the gas station to use the restroom and leave the laptop in your car. You come back and someone has broken into your car and stolen your computer. You might be heartbroken at the loss of your data, but your renter’s insurance should cover the cash value of the computer.
4. It covers your property anywhere in the world. A surprising perk of renter’s insurance is that it covers your property anywhere you are. So if you are off gallivanting abroad and your luggage gets stolen or damaged or a thief rips off your diamond engagement ring, you are not at a total loss. (You may need a “rider” — and add-on to your policy for high-value items — for that ring.)
5. It covers damage to other people’s stuff. If you have friends over and you accidentally damage their things, your renter’s insurance can cover the damage up to a certain dollar amount.
You do have to pay a deductible when you make a claim. Deductibles can vary and can either be a set amount or a percentage of the amount of your insurance policy. But the insurance itself is relatively cheap. As of 2012, the average premium for renter’s insurance was $187 per year, which comes out to about $15 per month.
Renter’s insurance may seem like a luxury if your budget is tight. But ask yourself — can you afford to live without it?