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Oct 19 2009 1:28 PM

I just got my first apartment and am wondering if I really need to buy renter's insurance?

Renter's insurance protects you if you live in an apartment or rental home. It covers your belongings if they're stolen, damaged, or destroyed. Having renter's insurance is an inexpensive way to protect your finances if everything you own is destroyed in a fire or other catastrophe? If you don't have enough money in savings to replace what you need, then you absolutely need renter's insurance.

Your landlord's insurance never covers your personal belongings or liability. What happens to your property or guests in your apartment or rental home is solely your responsibility. Whether it’s fire damage, smoke damage, water damage, vandalism, or theft, renters insurance protects you from financial disaster should an unexpected event occur.

Liability coverage is a standard component of renters insurance that protect you if someone is injured in your apartment or rental home. For example, if someone slips and falls or get bitten by your dog they could sue you for damages or medical bills. Renters insurance helps pay your legal fees and settlement. Additional living expenses are another standard feature of renter's insurance. This covers the costs you might incur if your apartment or rental home is uninhabitable due to a covered event, such as a windstorm.

Renters insurance is probably more affordable than you might think. A good policy might cost less than a few hundred dollars a year.

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Laura Adams is a personal finance expert and award-winning author who is Senior Insurance Analyst for InsuranceQuotes.com. She represents Bankrate Insurance’s web properties in the media and works as an advocate to make sure consumers protect their financial futures by having the right kinds of insurance.

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