Why I Need Renters Insurance
Renters insurance is defined as a type of home insurance that protects you if you live in a rented property and your belongings are stolen, damaged, or destroyed. Surprisingly, a large number of renters across the country do not have renters insurance. Many people simply do not see the need and as just another bill to pay. However, keep this question in mind: what would you do if everything you owned was destroyed in a fire or some other catastrophe? Do you have the money to replace it without causing a major hardship for yourself?
Many people who do not secure a renters insurance policy think it is not necessary because their landlord would be responsible should anything happen to their belongings. The reality is your landlord only carries coverage for the building and the infrastructure and nothing more. What happens to your property within the apartment is solely your responsibility. Whether it’s fire damage, smoke damage, water damage, vandalism, or theft, renters insurance protects you from financial disaster should the unfortunate occur.
In addition to protecting your belongings, renters insurance also has added benefits. Liability coverage is a standard component of renters insurance that helps protect you should a visitor to your home become injured. For example, if someone were to slip and fall while in your apartment and then sue you for damages or medical bills, renters insurance would help you pay your legal fees and settlement. Displacement coverage is another standard feature of renters insurance policies that is important to have. Displacement coverage covers the costs associated with living expenses if your apartment becomes uninhabitable because of a reason specifically outlined by your policy. You can also purchase additional coverage for natural disasters such as earthquakes or floods if you live in an area prone to such hazards.
The first step to getting renters insurance is determining how much coverage you need. Go through your home and inventory all of your belongings. It helps to take pictures or a video of everything you have. Document what each one is worth. You may have to get additional coverage to cover high value items that exceed the coverage limit for your policy. You should purchase a policy that covers the full replacement value for all of your belongings. Some policies only pay back the cash value of your belongings, which adjusts the amount you paid for depreciation. These policies are generally cheaper, but you will not get as much money back if your property is damaged or destroyed.
Renters insurance is much more affordable than you might think based upon all the benefits it offers. An adequate plan is usually less than a few hundred dollars a year. Costs vary according to the amount of coverage, but there are ways to get discounted premiums. The best way to get a good quote on renters insurance is to look to a company you already have insurance from such as your auto insurance company. Bundling insurance policies with the same insurer almost always saves you additional money. Also, you can add safety features to your apartment like fire alarms and burglar alarms to get a deeper discount.
When you choose your renters insurance policy, how much you pay for your premium will be linked directly to the amount of your deductible. Choosing a higher deductible will lower your premium significantly. You can usually afford to take a higher deductible for renters insurance than for auto insurance because you are less likely to need to file a claim with renters insurance. Make sure you choose a deductible you can manage, however, should disaster arise.