Are you renting a house or an apartment without having a renters insurance policy? If you think insurance is just for homeowners, think again. As a renter, insurance can help you protect your belongings in the same way that homeowners can protect their properties.
In addition to protecting your property, there are several good reasons to carry renters insurance, some of which might surprise you.
1. Irreplaceable items have a cash value
You probably own something that would be difficult to replace if it were damaged or stolen. For example, you might have expensive camera equipment and a lens collection that would be hard to replace.
If your irreplaceable camera equipment gets damaged or stolen, a renters insurance policy would provide you with the cash value. The same is true for any other hard-to-find or irreplaceable items like vintage guitars, antiques, and electronics equipment.
2. Renters insurance covers natural disaster damage
Renters insurance is far more lenient than homeowners insurance. For homeowners to get full coverage, they often need to buy multiple policies. Even then, damage caused by certain natural disasters is excluded. For example, it’s hard to get hurricane coverage in Florida.
However, renters insurance will pay out for property damage regardless of the cause. Whether your property was damaged by a hurricane, tornado, bad storm, or an errant wrecking ball meant for your neighbor’s house, you’re covered.
3. Renters insurance covers damage regardless of fault
Some types of insurance policies don’t cover losses when the policyholder is at fault. However, renters insurance is a little different. You obviously can’t trash your own items on purpose, but if your child flushes a Godzilla figurine down the toilet and causes a sewer backup, your renters’ insurance policy will cover your property damage.
Whether your child flushed something down the toilet or your landlord hasn’t made timely repairs, your property will be protected by renters insurance.
4. Renters insurance covers relocation expenses
What would you do if your home became uninhabitable tomorrow? Would you be able to afford a hotel room for you and your family for the next month? Most people don’t have that kind of cash saved up. However, that type of situation can happen at any time.
Renters insurance will cover your relocation expenses if your home becomes uninhabitable. For instance, if your roof caves in or you’re dealing with a flood, your insurance policy will pay for you to obtain alternative housing.
Depending on where you buy your policy, you might even be covered if you have to move into a new house and your living expenses go up. Some policies will pay the difference.
5. Your landlord might require renters insurance
Many landlords are starting to require tenants to carry renters insurance. This does several things for the landlord. It shows the landlord that a tenant cares about their possessions and is a responsible adult. Tenants who don’t care about their belongings tend to act carelessly and cause property damage.
The other reason landlords require renters insurance is to avoid getting sued by tenants. Even though landlords aren’t responsible for a tenant’s possessions, they can be held liable in court under certain circumstances. When tenants have renters insurance, they can recover the cost of their lost or damaged items without suing the landlord.
Requiring tenants to carry renters insurance also takes landlords off the hook for relocation expenses in an emergency situation.
6. Renters insurance provides liability coverage
Homeowners can be held liable for injuries sustained on their property and so can tenants. Having renters insurance will cover medical expenses for injured guests. For example, if your dog bites a guest and they need medical care, your renters’ insurance policy will cover their medical expenses.
Keep in mind that renters insurance doesn’t provide a high amount of liability coverage. However, it should be enough in most situations.
7. Renters insurance is affordable
Since many renters’ insurance policies cost under $200 per year, there’s no reason to skip getting a policy. Paying $200 per year is extremely worthwhile for peace of mind, knowing that if a friend injures themselves on your property, they won’t have to sue you to get their medical bills covered.
Disasters, damage, and theft are unpredictable
You can’t predict if or when your property will be damaged or stolen, and that’s why you need renters insurance. Out of all the possible insurance policies, you could get to protect yourself and your property, don’t skip renters insurance. Your ability to secure housing just might depend on having a policy.