Many renters think that insurance is too costly or just plain unnecessary.
Since all properties are susceptible to a variety of damages, whether it be fire, theft, or even a broken kitchen appliance, there really isn’t a scenario in which a tenant should go without renter’s insurance. But it is important to weigh the associated costs, both monetary and sentimental in determining just how much insurance to carry.
A common reason tenants avoid renter’s insurance is they do not think their belongings are worth the coverage. But most people underestimate the value of their possessions and would be surprised by how much it would cost to replace the things they have accumulated. If your tenants balk at buying insurance, suggest that they go around their residence, room by room, and take full inventory of their belongings before making a decision. People tend to only think of big ticket items, but it isn’t just the refrigerator, computer and television, but the towels, clothing, bedding, dishes, utensils and food, too. The average renter in a two-bedroom apartment has about $30,000 worth of stuff.
Renters often think that their landlord’s insurance will cover them in a fire or other emergency. What they don’t realize is that the insurance policies that landlords hold for their properties typically only protect the building itself. Even if the landlord owns appliances or other items within your rented home, he or she is not responsible for damages they inflict on your personal property. For example, if you just bought a few hundred dollars’ worth of frozen food and you stuck it in the freezer that the landlord owns, and it breaks down, spoiling all the food, the landlord would not responsible for it. That would be part of renter’s insurance if you wanted coverage for that lost expense.
Accidents happen too. For example, a flood in your apartment (if your bathtub overflows and water seeps into the unit below damaging your neighbor’s things) may damage other tenants’ property and can be costly. Renter’s insurance can help you to cover the cost of this type of damage (up to the policy limits chosen by the renter).
Renter’s liability protection can cover medical or legal expenses associated with your rental too. For example, if someone trips and falls in your apartment during a party, could you afford to pay the potential medical expenses associated with their injury? And in the event of a lawsuit, could you pay the legal expenses as well? A typical renter’s policy will cover that full range of risks that any renter could be exposed to.
Renter’s insurance coverage needs are different for every individual, based on factors like age, location, and protection needs from things like natural disasters. Renters need to give serious thought to their needs, and they should check with several insurance companies before making a decision. The average policy runs only $15 to $20 per month, and, in the end, is well worth the cost.