Do I need Renters Insurance?
Whether you’re 20 and moving into your first apartment or a long-time renter, not owning your own place doesn’t mean you don’t need insurance to protect your belongings. Too often, renters believe that renters insurance isn’t a necessity for them.
They wrongly assume that the property owner’s insurance will cover their personal items. But when disaster or crime occurs, they find out too late that renters insurance is a requirement.
What the Landlord’s Insurance Covers
The property owner, or landlord, will have insurance on the structure of the building. That means that, should fire, flood, or other natural disaster happen, he or she can recoup the costs associated with rebuilding. That’s pretty much where their legal obligation begins and ends. The rest is up to you.
What Renters Insurance Covers
If the landlord’s insurance is only covering the structure of the building, your insurance needs to cover everything else. That means not only the damage you may cause to the home or apartment, but also any damage that occurs due to fire, flood, or theft. Let’s say that your cooking goes haywire and you burn the stove and parts of the kitchen. The landlord’s insurance will cover the structure damage and repairs (and stove, if they provided it), whereas your insurance will take care of replacing your dishes, pots and pans, and other items in the kitchen.
What is someone visits your place and falls, breaking an arm? Your renters insurance covers this expense as well. If it’s not a guest but just a passerby or service provider, there’s a potential that you can be sued for damages associated with the fall. Don’t think that, just because you don’t own the property, you’re immune. Most times, both the owner and renter will be named in the lawsuit. Your renters insurance also protects you from this.
If your A/C goes out or that kitchen fire makes too much smoke for you to safely remain in your apartment, renters insurance may kick in to pay for temporary housing. That’s a good thing to know when an average hotel stay exceeds $100 a night.
So How Much Does Renters Insurance Cost?
Hopefully, we’ve convinced you that renters insurance is a must-have if you are living in someone else’s home or apartment complex. But you’re not made of money, right? So how much can you expect to pay for renters insurance?
Most people bundle their auto and home (or in this case, renters) insurance on the same policy. According to the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America, the average cost of renters insurance is $12 a month. That’s for $30,000 of property coverage and $100,000 of liability coverage.
Depending on what you have in your home, you may need to purchase additional coverage to protect everything at full replacement value. Items such as expensive jewelry, large entertainment center, or rare and valuable collections will have your insurance agent suggesting a higher amount of coverage.
Other Aspects to Consider
In addition to your renters insurance, it’s a good idea to document the belongings in your home, should a disaster occur. Go through your home with a video camera (most smartphones have that capability) and talk about what you have. Take pictures of items and jot down replacement values for items so you have a better idea how much coverage to buy. We tend to forget everything we have when we’re surrounded by it daily, so it’s a good idea to have a record.
Questions about renters insurance and how much it will cost you to protect your assets? Call your Queen Creek insurance experts, The Insurance Team, at 480-626-1860 for your free quote. We look forward to getting you just the right coverage.