Should I Buy Renter’s Insurance?

When you rent a home or apartment, the property owner typically holds homeowner’s insurance to cover any damage done to the property itself. Unfortunately, that insurance will not cover any of your personal belongings should the home become destroyed for any reason. Renter’s insurance helps cover your expenses in the event of an accident, theft or catastrophe.

Protect Your Belongings

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Renter’s insurance helps protect your belongings should they be destroyed in a fire, a tornado or any other type of catastrophe. You may not think you own anything of value, but replacing items such as furniture or an entire wardrobe in the event that they are destroyed can end up costing a lot of money. Add items such as jewelry, computers and appliances and you could easily spend thousands of dollars to replace your lost items.

Remember, if you live in an apartment complex, your neighbors can cause damage as well. You may not do anything to cause a fire or significant water damage, but if your neighbor starts a fire, your apartment could burn down as well. Fires are not the only issues with neighbors that could place your belongings at risk of being damaged either. For example, if your upstairs neighbor overflows his bathtub, you could face personal property damage as the water leaks through the ceiling. This happened to one of my good friends, and she and her husband lost everything. It was a terrible tragedy that a $20/month policy could have covered.

Renter’s insurance also provides protection against theft. Should someone steal your expensive jewelry or electronics, you have the ability to file a claim and receive money to help replace those items. When you get a renter’s insurance policy, check how much the policy pays in instances of theft. If your valuables are worth significantly more than the maximum payout for jewelry or electronics, you may have to add-on to your policy to cover your higher-value items.

About a year ago, my car got broken into and the punks stole my computer. I had thousands of dollars in software and hardware in my computer bag, and had a ton of personal information stored on my laptop. While identity theft was definitely a concern, my bigger problem was that the crime put me out a few thousand bucks. I called my car insurance company to see if they would replace anything. They said no, and then asked “do you have renter’s insurance?” Lo and behold, my renter’s insurance policy ended up covering this loss – not my car insurance policy. For $16 per month I was able to recover nearly $1,500 in losses from the crime.

Protect Your Finances

Most renters do not realize that they could be at fault if someone gets hurt in their home. While someone could sue the property owner if they get hurt outside of your home or are injured from the general structure of the property, you are generally at fault for accidents that happen within your home. Renter’s insurance is designed to help you out when accidents happen, such as when a “friend” slips on your wood floors and sues you. If someone is injured in your home, renter’s insurance will help pay for their medical expenses or help cover the cost of legal counsel.

In addition to providing expenses if someone is injured in your home, some renter’s insurance policies provide money to help if you are displaced from your home for any reason. If your apartment is destroyed in a fire or the apartment complex has to do major renovations after a ceiling caves in, you need a place to stay. Many policies will help pay for a hotel or other living arrangements while you look for a new place to live or wait for your home to be ready to occupy again.

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Protect Yourself

If you rent, you cannot afford to not have renter’s insurance. You may think that you will never be a victim of a fire or that your friends will not sue if they are seriously injured in your home, but if you are wrong, you face thousands of dollars in lost items and expenses that will make you wish you had decided to get renter’s insurance.

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  1. Jano

    October 13, 2012

    Would renters insurance cover an ipad that was damaged in my car. Actually my son left it on top of the car, and I drove away. It went flying off on the highway, and was crushed by other cars. Do I have a claim?

  2. Jonathon Bingle

    October 1, 2012

    Question here, Military barracks, would getting rentals insurance help here? I know we don’t pay rent so I’m not sure if it would help us or not.

    • YoBucko

      October 1, 2012

      Thanks for your question. Everything I’ve read or heard says yes. Renters policies are cheap and cover your possessions if they are stolen, burned, etc. while deployed, I doubt you’d have enough things in your quarters to warrant getting coverage, but while serving and living on a base, yes. Thanks for your service my friend. It’s people like you that make this country great.

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