You have likely heard of renters insurance by now, but do you really need it? You may think your landlord is responsible for damages to your apartment so why pay anymore than you have to, right? Imagine this. You come home to your cozy single-bedroom apartment above your garage. When you push the automatic garage door opener, you see your garage door begin to rise, followed by a rush of water and a number of soaked belongings wash out in front of your car. You learn that the water heater had ruptured. Not only did your apartment and its contents get flooded, but the neighbors alongside of your unit were also affected.
Who pays if your belongings are damaged or stolen? What if one of your party guests falls down the stairs and needs medical attention? Don’t look to your landlord for those expenses. Most rental contracts exclude coverage for your belongings or damage you cause.
Without a renters insurance policy, you’ll be footing the bill for anything you damage or any lost items. According to a Nationwide Insurance survey, more than half (56%) of younger renters between the ages of 23 and 35 do not have renters insurance. This statistic is noteworthy and disturbing, given the increasing number of Millennials that rent these days. While the Pew Research Center reports that a significant portion of Millennials do still live with parents, a greater portion either live alone, with their spouse, significant other or rent living space along with roommates; many of them without renters insurance.
Renters often balk at buying insurance because they assume the cost of coverage is too high. However, for the cost of a couple of pizzas, today’s renters could have valuable insurance to protect their personal property and provide a fair amount of personal liability protection as well. As the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) reports, the average cost of a renters insurance policy is between $10 and $30 per month. This is a small price, considering the cost to replace all of your possessions could be staggering.
What’s Covered (and What’s Not)?
Younger renters in particular may skip the renters insurance coverage because they assume their cheaper possessions aren’t worth insuring. Even if you don’t consider your possessions all that valuable, renters insurance protects more than just your stuff. A renters insurance policy may offer coverage for things such as liability protection if your dog bites someone or medical coverage if a visitor is injured. The policy may even cover belongings that are stolen from your car or luggage if you travel.
How to Buy Renters Insurance Cheaply
A renters policy should do three things for you:
- 1. Provide money to replace your personal property
- 2. Protect you from liability lawsuits
- 3. Cover your living expenses if your rental unit is damaged to the point of becoming unlivable.
Several policy options can determine how much you pay for your renters insurance. For instance, if you elect a higher deductible – the out-of-pocket expenses for any claim– your insurance premium will be less. Likewise, choosing actual cash value coverage for your possessions is less expensive than electing replacement value coverage, although the cheaper policy will only pay you the depreciated value for your stuff, rather than the amount you might need to replace them.
Finally, see how many discounts you can apply to your coverage. Most insurance companies offer multi policy discounts or if your rental unit has smoke detectors or a security system, these might be worth additional discounts.
Taking out a renters insurance policy can feel like one more expense to manage. However, in the long run, the financial protection and peace of mind that it provides is much less expensive than having to pay out of pocket should damages strike. Better to be safe than sorry. If you’d like more information on renters insurance of a free quote, just call us at 724-929-2300. Our agents will to the work of comparing prices for you so you get the best price!