Homeownership continues to fall since millennials aren’t buying homes, and that means renting numbers continue to rise.
Renting comes with its pitfalls – you don’t own the building or even the walls in your space – a landlord does. And if something happens to that building, or your space for that matter, the landlord’s insurance coverage is limited, usually just to his or her property and the building itself. You are left out in the cold when the apartment building’s gas heater explodes.
So do you need renters insurance? Absolutely. It will cover the actual stuff in your apartment in case it gets burned, stolen, blown away, or vandalized. And, renters insurance is broader than you’d think – policies will often cover your property anywhere in the world. So if your laptop gets stolen during your surfing trip to Bali, it’s still insured.
And speaking of exploding heaters, if something happens to your residence that renders it temporarily uninhabitable, renters insurance can cover hotel expenses and other costs incurred until you’re able to move back in.
Renters insurance also provides you with personal liability insurance. This includes liability claims that happen both in and away from your apartment. For example, if you were to break a neighbor’s window with a baseball, or if someone got injured at your home, your policy will likely both situations covered. Liability coverage also protects your pets in the event the friendly family dog might accidentally injure someone.
By now, renters insurance should feel like a no-brainer. The monthly premium can be as low as $10 per month. If you have an auto insurance policy with the same company, it may cost even less.
Think $25,000 isn’t enough to cover your stuff? Talk to your insurance agent. Coverage on items like expensive jewelry, guns and silverware is limited when the loss is a result of theft. However, riders (additional coverage) can be added to a renters insurance policy to specifically cover these items..
You will also have to choose between an actual cash value or replacement cost policy. In the event of a claim actual cash value pays you what the lost possessions are worth (the amount you paid, minus depreciation). Replacement cost coverage pays enough to replace your stuff.
There’s a lot to think about here, but there’s no doubt that renters insurance is a good investment for renters everywhere.