The Case For Renters Insurance

The Case For Renters Insurance

Even though renters get to dodge a lot of costly responsibilities, like property taxes and most maintenance, they still hold their share of financial responsibility when it comes to their personal property and their guests’ well-being. Yet only 40% of renters protect themselves with renters insurance, compared with 95% of homeowners. Although renters might not feel like the value of their belongings warrants a monthly premium to protect them, the average annual premium is less than $200, and most companies offer discounts if you have multiple policies. Here are four main ways renters insurance has you covered:

Property Property Damage

In the event of weather or accidental damage to your rental unit, the property manager is typically charged the costs of repairing the building itself. But, if your personal belongings — such as expensive furniture, clothes, or your laptop — are damaged in the process, it’s up to you to replace them. With renters insurance, you just submit a claim and you’re reimbursed with one of two options: actual cash value  (what your used items were worth), or replacement cost (what similar items are currently priced).

Renters insurance covers your personal belongings in most scenarios, including lightning, smoke, water, fire, freezing, and volcanic eruption. Floods, however, are generally not covered, so if you live in a flood-prone area, you’ll want to check with your insurance agent to see what it would cost to add flood protection to your policy.

In cases where you might be found at fault for damage to your own belongings as well as the landlord’s property, your renters insurance could protect you from that liability.

Living Expenses

Like we mentioned above, if a fire or burst pipe were to render your building unlivable, your landlord would be saddled with the costs of repairing the building. That would be a great burden off your shoulders, if it weren’t for the fact that you’re essentially temporarily homeless. If you’re displaced by a qualifying event and have to move into a hotel or sublet an apartment until repairs are finished and your apartment is safe to return to, insurance will pitch in and help offset those additional living costs.

Property Theft

As in the case of damage, your landlord will only be responsible for costs of repairs to the building that were incurred during the theft, such as replacing a broken window or torn screen. But if it was your personal property that was stolen, you’ll bear the price of replacement. Fortunately, renters insurance covers theft, even if your items were stolen from another location, such as your car.

Injury

The landlord isn’t always responsible for injuries sustained on their property. If the lease agreement, for example, were to dictate the responsibility of snow removal to the tenant — and there is no municipal or state law on the books saying otherwise — the tenant could be held responsible for someone slipping and hurting themselves on an unshoveled or icy sidewalk. Renters insurance would protect the tenant financially from any resulting lawsuit, as well as aiding payment of medical expenses incurred. Similarly, if your dog bites a visitor, that could be covered, too. (Some companies and breeds, however, require additional coverage.)


Sam Radbil is a contributing member of the marketing and communications team at ABODO, an online apartment marketplace. ABODO was founded in 2013 in Madison, Wisconsin. And in just three years, the company has grown to more than 30 employees, raised over $8M in outside funding and helps more than half a million renters find a new home each month.