Thinking about renting a place to live in? You may not be a homeowner, but chances are that you need renters insurance.
Many people, especially younger adults, rent apartments to live in since they can’t yet afford to buy their own home. Even some older adults prefer to rent an apartment or a house, as they may find a place that’s closer to where they work and they don’t have to pay property taxes. But if you’re thinking about renting a place, you may need renters insurance.This may come as a surprise to you, especially if you thought only homeowners needed to get insurance. But there are several reasons why getting this type of insurance makes sense.
- You may not be able to rent the apartment you want without one. Lots of landlords these days require that you get at least a personal liability insurance policy, and you may be asked to extend the coverage for your landlord as well. Without this insurance policy, you may not be able to rent the unit you want.
- With personal liability insurance, you’re protected if a guest in your home is injured. This also covers the liability for the landlord too. So let’s say you let in a guest who trips and falls inside your apartment and they get seriously injured. They may then sue you for damages and you’ll be required to pay for their medical bills. With the renters insurance, the insurance company covers these expenses. They may also pay the legal bills should you be taken to court.
- You can rest at ease knowing that your personal belongings are covered. The insurance policy held by your landlord covers only their property. It doesn’t cover yours. So if your possessions are stolen or destroyed by a fire, you’re not covered without a renter’s policy of your own.
- You’re protected if your possessions are stolen. Theft and vandalism are covered, and they often occur with depressing regularity. According to the FBI, there were 1.73 million burglaries in 2014, and nearly three-fourths of these burglaries were of residential properties. Most of the time, these crimes aren’t solved either, as less than 14% of all burglaries in 2014 resulted in an arrest. Even if the burglar was arrested, there’s a good chance that you don’t recover your belongings.
- Fires are also covered. In 2015 in the US, a home structure fire was reported every 86 seconds. Structure fires accounted for more than half a million fires, and these resulted in property damage worth $14.3 billion in just one year.
- Other perils may be covered. You should carefully check what’s covered in your insurance policy. The perils covered may include lightning strikes, windstorms, and explosions. Water damage may be covered, but floods may not be part of the coverage.
- You get help if you have to stay elsewhere due to damage. If your apartment becomes uninhabitable while it’s under repair due to a covered peril, you’ll have to live elsewhere. However, the insurance may help cover the cost of your expenses should you have no choice but to live in a nearby motel or hotel while your apartment is repaired.
- The insurance isn’t really expensive. Most of the time, the policy covers just the value of your belongings. This makes the insurance more affordable than the insurance policy for a house or an apartment building.
So if you’re going to rent your place, do the right thing and get renters insurance. If you’re broken into or a fire breaks out, at least you’re not financially ruined because you’ve lost all your possessions.