Signing the lease for a new house or apartment is exciting – especially if it’s your first time renting your own space! Before you settle into life in your new home, make sure you’ve checked all the important to-do’s off of your moving list: did you put the utilities in your name? Did you change your address? Lastly, did you purchase or update your renters insurance? Many landlords or property managers make this coverage a requirement, but even if they don’t, it’s not something you should skip.
Many people, especially first-time renters, don’t realize that a renters insurance policy is a must-have. We’re here to tell you why that common misconception is wrong. We’ll answer a few common renters insurance questions while we’re at it to help you make sure you and your belongings are covered in your new home.
Do I need renters insurance if my landlord already has their own insurance?
A common myth about renting is that your landlord’s insurance will cover your belongings if something happens to them. Wrong! Their insurance usually only covers damage to the structure itself – it’s up to you to protect the possessions you keep inside.
If, for example, a fire burned down your apartment building, your landlord’s insurance would cover the cost to repair or reconstruct the building. Their insurance would not cover the replacement of your belongings or the cost for you to temporarily stay elsewhere while repairs were being completed. Depending on the items you own and how long it takes to make the necessary repairs, those costs can add up pretty quickly. With renters insurance, you know you’re covered.
Do I need renters insurance if I don’t own many valuable items?
You don’t have to have fancy high-dollar items like jewelry and collectibles to justify getting coverage – in fact, the value of all of your belongings together is likely higher than you think. Quickly make a list of your computers, TVs, gaming systems, and other electronics, then add in the cost to replace all of your clothing and any other higher-dollar items you might own. Now imagine having to replace all of those things at one time and you’ll see why renters insurance is probably a good idea! On that note, it’s probably a good idea to keep a home inventory of all of your belongings so you have a better idea of their value and to have on hand in case you do need to replace any of those items – check out our recent blog post to find out how.
If you still think you don’t own enough valuable items to get coverage for them, consider the scenario we previously introduced where you need to temporarily live elsewhere while repairs are completed on your rented home. Your insurance would cover those costs in addition to the replacement of your belongings.
What will my renters insurance policy cover?
Renters insurance covers against damage or loss from burglaries, along with loss from events such as fires, certain types of water damage and more. When you get a renters insurance quote, be sure to take a close look at the coverage details–there will usually be both an overall limit on the payout, and a maximum amount for any one renters insurance claim.
You may also get a payment toward temporary accommodation if the rental property is uninhabitable after one of the events the policy covers. Some policies also include liability coverage that could pay out if you accidentally damage the rental property itself or if somebody is injured while visiting you at your apartment. Some policies cover your belongings even when you’re away from home – just ask about off premises coverage. But remember, even if you park a vehicle on the rental property itself, your car usually won’t be covered by renters insurance.
Is a policy expensive?
Renters Insurance is quite affordable, especially considering the coverage and peace of mind it provides. According to information from a 2020 NAIC report, the average yearly premium for renters insurance in 2018 was $179. It will probably cost you less than your weekly takeout budget, and if anything unexpected happens to your rented home, you’ll be glad to have the coverage. Bundling your renters insurance with your auto policy can also help you save money.
Want to explore your options? We’re happy to help you find the policy that provides you with the right amount of coverage, at a price that works with your budget. Give us a call today at (636) 583-2313 or fill out the form below to get started.