Property Management Blog

Can You Afford to Skip Renters Insurance

Can You Afford to Skip Renters Insurance

Getting relatively inexpensive coverage now could save you a massive headache later.

Whether they’re in Philadelphia, PA or Houston, TX, the first thing people think about when they rent a new place is getting renters insurance to protect their belongings, right? No, not really. Almost all homeowners have homeowners insurance — 95% of them, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Mortgage lenders require it, after all. But only about 40% of renters buy renters insurance. If you’re a renter, you may be wondering how much is renters insurance — most policies will cost you about $15 a month. But if your laptop is stolen, for example, it’ll cost you much more than $15 to replace it. And there are other considerations that should help you rethink your decision to skip renters insurance. Here are a few.

Your belongings are covered

This one might seem somewhat obvious: If someone breaks into your rental unit and steals your personal property (computer, electronics, jewelry, clothing, bicycle, etc.), you can’t expect your landlord to help you replace those items … unless you can prove the landlord was negligent by not providing a lock for your doors or windows, perhaps. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay to replace your belongings. If you’re living paycheck to paycheck as it is, you may have trouble replacing those belongings without going into debt.

Having a renters insurance policy in place could save your wallet, however — and in most cases, your personal property would also be covered if it were damaged by lightning, fire, vandalism, volcanic eruption, and other natural disasters. Of course, there are state-by-state exceptions: California renters, for instance, are not covered for damages from an earthquake, and Florida tenants are not covered for damages from a natural flood. Earthquake and flood coverage both usually require a separate policy. Your policy will spell out in detail which disasters are covered. Moral of the story: If you don’t want to replace everything that could be stolen or be ruined by Mother Nature at retail price, you should get renters insurance.

Your policy covers your stuff even when it’s not in your home

Any valuables you keep in your car or that you bring with you, such as on vacation, are covered by most renters insurance policies. Renters insurance will reimburse you the same amount whether your bike is stolen from inside your apartment or while parked outside your favorite coffee shop; but whether your insurance pays what your property is worth (actual cash value) or the cost to replace it (replacement-cost coverage) depends on your policy.

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