Why You Must Have Renters Insurance

When you rent an apartment, home or other type of dwelling, renters insurance is usually required. Whether it is part of your lease agreement or not mandated by the landlord, getting this type of coverage is important. Imagine something going wrong and being forced to replace all of your belongings. Can you afford to get a new couch, bed, clothes, dishes and everything else you own?

Do Not Make Assumptions About the Landlord's Insurance  

Some people make assumptions about the landlord's ability or willingness to pay for items that are stolen or damaged in their rental. Your landlord's insurance only covers the building or dwelling place. This means that only the external areas fall under his or her responsibility. You are in charge of making sure your items inside the rental are insured.

Your landlord does not have an obligation to cover your personal belongings on his or her insurance policy. In the event of a problem such as a flood damaging the property, the landlord would only have to fix the exterior and interior of the building. He or she would not have to replace your furniture, clothes or other things.

Some Landlords Require You to Buy It

There are no laws forcing you to have renters insurance. However, in some cases, your landlord may require you to purchase renters insurance as part of your agreement. They may have a statement in the contract you sign that requests it. They may also ask for proof that you have renters insurance. This shows potential renters that the landlord is not responsible for covering their personal belongings.

If you are having trouble finding a policy you like, some landlords can assist you and make recommendations about insurance companies you can use. They may know which companies other tenants have used and found good rates.

Renters Insurance Is Affordable

The average annual renters insurance policy costs $188 in the United States. Considering that the typical policy covers $25,000 to $50,000 worth of belongings for a tenant, paying about $15.67 per month for coverage is worth it for most people.

Renters insurance usually covers personal property such as furniture, jewelry, technology, clothes, rugs and other things you have in your rental. It protects you from unpredictable events such as thefts, fires and electrical problems. Your policy may also include explosions, lightning, vandalism, volcanoes and falling objects.

Most policies also offer liability coverage, which protects you if someone is injured in your residence. You may also have medical payment coverage in the policy. The liability coverage may be up to $100,000, and the medical payments may be $1,000 to $5,000. 

Roommates With Coverage Are Not Enough

You should not assume that a roommate who lives with you has renters insurance. First, without seeing their policy, you cannot verify that they have one. Second, even if they have renters insurance, it does not cover your personal belongings.

If you live with another person, you can have separate policies to protect your things. You have to make sure that you are both covered instead of relying on each other's plans.

Consider what may happen if only a roommate has insurance: Your clothes, computer and other things may not be covered by their insurance company. Your roommate will not be able to help you replace these items.

Bundling Can Save You Money

If you bundle your renters insurance with auto or another policy, you can save a significant amount of money. Bundling means you combine multiple policies with one insurance company. For example, you can get renters and car coverage from one company and save money on both. Another term for this is a multi-policy discount.

Consider calling several insurance companies and comparing how much you will save by bundling policies with them, and keep track of the numbers in Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets. It is easy to lose track of these numbers unless you write them down.

Peace of Mind

One of the biggest benefits of having renters insurance is the peace of mind it brings. During an emergency or accident, it is often difficult to think clearly and make plans. Imagine trying to figure out how to pay for new furniture after something happens to your rental. Renters insurance is an inexpensive way to make sure that you will have the items you need if a problem occurs.

Unlike car insurance, there are no laws forcing you to buy renters insurance. However, a landlord may require it in a lease, and it is a good idea for you to get it even if no one is forcing it. The coverage it can provide is extensive and useful. Renters insurance tends to be much cheaper than auto policies, so it is an affordable way to buy peace of mind.

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