Renters insurance protects you in the event of a disaster, such as fire or hurricane. You might think that the landlord’s homeowner’s or property insurance protects you, but that’s not the case. That protection is for the landlord’s benefit, covering the structure of the house or apartment and liability coverage as it relates to the landlord’s activities on the premises. You should buy your own renter’s insurance. It’s worth it, and here’s why:
Coverage for Your Things
Replacing all or most of your valuables when there’s a fire or theft is costly. You may not have the funds as a renter to withdraw $5,000 or $10,000 or more from a bank account to pay for belongings destroyed. Buying renters insurance ensures that you’ll receive the money you need when you file a claim. It’s important to take an inventory of your things, and take pictures or video tape yourself holding items with a high replacement value. Even if you no longer have a receipt, you can prove ownership of those items.
No one likes to think that visitors and guests to their apartment might sue them one day in court, but it happens more often than you think. Let’s say you invite a friend over and they trip and fall on your welcome mat and fracture a wrist, requiring them to seek medical attention. They may face medical bills they can’t afford to pay, and sue you to pay them if you don’t voluntarily give them the money. You probably didn’t plan in your budget to someday pay for other people’s medical payments, and therefore you may not have money in the bank to pay the medical bills. That’s why you need renters insurance. This scenario may never play out in your entire rental experience, but you’ll have renters insurance in case it does.
Some policies will pay your costs for temporary housing if you have to relocate while your apartment is being remodeled or fixed due to a natural or other disaster. It’s often additional coverage that you’ll have to pay extra for, but the slight increase in premium makes it often worth it. Without coverage, your only alternative may be to pay higher rent somewhere else, if cheaper apartments are not available. If you live within the same city as relatives, you may not have a problem, and this additional coverage won’t be worth it if those relatives are willing to house you for a short while.
Hiring an attorney to represent you in court against claims of liability by people who visited your apartment is expensive. It’s not like a personal injury case where the lawyer can agree to get a percentage of the judgment awarded to you if you’re a plaintiff. You have to pay a flat fee or an hourly rate, and no matter where you live, you can count on paying several hundred dollars, maybe more. Renters insurance pays for legal representation when a lawsuit is brought against you.
Is renter’s insurance worth it? Yes, for financial and legal reasons.