Challenging Myths: Renters Insurance Edition

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Myth: Only people who rent a house need renters insurance.
Reality: FALSE. According to the Bureau of Insurance, “Renters insurance is for anyone who rents an apartment, condo or house, instead of owning the premises.” Renters insurance provides protection for your personal property from perils such as fire or theft, and liability protection if you accidentally hurt someone or damage their property.

Myth: My landlord’s insurance covers me.
Reality: FALSE. While your landlord may have insurance, your belongings are NOT covered under this. The owner of the property is only responsible for insuring the building and for his/her own liability coverage. According to About, your landlord’s insurance covers his/her loss in a situation where the building is destroyed, but not the property inside of it, i.e. your personal property. Your landlord’s insurance also covers an incident where someone is hurt on the property, but not if one of the residents accidentally hurts someone else or damages another person’s property.

Myth: I don’t need liability insurance.
Reality: FALSE. According to State Farm, “Your landlord’s policy most likely excludes liability for something that occurs in your rented residence.” If you injure someone or damage their property, and they decide to sue, the money will be coming out of your pocket unless you carry liability insurance. Liability insurance, which is included with renters insurance, can also cover legal defense costs depending on the amount of liability in your policy.

Myth: My roommate has insurance, so I don’t need it.
Reality: FALSE. Although your roommate might have insurance, this only covers his/her personal belongings, not yours, unless you are listed on his/her policy. It is encouraged to get a single policy to cover everyone who lives in the apartment and all of the possessions.

Myth: Renters insurance is expensive.
Reality: FALSE. For only a couple hundred or less a year, the average renter can get full coverage for their apartment. This can include liability insurance, which was explained above, to protecting you from a lawsuit dealing with the harm of someone or someone’s property. According to a professional, “keeping your premium low is also another way to keep renters insurance inexpensive. Your premium depends on where you live, your deductible, your insurance company, and whether you need any additional coverage.” This implies that if you increase your deductible, your responsibility for an incident, then your premium can decrease, making renters insurance less expensive. NOTE: Be sure you can afford the deductible you choose, it is coming out of your pocket when something bad happens.

Myth: I don’t have a lot of stuff or I don’t have expensive belongings, so I don’t need renters insurance.
Reality: FALSE. Many people are surprised how much their personal belongings are actually worth. Renter’s insurance policies are available in varying amounts, but, it’s important to remember that you are not just protecting your personal property; you are also protecting yourself from liability. Find out how much renters insurance you need.

Myth: All renters insurance covers actual cash damages
Reality: FALSE. It actually depends on the type of policy you have, actual cash value vs. replacement cost. According to profesionals, “Actual cash value coverage will pay only for what your property was worth at the time it was damaged or stolen, the “used value”, minus your deductible. [While] replacement cost coverage will pay what it actually costs to replace the items you lost, again minus the deductible.”

6 Responses to “Challenging Myths: Renters Insurance Edition”

  1. March 25, 2007 at 4:34 am, Guest said:

    I was robbed 3 times, my door couldnt even be lockedI had about 10k worth of stuff stolen, the lanlord also never fixed anything and many building codes are not legal I have lived there a year but I wanted to get out inDec but couldnt find a place, so I just moved out after the the 3rd robbery theres a mess there, I am 2 month behind on the rent but that covers last and security, what should I do, my police report.but I could get a copy of it. help me i am in philly pa.I think there should be 2 different police reports. and many building codes are wrongs such as water plumbing and electric. Help it will be 2months in march 31


  2. April 06, 2007 at 11:34 am, Guest said:

    Getting renter’s insurance was the best advice I ever got from a previous landlord. For less than $100 for the year, I got 10K of coverage. You never think you are going to need it – but on one night in December 1/3 of the complex burned to the ground. It literally helped me to re-purchase all my possessions. Without it, I would have to start form scratch. Buy renter’s insurance, it costs very little for what you get if something really bad happens.


  3. February 09, 2008 at 6:44 pm, Guest said:

    Do you have renter’s insurance? If so, file a claim with the insurance company. If not, you’re likely out of luck.


  4. August 26, 2008 at 12:22 am, Guest said:

    You are screwed. You left the apartment a mess, you are behind on rent 2 months. YOu failed to give notice, you failed to notify your landlord IN WRITING about the LOCKS ON THE DOOR – or anything else for that matter.
    And your using these supposed building code violations as an excuse for your lameness! Get your butt back overthere and bust ass cleaning the place back up “SPOTLESS”. Send your landlord written notice of your leaving, for good cause, 3 break ins (I hope you have documentation). Mention the front door lock and any other “CODE” problems and appoligize for not notifying him of these problems. Tell him your broke, you can’t pay the back rent and could he please use your security deposit and last months rent and you will do your upmost to put the apartment back into the condition he gave it to you – SO THAT HE CAN RENT IT IMMEDIATELY and not lose any rent! Then maybe he won’t bother to sue your ass as he should.


  5. August 01, 2009 at 1:53 am, Fred Fnord said:

    Wow, last guest, might I guess that you’re a landlord?

    Landlords are required to keep their buildings up to code at all times, not just when they are served written notice of their negligence. Therefore, it’s not at all clear who should be suing whom.

    Of course, it probably doesn’t matter, as slumlords of the type described have generally arranged their finances in such a way as to make it impossible for anyone to actually get any money from suing them. Just one of the benefits of being rich in our society: with a little work, you’re pretty much immune to any attempt to hold you accountable.



  6. October 04, 2010 at 3:15 pm, Guest said:

    Did it occur to any of you that this is the reason there is a lease agreement? The lease is not just to protect the landlord’s asset (the building), but to protect the resident and inform them of their rights. Check out the Landlord/Tenant Act for your state…..its there for your protection.


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