How many of your friends who live in apartments have renter’s insurance? Not many, right? That’s because renter’s insurance—another term for home and content insurance—is little-understood about how much it costs, what renter’s insurance covers, etc. That fact is that renter’s insurance is far from most people’s minds when they draw up a mental checklist of what precautions and security-measures to take upon moving into a new apartment.
Even if you’re mid-lease, you’ll want to take a minute to consider the benefits of this under-appreciated security measure. Here are a few:
Some quotes bring renter’s insurance in at under $1 per day—pretty affordable, wouldn’t you say? Of course, the costs of renter’s insurance will be unique to your situation, to the company you are collecting quotes from, and to the state in which you reside.
Louisiana, Mississippi, and Oklahoma are the three states with the highest renter’s insurance rates, most likely because the industry has pinpointed factors that deem these states to be higher risk than others.
On the other end of the spectrum, the three states with the lowest rates are North Dakota, and South Dakota, and North Carolina.
Although costs of renter’s insurance vary, fees are initially calculated the same way for the most part. A few universal factors are taken into account, although these are only one variable; each company has different policies and rates. Shop around.
While you’re collecting quotes, you’ll note that these items are the most important with regards to the final cost:
- The location of your apartment;
- What you’d like your deductible to be;
- How much coverage you opt to apply for; and
- What sort of coverage you decide you need.
You get to decide how much coverage you want to pay for: actual cash vs. replacement costs. For example, will you want to pay for the full replacement cost—which does ante up the price a bit—of the collection or jewelry, etc. that you are insuring. You get to decide whether you think that you’d be happy with the market or actual value.
It Protects Against Burglary
Vacations are a bit more worry free, as is every day life. Yes, that’s right. If you are on vacation and your items (remember, this insurance is called home and contents) are “abducted,” you can file a claim. So, you wouldn’t be in so much financial trouble if your apartment was burglarized if you had a standard renter’s insurance policy. Instead, you’d receive a payout from the insurance company for the approximate market cost of what was stolen.
Not everyone has a few hundred dollars socked away to run out and replace a stolen computer, for instance! Even a basic policy will protect you.
It Protects Against Fires and Disasters
In case your apartment goes up in smoke or sustains smoke damage in a fire, you will be covered for your belongings. That includes your clothes (you won’t be able to remove the smell of smoke from your clothes), furniture, and whatever else is enumerated under your policy.
“I don’t smoke,” you might be thinking. “And I never leave anything on the stove untended.” That’s great! However, one of the risks of living in an apartment building or complex is that your neighbors might be engaging in high-risk behavior, unbeknownst to you, like smoking in bed.
If your building were to burn down due to a neighbor’s negligence, you’d be covered. In the event of a natural or man-made disaster, you’d be covered. This is pretty important.
Let’s say that you come home to find that your apartment is suddenly rendered unlivable—maybe you live in an area that’s high-risk for tornadoes or hurricanes or earthquakes. You simply can’t sleep in your apartment until it’s renovated. You don’t have money to plop down at a hotel for a couple of weeks’ stay. What do you do?
Well, if you had the foresight to purchase renter’s insurance, you’d have a place to stay. And it doesn’t have to be the cramped quarters of your friends and family—as much as you’ll appreciate their offers. You’ll be able to stay in someplace quiet, clean, secure, and private. This applies in case of storm damage, as well as fire.
It Covers Guest Injuries
A visitor or neighbor who hurts themselves in your apartment will be covered. As unlikely as it is to happen, you might find yourself liable for any personal damage incurred when someone is injured in your home. For instance, if someone trips and hits his head on a counter or slips and falls to the floor, you’ll be relieved that your renter’s insurance covers you for the possible $100,000 or so in damages that you might, in a worst-case-scenario, be deemed responsible for.
At this point, renter’s insurance might just seem like something you definitely want to consider!