Renter’s Insurance might seem like just another bill—just another hassle of the increasingly overrated “Life of an Adult”—but it might just prove worth the extra line item on your credit card statement.
What renter’s insurance protects you against
Like so much in life, it depends. Broadly, renter’s insurance protects against damage or loss of personal property in a rented building.
What’s great about having renter’s insurance for your home
The insurance can be pretty affordable. Like maybe $20 per month. Of course, this depends on how much you want to insure, how high of a deductible you’re willing to pay, and whether you include things like “actual cash value,” which would mean you get paid for the value of whatever you lost.
What’s annoying about using renter’s insurance
You have to document everything. Say your house does flood, and carries everything down a storm drain. Or, more likely, someone kicks your door in and makes off with everything of value. If you want your super fancy camera replaced, you have prove you owned it in the first place. You should save an inventory of your belongings, as well as all reciepts. Also, if you’re negligent, the company could refuse to pay. So if you don’t have a fire alarm and your house burns down, or if you don’t lock your door and are robbed, you’re SOL. And if you own a dog, well, expect to pay more.
Why your landlord might require it for your apartment
In the event of a natural disaster, you’re not held accountable for the building you’re renting. But when an old pipe bursts and destroys everything in your living room because your stereo was turned up so loud that the bass caused the whole house to reverberate…well, it gets complicated deciding who pays for what. If you have renter’s insurance, you’re covered, and you and your landlord don’t have to worry about suing each other. Phew.
Who doesn’t need it in their rental situation
Most likely, college students. Ditto to “kids” still living at home. In short, if you don’t actually own many things of value, there’s not much point to insuring them. Buy three years’ worth of Apple Care and be done with it. And look on the bright side: it’s really hard to rip you off when you don’t have anything to rip off.
There are lots of things you can cover, but one is visitor liability, which protects you if someone gets injured while at your house. This might seem like a totally ridiculous thing to insure, until you consider that a) we are the most litigious society in the history of the world, and people sue each other over spilt coffee and b) our nation hardly has the most affordable health care. Think about this, especially if you have clumsy friends.
What you might want to get now to protect your apartment
Have you been paying attention to the weather for the past couple of years? If you live near a body of water, or in an earthquake zone, now could be an excellent time to insure yourself. Check your policy; lots of them won’t include Flood and Earthquake protection, and you’ll have to buy it separately.
If you have any advice for others about renters insurance then let others know on the MyNewPlace Facebook!