If you rent a home or apartment, you’re probably wondering whether you really need renter’s insurance. After all, your landlord has insurance on the property. But what you may not realize is that this coverage likely won’t apply to you personally or your belongings.
Here are four reasons you need renter’s insurance.
1. It Covers Personal Property
Landlord insurance policies do not protect tenants. Their policies apply to the home and/or structure.
A renter’s insurance policy will protect against losses to your own personal property, including:
Even if you don’t have many belongings, the cost to replace lost items may be much higher than you anticipate. Your landlord’s policy will not protect any of your personal belongings. It’s your responsibility to protect these items against theft and damage.
2. It’s Affordable
Renter’s insurance is more affordable than you think. In the U.S., the average renter’s insurance policy costs less than $200 per year, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). Most Canadians pay less than $30 per month for Brokerlink renter’s insurance.
The actual cost of the policy will depend on a number of factors, primarily your location and your deductible. However, the cost of the coverage is negligible compared to the benefits it offers.
3. It Offers Liability Coverage
A standard renter’s insurance policy also includes liability insurance. Liability coverage will protect you if someone is injured in your home, or if you accidentally injure someone on your property. It will cover court judgements as well as legal expenses up to your policy’s limits.
Most policies will give you at least $100,000 in liability coverage and $1,000-$5,000 in medical payments coverage. You can request to have higher coverage limits for an additional fee.
4. It Covers Theft and Many Perils
If your home or apartment is burglarized, your renter’s insurance policy will pay to have affected items repaired or replaced. Without insurance, you would have to pay these costs out of your own pocket.
Renter’s insurance will also cover damages and losses caused by many perils, including:
- Falling objects
- Fire and lightning
- Windstorm or hail
- Weight of snow, ice or sleet
- Volcanic eruption
- Riot or civil commotion
- Damage by vehicles
- Damage by aircraft
- Damage from water or steam sources
Typically, standard policies will not cover damages from earthquakes or floods. However, you can purchase separate coverage for these perils.
Keep in mind that your policy will not cover intentional or negligent acts. If you left a candle burning and it caused a fire in your apartment, your policy would likely not cover your damages and losses.
Here’s another reason to buy renter’s insurance: it may be required. Many landlords and apartment communities are now requiring tenants to purchase renter’s insurance. You may need to provide proof of your coverage in order to be approved by the landlord or to renew your lease.
When you consider the affordability of renter’s insurance, there’s no reason not to get coverage. At the very least, you’ll have peace of mind that your belongings are covered in case of theft or a disaster.