Renters Insurance doesn’t get the love it deserves. For many, it’s an afterthought if your landlord doesn’t require you to have it. Renters Insurance is also commonly misunderstood. The best way to think about it is that it’s similar to Homeowners Insurance without coverage for the building.
Why is Renters Insurance Important?
There are a variety of reasons why its important and I’ll touch on many of them in this article. For starters, you can’t control what the other tenants around you are doing.
Here in Clifton Park, NY, there have been quite a few fires at local apartment complexes over the past few years. Unfortunately, many people have lost everything due to no fault of their own. A fire could start in the unit next door and cause extensive damage to your belongings.
It doesn’t have to be a fire either. What if the apartment above you has a plumbing issue causing water damage to your furniture?
A Renters policy also covers your personal property when it’s not located in your apartment. What happens if your laptop and purse are stolen out of your car? Your Auto Insurance won’t cover that but your Renters policy could.
What happens if your household pet bites a neighbor? There are countless reasons you could be sued and a Renters policy provides Liability insurance to protect your assets from lawsuits.
There are so many other reasons why you should have a Renters Insurance policy and I could go on for hours about them but I want to talk about common excuses I hear as to why some people don’t want Renters Insurance.
Common excuses to not buy a Renters Policy (and my rebuttals)
“I don’t have anything of value to insure.”
Typically, I find that people who don’t have valuable belongings need what they have and might have a difficult time if they had to go to the store and purchase new things. Most Renters Insurance policies include Replacement Cost coverage, which means that if your 10 year old chair, which is currently worth $50, is damaged, the Renters policy would pay for a brand new chair from the furniture store. One damaged item might not be that big of a deal but imagine if you lost everything. Could you afford to buy all new things?
“I don’t want to pay for more insurance.”
This is a common one. I usually hear this from people who are unsure of the cost of Renters Insurance . A typical Renters policy costs about $10-15/month and, in many cases, the discount that you would get on your Auto Insurance for bundling the two policies will cover half or more of the cost of the Renters policy . For many people the additional cost to add Renters Insurance is less than $50/year.
“I don’t own the building so I can’t get sued.”
This is a common misconception. You absolutely could be sued for things you’re liable for that occur at your apartment. I have seen many claims where a tenant is deemed liable and has needed to use the Liability coverage from their Renters policy. Most Renters policies allow the policyholder to select between $100,000 and $1,000,000 of Liability coverage depending on the assets they need to protect.
“My Landlord will cover my stuff.”
Unfortunately, this is not true. Your landlord is not responsible for your personal property.
How to get Renters Insurance
It’s typically best to buy Renters Insurance from the same company that you have your car insurance with. If you’re here in the Clifton Park, NY area, I hope that’s my office :). You don’t need to have too much information about the place you’re renting because most of the coverage options are based on you and your stuff.
For more information about Renters Insurance, please Contact Us or call our office at 518-877-7447.
John Lofrumento, CFP®, FSCP®, RICP®
President, The Lofrumento Agency
Clifton Park, NY / Ballston Lake, NY