You’ve signed your lease and packed everything you own into boxes. With a deep breath and the jingle of a new set of keys, you’re ready to start your life in a new place. Whether you’re setting off on your own or hunkering down with a roommate, renting an apartment in a city or a house in the countryside, you’re in for a new adventure.
There are a lot of perks that come with renting. Someone else is in charge of most repairs, it makes it easier to up and move if the time comes, you have a whole lot less paperwork, and you’re not responsible for decisions like homeowners insurance.
But just because it’s someone else’s job to insure the building you’re living in doesn’t mean you should forgo insurance altogether. The insurance held by your landlord or building owner doesn’t protect your personal property. To be certain that your belongings are financially covered, you’ll need to purchase renters insurance.
What Is Renters Insurance? How Does it Work?
When you rent, you free yourself from a lot of the responsibilities of owning a home. However, this means you have less control over certain risk factors. You have to trust that maintenance is up to code, wiring and appliances are in good condition, the foundation and structure have seen proper upkeep, and any other people living in the building take responsibility for the safety of the tenants. There are also risks that aren’t within anyone’s control, such as natural disasters.
Renters—or tenant—insurance covers your personal property in the case of damage due to a covered incident. This could include a natural disaster like a tornado, an accident like a fire, or theft. It can also cover you in case you’re at fault for an accident that damages other tenants’ property.
Unlike home insurance, renters insurance doesn’t cover the actual structure of the building. The insurance required to protect the building is purchased by your landlord or property owner. As a result, renters insurance is usually a great deal cheaper than home insurance.
Ready to make sure you’re covered?
What Our Customers Say
Do I Need Renters Insurance?
There are a lot of expenses that come with moving. Oftentimes, we’re trying our best to cut as many corners as possible. Can we skip out on this? Do we really need that? Unfortunately, insurance is often something that falls by the wayside, especially when renting.
While renters insurance isn’t mandatory by law, landlords or property managers are legally allowed to require you to have it as a condition of your lease. So, in some cases, you may be required to hold renters insurance. In other cases, the choice is completely up to you.
But while you may not be required to hold renters insurance, that doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t need it. While none of us love to dwell on the worst-case scenario, it’s important to be prepared for it.
If you caused an accident, such as a fire, that damaged or destroyed all of your personal belongings, plus the belongings of everyone else living in your building, plus the building itself, would you be financially able to foot the bill?
Can you afford not to purchase renters insurance?
What Does Renters Insurance Cover?
While most policies cover the basics, like your personal belongings and the belongings of others, some renters insurance policies cover incidents that you may not have thought of!
- Personal Property in case of damage or theft to your belongings. Depending on your policy, this may include when items are taken out of your home for storage (up to a certain number of days) or on vacation. It may also include if there is damage to your property while moving from one home to another.
- Liability in case you are legally responsible for damage to the building or the property of others
living in the building.
- Living Expenses to help pay for alternate accommodations if your home or unit is unavailable
due to a covered risk.
- Guest Medical in case someone is injured while in your home.
- Food Spoilage if a power failure results in loss of perishable food items.
There are a number of risks that renters insurance doesn’t usually cover. Some policies may allow you to add some of these risks at an additional cost.
Typical exclusions are:
- Pests and bed bugs
- Floods or water damage caused by natural disasters
- Incidents involving “high risk” dog breeds
- Car damage (covered under car insurance)
- Roommate’s property
You should also be sure to check your policy’s limits for expensive items such as collections, electronics, jewelry, etc.
How Much Renters Insurance Do I Need?
The amount of insurance you’ll need is dependent on how much you own and how much your property is valued at. You can take a “best guess” but it may be more beneficial to you to inventory everything you own and figure out the estimated value.
Make sure you consider your specific needs. Do you live in a house alone or an apartment building with dozens of other renters? If your case is the latter, you’ll want to look into higher liability coverage. An accident caused by you that affects more people is going to cost you more than if it’s solely your property.
Also, be sure to consider your area and whether or not you may want to purchase additional add-ons or supplemental insurance for incidents such as earthquakes or floods.
Overwhelmed? Not sure where to start? G&G Independent Insurance specializes in finding a tailor-made insurance policy for you. We’ll help you understand what you’re getting and find a plan that gives you the best value for your money.
How Much is Renters Insurance?
The cost of your policy will vary depending on several factors. Where you live, how much protection you choose, the type of unit you’re renting, distance from fire stations and hydrants, and more can all affect your rates.
However, because your insurance company isn’t responsible for the entire building, cheap renters insurance is much easier to find than homeowners insurance. For an extremely affordable rate, you can have peace of mind knowing you’re covered in case of disaster.
To find the best rates, we recommend comparing companies that fit your criteria. This can be a tedious and daunting process. But with G&G Independent Insurance, all you have to do is give your information once and we do the rest of the work! With our network of over 50 insurance companies, we’ll provide you with a selection of quotes for policies that meet your specific needs.
Don’t waste time digging through dozens of websites. Let us bring the quotes to you.