If you rent your home and apartment and don’t currently have Renters insurance, you’re not alone. Statistics I’ve seen indicate that only one out of every two or three people who rent buy this coverage. In 2010 when the Regency Park apartment building caught on fire in Bemidji, a client informed me that less than five of the tenants in the building had Renters insurance at the time of the fire.
So, why bother with Renters insurance? Do I really need this extra expense, especially if most other people aren’t buying it either? Here are some things to consider:
First, understand that your landlord’s insurance isn’t going to cover your stuff. If your building burns down, its insurance will cover the damage to the structure, but it won’t cover your personal property in most situations. So, if you don’t buy your own insurance, you are totally unprotected.
Second, if a fire or other major calamity occurred, the cost to replace all your stuff adds up quicker than you might guess. And think beyond your computer, TV, phone, tablet and furniture. How much would it cost just to replace every item of clothing that you own? Now how about all your other miscellaneous household items, from linens and blankets to pots and pans to your DVD collection or hobby gear? If you talk to someone who has lost everything in fire, they will be quick to tell you that replacing everything was a much larger expense than they would have imagined.
Thirdly, what if you accidentally caused damage to the building where you live? Renters insurance covers more than just your things; it also covers your personal liability. Let’s say you accidentally left a candle burning or a space heater running too close to flammables and a fire started. Or you accidentally flipped off the furnace switch before leaving on a short trip and came back to frozen pipes and water damage. In either of these scenarios, your landlord’s insurance will likely cover the damage to the building – but then the insurance company may might well turn back around and sue you for the entire cost of repairs, since it was your fault. The liability coverage provided by a Renters policy definitely adds peace of mind.
Finally, the cost to buy Renters insurance is less than you think. Most people can buy a starter policy for no more than $10 - $15 a month. And if you bundle Auto and Renters insurance together, your cost will often be even less. In some cases, the discount for bundling that gets added to your Auto insurance can actually be more than the cost of the Renters policy, in affect making your Renters insurance free!
Given its inexpensive cost and all the protection that it provides you, Renters insurance is definitely a great value worth adding. And coverage is easy to get; just call the agent who handles your Auto insurance and I’m sure they will be happy to help. Or call us if we can be of assistance.
Ken Cobb is owner of Pine Country Insurance and has been active in the insurance industry for over 15 years. Meet Ken.
Coverage descriptions found in this blog are summaries provided for general educational purposes and cannot fully detail the terms, conditions, limitations or exclusions of a specific insurance policy. Please read your policy carefully.