Insurance & Real Estate Law

Renters Insurance Coverage Now Could Save You a Massive Headache Later

The first thing people think about when they rent a home is getting renters insurance to protect their belongings, right? No, not really. If you’re a renter, you may be wondering how much is renters insurance — most policies will cost you about $20 a month. But if your computer is stolen, for example, it’ll cost you much more than $20 to replace it. And there are other considerations that should help you rethink your decision to skip renters insurance. Here are a few.

Your belongings are covered

This one might seem somewhat obvious: If someone breaks into your home and steals your personal property (laptop, cell phone, jewelry, clothing, etc.), you can’t expect your landlord to help you replace those items. You’ll have to pay to replace your belongings. If you’re living paycheck to paycheck as it is, you may have trouble replacing those belongings without creating a financial crisis.

Having a renter’s insurance policy in place could save your bacon, however, and in most cases, your personal property would also be covered if it were damaged by lightning, fire, vandalism, and other natural disasters. There are state-by-state exceptions: California renters, for instance, are not covered for damages from an earthquake, and Florida tenants are not covered for damages from a natural flood. Earthquake and flood coverage both usually require a separate policy. Your policy will spell out in detail which natural disasters are covered. Moral of the story: If you don’t want to replace everything that could be stolen or be ruined by Mother Nature at retail price, you should get renters insurance.

Your policy covers your stuff even when it’s not in your home

Any valuables you keep in your car or that you bring with you, such as on vacation, are covered by most policies. Renters insurance will reimburse you the same amount whether your laptop is stolen from inside your home or while left unattended at your favorite Starbucks; but whether your insurance pays what your property is worth or the cost to replace it depends on your policy.