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Renter’s Insurance

Finding the perfect apartment and getting all your stuff moved in may be overwhelming. However, you never want to forget to sign up for renter’s insurance. Many don’t even realize that they need to. The sad truth is that many renters find out way too late that their landlord’s insurance doesn’t cover their personal belongings.

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What is renter’s insurance?

The easiest way to define renter’s insurance is that its like homeowner’s insurance, except it doesn’t cover the actual structure. If you’re still a little confused, think about it like this. If it were possible to take your rental unit and turn it upside down, renter’s insurance would cover everything that falls out of it. Any objects that would stay fixed are considered part of the home or apartment structure.

What will renter’s insurance cover?

At its most basic level, renter’s insurance has two areas of coverage. These include your contents and personal liability.

  • Personal Contents: This insurance coverage is for items like your clothes, electronics, and furniture. Most policies will cover up to $20,000 worth of items. However, if you determine that your contents are worth more than this amount, you can always opt for increasing your maximum coverage limit.
  • Personal Liability: This type of insurance protects your financial standing in the case of a lawsuit. Most policies will cover both settlement and defense costs up to $100,000. Again, if you feel that you need a higher maximum amount of coverage, you can increase your policy limits. As with most types of insurance, you can always opt for add-ons to the basic coverage. These add-ons can work to increase maximum coverage amounts and cover other aspects of damage or injury that may occur. Some of the most common add-ons for a renter’s insurance policy include:
  • Medical Bills: This type of liability can be added to your policy to cover small injuries that visitors to your property may experience. The coverage amount usually ranges from $1,000 to $5,000.
  • Loss Of Use: If you find yourself unable to live in your apartment due to a covered claim, loss of use insurance will provide you with money to temporarily live somewhere else.
  • Replacement Cost of Contents: Typical renter’s insurance policies will pay for your damaged personal belongings. However, they will take depreciation and age into consideration when paying you. Replacement cost coverage allows you to receive the full price for your damaged item without regard for its age or depreciation.
  • Personal Electronics and Computers: Most basic renter’s insurance policies will cover personal electronic damages up to a maximum of $1,000 to $2,000. If you have more money invested in your electronics and computers, you can add additional coverage to increase the maximum payout amount.
  • Cyber Insurance: Many of renter’s insurance providers offer cyber insurance as a type of add-on to your policy. Cyber insurance covers the cost of online fraud attacks, online extortion, and cyberbullying.
  • Valuable Items: If you have prized family valuables like expensive jewelry or firearms, you may want to add additional coverage for those items separately. Renters insurance will help ensure that the entire cost of these items is covered if they’re damaged. If you have many valuable items, your basic renter’s insurance policy will likely have a maximum well-below the total damage amount you incur.
  • Water Damage: While your landlord’s insurance may cover damage to the physical components due to water damage, but your items aren’t covered. By adding this add-on to your renter’s insurance policy, you can ensure that all of your items are covered if they are damaged or destroyed due to water.

Do you have to purchase renter’s insurance?

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In most cases, purchasing a renter’s insurance policy is not mandatory. However, the apartment owner may require you to have an active policy to live in their unit. As you learned above, this coverage is an essential measure to put into place to ensure that your personal belongings and financial well-being stay intact in the event of a disaster or injury.

How much does renter’s insurance cost on average?

The total cost of your renter’s insurance annual premium will highly depend on several factors. These include your coverage level, the specialized add-ons you have on your policy, and even your geographical location. A basic renter’s insurance policy will run you about $180 per year. If you opt for putting add-ons onto your policy to increase your coverage limit, you can expect to pay anywhere between $200 and $300 annually. The best way to get an estimate for a policy that meets your individual needs is to contact an insurance provider.

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