I truly believe that renters insurance is the best bang for your buck. On average renters insurance usually runs between $20-$25/mo and covers two main things:
1. your personal property
2. the unintentional actions of you, your family members and your pets.
COVERAGE #1: PERSONAL PROPERTY
Personal property is all of your “stuff.” This is anything you would take with you if you moved.
In the event you have a loss and the “unexpected” happens, renters insurance will reimburse you for lost or damaged items. If the loss makes your home unlivable, renters insurance will even pay the additional cost of hotel, meals and related expenses.
Most renters don’t think about renters insurance because they don’t own the property. Your landlord probably carries an insurance policy, but it probably won’t cover any of your personal property if a loss occurs. So, let’s say you get home and you see there has been a fire. The landlord’s insurance policy usually will cover the building, but who replaces your furniture, clothing, TVs, computers, kitchen items, …etc? This is where renters insurance comes into play.
Here are some of the types of losses for which your personal property is covered:
– Smoke (if sudden and accidental)
– Sudden and accidental burst of water/steam from plumbing, heating or air conditioning system, or household appliance
– Falling objects (like a tree falling on your roof and damaging your personal belongings)
– Collapse of dwelling
– Vehicles (crashing into your house and damaging your personal belongings)
– Riot or civil commotion
– Aircraft (falling on your home and damaging your personal belongings)
The best thing about renters insurance is that it provides you with coverage for your personal property ALL OVER THE WORLD. So, you could be on vacation, have your suitcase stolen, and you are still covered!
COVERAGE #2: PERSONAL LIABILITY
Renters Insurance gives you and your family (living with you) 24 hour-a-day coverage against claims caused by almost any unintentional act. This does not mean you can go punch someone in the face and have your renters policy cover you if that person decides to sue you. The acts that are covered are UNINTENTIONAL.
Here’s an example…
Let’s say you are in the grocery store zoning out looking at the 100+ overwhelming cereal options. Your mind starts to wander and you don’t see the 90 year old woman standing in front of you scoping out the high fiber cereals. Before you know it, you’ve bumped into her with your cart and she ends up falling and breaking a hip. You will most likely need to pay for her medical bills, surgery and in-home care. This is where renters insurance can save the day.
But, this coverage is not only for humans, it also covers your pets. I personally have an 80 pound overzealous pit bull that LOVES to jump on people to say hello. If she was to run out my front door and jump on my neighbor’s 10 year old, she would probably knock him over. What would happen if this 10 year old fell back and hit his head on the pavement? You guessed it….I’d be responsible and this is another example of how renters insurance would be such a great thing to have.
As with personal property, you are covered all over the world regarding personal liability. So, I could be at the dog park, on vacation or in China and my unintentional actions (including the unintentional acts of my family and my pets) would be covered.
Renters Insurance is a no brainer! It is so inexpensive for the extent of coverage the policy provides.
On a side note, if you have specific items such as jewelry, furs or fine arts, they may not be fully covered by a basic renters policy. Be sure to discuss these items with your insurance agent as you may want to look into extending your coverage through a personal articles floater.