While you don’t need to insure your apartment as a renter, you’ll still need to cover your personal belongings. This is where renter’s insurance comes in. More and more management companies are recommending—or even requiring—that their residents purchase renter’s insurance.
While it might seem like an unnecessary expense, the benefits of renter’s insurance actually add up quickly. In the end, it’s a wise investment that can protect you from incurring expensive out-of-pocket costs.
Benefits of Having Renter’s Insurance
Renter’s insurance covers the personal belongings you keep in your apartment. This includes furniture, clothing, electronics, books, art and much more. If these items are damaged due to an issue in your apartment or your building, renter’s insurance can pay to replace it.
Renter’s insurance also provides liability coverage, which means you will be protected if you happen to make a mistake that causes damage to the building or another resident’s belongings. Here are the key benefits of having renter’s insurance.
1. It provides affordable financial protection.
Most renter’s insurance policies are very reasonably priced—usually less than $200 for the entire year. Your renter’s insurance policy will provide financial protection if your personal items are damaged. You may be surprised how much your belongings are worth when they’re added up.
2. It protects you against different types of accidents or damage.
The average renter’s insurance policy provides coverage for a variety of accidents. These usually include weather damage, fire, theft, vandalism, falling objects, and much more. While your property management company is responsible for repairing an apartment if it becomes damaged due to fire, tornadoes, hail or rain and snow damage, they won’t pay to replace your belongings or other associated costs.
3. It provides liability protection.
Accidents happen. Unfortunately, you are on the hook financially for any repairs or replacement cost if your actions lead to an accident that damages the building or a neighbor’s property or if a guest is injured while visiting your apartment. Renter’s insurance provides liability coverage for these scenarios and more.
4. It works whether you are physically in your apartment or not.
Renter’s insurance protects all of your personal belongings, regardless of whether or not you are in the apartment at the time the damage happens. This means that if your belongings are damaged while you are at work, out socializing or away on vacation, renter’s insurance can help.
What Does Renter’s Insurance Cover?
The exact details of renter’s insurance policies vary by company. However, most renter’s insurance policies cover a wide range of property damage, including theft, vandalism, weather-related damage, fire and water damage, damage from falling objects and more. If your apartment becomes unlivable due to the damage, renter’s insurance can even cover relocation expenses. These policies also provide liability coverage.
However, there are some things that renter’s insurance does not cover. Most renter’s insurance does not cover damage that happens as a result of floods and earthquakes. Additionally, these policies won’t cover intentional damage or damage as a result of negligence. It also won’t cover regular wear and tear to your apartment that happens over time.
Is Renter’s Insurance Required?
Renter’s insurance is not required by law, but property management companies and private landlords are within their rights to require it before allowing you to sign a lease. A renter’s insurance requirement is usually stated in a lease agreement.
Think about it like this. Many people install a security camera inside their apartment, “just in case.” Renter’s insurance offers similar peace of mind. Even if it is not required by your landlord or management company, it’s generally a good idea to have at least some form of coverage to protect yourself financially. After all, your landlord’s insurance only covers repairs to your apartment unit itself and does not cover any damage to your personal property.
Pros and Cons of Renter’s Insurance
- It’s inexpensive. The average cost of renters insurance is just $14 a month.
- You can bundle renter’s insurance with your other policies and save money.
- It protects you from damages caused by other residents, such as water damage from an overflowing tub or smoke damage from a fire in another unit.
- It can help you bounce back relatively quickly from a catastrophic event. You won’t have to put your life on hold while you figure out where you’re going to live and how to pay for it.
- To get the true benefits of renter’s insurance, you’ll need to buy additional coverage for collectibles, one-of-a-kind or highly expensive valuables.
- A number of natural disasters are not covered, including flooding, earthquakes and sinkholes.
- “Replacement value” policies can be expensive. To save money, opt for “actual cash value,” which reimburses you for each item’s depreciated value.
- If you have a low credit score, you could pay more for renter’s insurance.
- Reimbursements for temporary living expenses might have a dollar cap or time limit.
Choose Southern Management for Peace of Mind
All in all, the benefits of renter’s insurance outweigh any possible disadvantages. With a good renter’s insurance policy, you can feel confident knowing your belongings will be protected in the event of an emergency. Looking for a rental apartment in the Baltimore or Washington, D.C. metro areas? Southern Management can help!