Whether you are renting an apartment, a duplex, or a house: It’s a wise decision to obtain renter’s insurance, even if the landlord doesn’t require you to have it. Not only are rental homes just as likely to sustain fire and theft losses as their ‘owned’ counterparts, but many tenants are under the mistaken impression that their landlord’s insurance will pay for losses to their personal property. It won’t!
That’s just one reason why it is smart to purchase a renters insurance policy. But there are more common misconceptions that keep tenants from obtaining this important protection:
How Does Renters Insurance Work
1. Isn’t it the landlord’s responsibility to insure the property I rent?
Yes, it is. The owner of the building is responsible for insuring the structure. That means, if the house burned down, the landlord’s insurance would pay the cost to rebuild the house.
The landlord’s insurance would not pay for your destroyed personal property, nor for your cost of temporarily moving to another location while repairs are being made to your damaged home or apartment. In case of a loss, you either have renter’s insurance to replace your belongings – or pay out of your own pocket.
2. I don’t have much stuff, so it’s probably not worth insuring it.
Well, maybe you don’t have all that much stuff. And, maybe the stuff that you own really isn’t worth much. But quite possibly, you may own more than you are thinking of right now. A computer? A TV? An iPod? A camera? Clothes? Dishes? Towels? If you had to replace everything in your household at once, what would your total replacement cost be? We venture to guess that it would be thousands of dollars. Do you have that kind of cash in your emergency fund for just such a situation?
(And renter’s insurance doesn’t only protect your stuff while it’s at your home. It also covers your belongings away from home – say for example, the golf clubs in your car, or the skis that you left outside the lodge while you had lunch only to find that they have mysteriously disappeared upon your return.)
3. I don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars for insurance, “just in case”.
We absolutely understand. That said, at approximately $150 per year (depending on the location of your home, and the extent of your personal property) renter’s insurance is very affordable and it offers an amazing value for your insurance dollar: Not only does it provide $35,000 (or more) coverage for your belongings, but also includes liability coverage in case you cause injury or property damage to others. This could amount to several hundred thousand dollars (read on to Myth #4.)
Not least, renter’s insurance will give you a considerable discount on your auto insurance, and thereby virtually pay for itself.
4. I really don’t feel that I need to go through all this insurance trouble, just for my stuff.
Well, it’s not just for your stuff. In fact, the “stuff” is the smallest part of your renter’s insurance. More important (and more substantial) is the liability protection that a renter’s policy provides. For example, if you negligently left the water running in your 4th-floor apartment as you left for work, renter’s insurance would pay for the water damage to your neighbors’ personal property! The liability protection also follows you away from your home. So, if you injure a fellow skier while “hot-dogging” down the ski slope, your renter’s policy will defend you in court and pay (up to the liability limits on your policy) any judgment against you for your negligence.
5. I just don’t have the time to shop for insurance.
We do! As independent agents, we do the shopping for you! And, since we don’t work for an insurance company but for our customers, you can rely on us to give you a true comparison of the best rates. We are real people, with a ‘real’ insurance agency located in Everett, WA. Get started with a free, no-obligation quote on renter’s insurance.