Renting is at an all time high. According to a recent report from Apartments.com, 60 percent of respondents prefer renting to buying. Of those who are current homeowners, 43 percent are either switching back to renting or entering the market for the first time.
For those who haven’t rented a home or apartment in the past, or those who are getting back into the game, the thought of rental insurance may be looked at as just another unnecessary expense. After all, your landlord has insurance, right?
The person you hand your monthly rent check to most likely has an insurance policy that covers the building you live in, however it provides nothing for any loss or damage to your belongings. No, the stuff you own isn’t covered. That’s what rental insurance is for.
Protecting Your Assets
Your possessions cost money. Do some quick addition in your head, how much would it cost to replace your television, furniture, tools, computers, etc? Like most people, you probably don’t have the cash on hand to replace half of your possessions if they were lost to:
* Fire or lightning
* Vandalism or malicious mischief
* Damage by glass or safety-glazing material that is part of a building
* Water-related damage from home utilities
* Electrical surge damage
* And many other natural and man-made disasters.
If you have renter’s insurance, you receive money to compensate you for your loss. Depending on how your policy is written you either are paid for either the actual cash value of the items you lost, or what they were worth at the time of the loss, or the cost of replacing each item with no depreciation figured in. Either way makes sense financially.
What makes renter’s insurance even more lucrative is the fact that most policies will also provide money for you if you are displaced due to damage that is covered. Typically, you receive between 30 to 40 percent of your policy’s value so for a $100,000 policy, you could receive $30,000 to help you while you are displaced.
Most importantly, renter’s insurance covers you in the event you are involved in a lawsuit where someone is hurt in your residence. Whether you rent a house, condo or apartment, defending yourself against a liability lawsuit can take a big toll on your bank account and without insurance, losing a case can be even more damaging.
Jeff Orloff is a blogger for the Renters Insurance Blog (wwww.renterinsurance.org).