Renter’s Insurance: What You Need to Know

by Guest Author on October 30, 2013

Renters Insurance: What is it and what you need to know.

Renter’s insurance is much like homeowner’s insurance in that it covers many of the damages and costs homeowner’s insurance would cover. The difference is that while a homeowner is required to obtain insurance, renters have a choice whether or not they want to make that purchase.

Renter’s insurance covers the renter’s property and legal liability for those injured at the residence. That also means that if there is a fire in your apartment building, renter’s insurance can cover the cost of jewelry, furniture and even your nice plasma screen TV.

How many people have renter’s insurance?

Even though for homeowners insurance is like water to a fish, many renters do not have renters insurance. In fact, only about a third of American renters have insurance. According to an ABC News article, the reason seems to be around the misconception of cost. A survey conducted by found that 60 percent of people believed that renter’s insurance cost more than $250 a year. The same study conducted that 21 percent of the participants guessed renter’s insurance costs more than a $1000. Another reason only about 34% of renters has renters insurance is because they think they are covered by their landlord’s insurance policy.

The truth is that your landlord’s policy does not cover your personal property; your landlord only insures the building or the house.

What are the benefits?

One of the benefits of having renter’s insurance is that you’re protected at a very low price! Averaging at about $185 a year, renter’s insurance is a lot cheaper than most people think. Renter’s policy may include anything from a fire, windstorm, smoke, to vandalism, theft and water damage. At only about $15 a month, renter’s insurance covers the costs of most of your personal belongings.

Take a moment and think of what you own, that means your clothes, jewelry, technology and other significant possessions. The cost of everything is most likely far more than $185. Now, imagine coming home to an empty apartment or house, realizing that you have been robbed. Terrible feeling that could have been averted even though it’s easy to disregard as one of those things that “will never happen to me,” it happens. Renter’s insurance is just as important as homeowner’s insurance, car insurance and insurance on anything that is of value and significance to you.

Types of renter’s insurance

Much like homeowners’ insurance, there are different levels of policies for renters’ insurance. They vary based on whom you decide to buy from and where you live. The first type is the standard, basic policy which offers coverage based on the possible hazards you listed.

The second type of renter’s insurance is the broad type. A little further expanded than the standard one, the broad type provides coverage on items that may have been temporarily removed from the residence. This happens to be the most common type of insurance renters purchase.

The third type of insurance is the comprehensive policy. This policy covers everything from furs, fine arts, cash and even food spoilage.

Talk with your agent

Keep in mind that policies differ from company to company. Talk with your insurance agent and figure out the best policy for you. It helps you and the insurance companies if you keep an inventory of your belongings.

Stephanie Wilmsmeyer is a State Farm Agent who educates and provides renter’s insurance in Columbia, Mo. For more information, you can visit her Google+ page.

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