Renters insurance cannot be ignored, whether you’re a single millennial living on your own, a family of three or a retiree downsizing.

Brightway’s Agents regularly talk with clients who rent, and find there’s a lot of misunderstanding about insurance. Some don’t understand why they need it. Some hear the word “insurance” and immediately think of just another expense. But there are times when a client gives us a chance to explain why getting Renters insurance is a smart move. When we have that conversation, these are the five things renters need to know.

 

1. Your landlord’s insurance doesn’t cover your possessions

You might think your landlord’s insurance policy would provide all the coverage needed in case of a catastrophic event. Actually, your landlord’s policy only covers what the landlord owns.

Say, for instance, a fire burns your rental property to the ground. Your landlord’s policy would pay to rebuild the structure and common areas. Plus, it would replace permanent items such as major appliances. It also may reimburse the landlord for any rental money not earned while the property is unoccupied.

But your landlord’s policy would not cover your possessions. Anything you own—furniture, clothing, electronics and more—is your responsibility. That brings me to my next point.

 

2. You might have more at risk than you think

Consider how much it would cost to replace your phone, laptop, television, furniture and clothing. The bill could easily top $5,000.

A Renters policy would make you whole again if those possessions were stolen, damaged or destroyed. You’d pay a share of the total cost in the form of a deductible (typically a few hundred dollars). The insurance company would pay the rest.

A policy covers fire, flooding and theft. It also may cover smoke damage, electrical surges and even something such as water damage caused by a neighbor’s bathtub overflowing.

Side note: We recommend clients photograph and inventory their possessions, then price them online or in a store. They often are surprised by the monetary value of all they own. Check out iii.org for more tips.

 

3. A Renters policy offers personal protection for a variety of situations

Say you throw a party in your apartment. It starts small but quickly grows as your friends invite their friends, and so on. Someone you don’t even know slips on a spill in your kitchen floor and ends in the hospital.

That would bring the party to an end and almost certainly put you at risk of a lawsuit. Once again, your landlord’s insurance wouldn’t provide any coverage—and you might have pricey legal and settlement costs. A Renters policy does cover those, however, through Personal Liability coverage.

Aside from Personal Liability, most carriers offer options to help you customize a policy to specific needs and concerns. These might include Animal Liability (useful if your dog bites someone or destroys your landlord’s property), Identity Theft Protection and Extra Personal Property Protection for very expensive items.

 

4. Renters coverage is affordable

According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average national cost for Renters insurance is $179*. That’s 49 cents a day for all that security and peace of mind.

Buying a Renters policy from the same company that insures your car might help you save on your Auto insurance. Many insurance companies offer generous discounts for having multiple policies with them.

 

5. Getting Renters insurance is easier than ever

You’re only a few clicks away from buying Renters insurance online from a range of quality providers. However, it might be worth your while to check with an Insurance Agent.

Independent Agents typically represent multiple insurance companies and can match your needs and budget with the company that’s the best fit. An Agent also can work with you to customize a policy to suit very specific needs, and make sure you’re getting all the discounts you’re eligible to receive. If you don’t have a Brightway Agent, click here and enter your zip code to find the closest Agency near you.

However you choose to do it, getting Renters insurance is a smart move.