5 Things You Need To Know About Renters Insurance

Apartment living can be great! You have flexibility in where you life. If you don't like your apartment, you're not stuck with a 30-year mortgage. You never have to mow the lawn or trim the hedges. But what happens when your roommate gets an elephant, there's an accident, natural disaster or other event that destroys your stuff?

You don't need to insure the building because it's not yours. But what about all of your stuff? According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, renters insurance costs, on average, only between $15 to $30 dollars a month. This is less than many people spend on coffee each month!

Is it worth the money and effort to find renters insurance? Your landlord has insurance, but that's to protect the building, not your stuff. Here's the basic info you need to know to make that decision for yourself.

Your Have More Than You Think

You may not think that you have all that much stuff. Your apartment may not even that big, right? But if the worst should happen and it was all destroyed, could you replace it all? The television(s), your computers, the couch, recliner, dining table, coffee table, bed, mattress, dressers, etc.

Renters insurance provides a safety net that can help you replace your stuff in the event of a fire or theft. 

You Can Replace Your Things

Make sure you know what kind of coverage you have before signing on the dotted line. If your policy covers Actual Value that means that the giant-screen TV that you dropped $1,600 on two years ago might only be worth $400 now. Actual value accounts for depreciation -  which is close to the price you could actually get for that item if you were to sell it today.

Full Replacement coverage will pay out according to what it would cost to purchase a similar model new. The TV that you paid $1,600 for two years ago might be replaceable for $800.

Either way, you are able to replace your things.

Make Changes Thanks To Flexibility and Choice

Like nearly all insurance policies, your renters insurance policy can be adjusted to fit your situation. You can choose the amount of coverage based on how much stuff you own. Small things like smoke alarms and building security can also be factored in to help bring those premiums down. There are some factors that you can't control like the neighborhood that surrounds your place.

Maybe you don't feel that you need full coverage to replace everything but just want a little cushion should something happen. You can build a policy with low premiums to do just that.

Your Clumsy Friends Are Covered

Just like with owning a home, you can't be responsible for the people who are visiting your place. Renters insurance includes liability coverage. This helps cover you in case someone stopping by has an accident or if your tub overflows and ruins the apartment below you.

This coverage alone makes renters insurance a smart move.

Bundling Means Even More Savings

Chances are you already have auto insurance. Just like getting discounts for having multiple cars, you can probably save on that renters insurance if you package it together with your auto policy.

Most of the time you can get renters insurance for $10-30 per month on its own. In some cases, your bundled savings can almost negate the cost of premiums altogether. It pays to shop around when looking for a policy, but start with the company that you already know and you may find your best deal.

Top 5 Renters Insurance Companies

  • Allstate – A consistent player in the renters insurance market. Allstate has an online tool that lets you store pictures of your belongings which makes the claims process much easier.
  • Liberty Mutual – Online tools like the "Renters Coverage Calculator" and the online quote tool make Liberty Mutual one to look at when you're pricing out renters insurance.
  • State Farm – Slightly lower premiums and more options like different deductible choices make State Farm a consistent player. Online resources along with 24-claims service are also nice.
  • Farmers – Very competitive on price, but they do not have the best online tools. Farmers is definitely worth taking a look at when you shop around, you may hit a savings jackpot.

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