We have all heard on the radio, or seen on the news, about a fire that started in an apartment building. Whether or not the building was struck by lightning, or the tenant in #109 had a bad mishap with candles, it’s a life threatening, devastating disaster! Not just for the tenant who’s home had the most damage, but for all other tenants who live there. Thankfully, everyone had renters insurance, right? In reality, renter’s insurance becomes ‘hindsight 20/20’ for the majority.

When you think about insurance, the ones that come to mind are most likely car insurance and home owners insurance. Reason being, that it is required by law or the bank that you have these 2 insurances in order to purchase a vehicle or house. The one insurance that gets little attention is renter’s insurance, which is not required, even though it’s just as important. Most think that since the landlord is required to have property insurance, they don’t need renters insurance. But, the landlord’s insurance is meant to cover the landlord’s property (The building, the grounds, etc). If a fire started because of lightening, the landlord’s insurance covers the landlord’s property. On the other hand, if a tenant is responsible for fire, guess who the landlord’s property insurance is going after?

Now consider that you lived in that apartment complex when the fire broke out. Due the amount of damage, you are forced to relocate. Do you have a backup plan? Are you going to stay with friends or family? You’ve lost everything! Clothing, furniture, personal items, food, it’s all gone! Renter’s insurance can be there to cover your belongings, and liability in case of disaster.

Somethings to know about renters insurance…
-It is AFFORDABLE: Some plans start as low as $10 a month, and provide a large amount of coverage! (If you have a large amount of expensive property you can always increase coverage accordingly).
-It will replace your belongings at the current market value not depreciated value of your actual items.
-Most Renters Insurance packages include liability protection, which covers injury to another (non resident) person on your property. If someone is injured and they go to the hospital, your insurance will include medical payment coverage, as well as legal fees (if necessary)! It will also help if you are responsible for the fire/flooding/etc.
-It is offered by most insurance providers. Talk with your current agent and see if you can save money by bundling your renters and car insurance together.

To determine how much coverage you need, start by going through each room and filling out a Personal Property Inventory Checklist. Determine how much each of your possessions would cost to replace, add them up, and that will give you an idea of how much coverage you need. If you have unique or especially important items take photos and keep all of this information in a safe deposit box or fireproof safe. This will make an insurance claim that much easier to file.

There are many situations that can happen in life where renters insurance is there to protect you and your possessions. Even though it is not legally required, it’s just as necessary as any other form of insurance. You may never need to use it, but it’s a great comfort knowing you and your valuables are protected, especially at $10 a month. Talk to your local insurance agent and find the plan that fits for you!

Have you experienced the need for renters insurance? Tell us your stories below.

Also check out our other Tips for Renters and find tips on living safely and much more.