Renter’s insurance is something every resident should purchase when renting a house or apartment. This type of insurance offers a combination of coverage, which comes together to protect you against different issues, including:
- Living expenses if a unit is deemed unlivable
- Liability for repairs to another’s property
- Liability coverage should someone be injured on your property
- Personal property coverage should items be damaged or go missing
Not having renter’s insurance leaves you vulnerable to property damage. It also makes you liable for damage to others and their property. Without coverage, you would also have to pay for your own lodgings should your unit become unlivable due to mold, pests, or structural damage.
At Redwood, we want our residents to be fully prepared and covered from risk in a new home. We sometimes get the question, “Do I need renter’s insurance?” Our answer is almost always, “Yes.” If you’re unsure whether or not you should invest in insurance, consider these four reasons to buy.
1. You Own Property or Vehicles
Personal property coverage insures your belongings against damage. Consider the number of items in your household that have meaning and value. Electronics, jewelry, appliances, furniture, clothing, and even your child’s toys all cost money to replace. If your house were robbed or a disaster damaged the property, your belongings could be lost. Without personal property coverage, you’re responsible for replacing these items yourself.
Do I need renter’s insurance? How does it work? Items that are covered by your policy are replaced at the current market value. This fluctuates and means that you will receive compensation based on depreciation or appreciation of the item in question. Not all personal property is covered in every policy, so be direct with your provider and make a list of everything you want covered. An agent will help you understand what can and can’t be covered and why.
Most renter’s insurance covers property inside your vehicle while parked at your rental unit as well. Auto insurance is bundled separately.
2. You Own Expensive or Irreplaceable Collectibles
As mentioned above, not every belonging is evaluated the same. Your insurance company should have a list of exceptions and coverage available for you. For example, some agencies set a specific price on:
- Collectibles (comic books, coins, stamps, sports cards, etc.)
This exception is created for items that may be difficult to evaluate by the current market value. It protects you from losing items that may be considered irreplaceable and receiving nothing in return.
Exceptions may also be made for property owned by visitors. Especially those from other countries whose rate of property evaluation differ from your state.
3. You Don’t Want to Risk Injury Claims From Visitors
It’s not just your own belongings you want to ensure. Liability insurance ensures that any injury or damage that occurs on your property is covered. For example, if your snowblower sucks up a pebble and dings the neighbor’s car or a friend slips on your front step and needs stitches, liability insurance helps protect you.
Like all insurance, liability coverage doesn’t apply to the entirety of the cost accrued by the damage. Your insurance company covers a portion, while you pay the remainder out of pocket. So, choosing the right plan is crucial.
4. Your Building Requires It
Many rental agencies require its residents to purchase renter’s insurance to protect itself and its property. Should an accident occur, and a renter has no coverage, the property owner pays for the repairs until legal action is taken against the renter. A rental agency may also choose to enforce renter’s insurance to keep residents protected from debt, which could deter them from paying rent on time.
Whatever the reason, it’s prudent to check with your property manager before renting to determine if insurance is required.
How Much Renter’s Insurance Coverage Do I Need?
Every home is different, so you may not need as much coverage as a neighbor. Policies fluctuate between carriers, and while the cost is relatively low, around $15 to $30 per month, on average, adds up. Before deciding on the policy for you, take a few precautionary steps, such as:
Call an agent: Shopping around for insurance is an integral step in obtaining renter’s insurance. Not all insurance companies have the same rates, and some may even offer packages where you can bundle auto and home insurance in one.
Consider your budget: The question may not be, do I need renter’s insurance, but how much insurance can I afford? Your budget will play a role in determining the amount of coverage you purchase. Consider all current incoming and outgoing funds and balance your monthly rate against those numbers.
Select a deductible: The deductible is the amount of money you pay out of pocket against the amount your insurance covers. If an item is $1,000, for example, and your deductible is $200, your agency is willing to cover the remaining $800. Be wary of choosing a small deductible because it could mean a higher premium. A large deductible means less coverage following damage.
Take inventory of all belongings: Making a list of your belongings will help your agent determine how much coverage you need based on the value of things you own. If you don’t bring a list, your agent may ask you to write one on the spot to supply a reasonable quote. It’s better to have the information and not need it than to need it and not have it.
In short, the amount of insurance you need is personal and will require a bit of legwork to find the right number. Thankfully, there are plenty of agencies in Indiana to help. Shopping around and reading reviews from past clients will help you weed out agencies who might overcharge so that you can find a winner.
Moving and Rentals
If you’re relocating and worried about moving tasks like insurance, try making a moving checklist. This takes some of the pressure and puts important steps at the forefront of your mind. Considering renting in Indiana? Discover the Redwood Advantage.