After seven years of being a homeowner, I’m back to being a renter. I’ve sold my house, moved across the country, and now live in an apartment (although I can’t complain; the apartment isn’t that much smaller than my house was). One of the first orders of business in my new life as a renter is to purchase renter’s insurance.
Why Do You Need Renter’s Insurance?
Many people think that renter’s insurance is unnecessary because the landlord has his or her own insurance. While this is true, the reality is that the landlord’s insurance is for the property itself, not your things. So, while the landlord can pay to have the apartment building or home rebuilt, the landlord’s insurance won’t cover the items you have in your rental.
Renter’s insurance is about protecting your belongings in the event that something happens to your rental unit. When my husband and I were first married, we had renter’s insurance, even though we didn’t have a whole lot of items of value. At the time, it cost about six dollars a month, and it covered what we needed it to.
Now that we have a lot more of value, though, renter’s insurance is a definite must. If something happens to the TV, our computers, or our furniture, those items would cost thousands of dollars to replace, and they wouldn’t be easy to replace. Our cost will probably be more now that it was when we first married, but it will still be worth it to have the peace of mind that comes with knowing we can replace our items if something unexpected happens to the apartment.
In some cases, getting renter’s insurance isn’t an option — it’s a requirement. Some landlords require renter’s insurance as part of the agreement, so you might have to get it anyway.
How to Get Renter’s Insurance
Just like any other insurance, it’s possible to get renter’s insurance with the help of an insurance agent. First of all, though, go through your belongings and figure out how much it would cost to replace them. This will give you a rough idea of how much coverage to get. Then, you can approach an insurance agent about coverage.
We just went to our current agent, and worked on getting renter’s insurance coverage. That way, we still get our discount for having auto insurance and life insurance from the same company as our renter’s insurance. Basically, we are getting renter’s insurance to replace our homeowner’s insurance.
The nice thing about getting renter’s insurance with the same company that you have your other coverage is that you can get a discount on all of your other policies. We maintain our “tri-line” discount, since we have life and auto already, and we are getting renter’s insurance now that we no longer need homeowner’s insurance.
Renter’s insurance can provide good peace of mind, while protecting your assets. You might not think you have anything of value in your rental unit, but once you go through and add up the cost to replace everything, you might be surprised to discover how helpful renter’s insurance can be.