We all want our home to feel safe. We want to know that after we’ve locked the door and gone to work or on vacation that our belongings will still be intact when we come back home. It’s a nasty shock to return from a fun weekend away to find your home in virtual ruin. Whether it was a burst pipe or a burglar who turned your home upside down, you’ll still come back to the same conclusion: I should have bought renters insurance. Renters insurance covers your furniture, gadgets and clothing inside your rental, but does it cover the items you store in the shed out back?
Renters Insurance and Your Bicycle
Insurance helps to protect us from unforeseen events. There’s no one who has woken up one morning knowing they were going to be robbed or involved in an accident that day. Unless it was a premeditated plan of course, but that’s an article for another day. For our purposes, we’re going to focus on those who like Game of Thrones character Jon Snow, knew nothing.
According to the security company Safe Guard the World, renters are just as likely as homeowners to be the victims of property crime. If that weren’t enough, it’s estimated that home burglaries happen every 13 seconds. Take a break for a minute and count to 13—someone’s home has just been burglarized. But it’s not only the house in the cul-de-sac getting broken into, it’s the shed in the backyard, too.
If we’re renting a house in a residential neighborhood and it was the garden shed in the backyard the thieves targeted, will our renters insurance cover the loss? Yes and no. As discussed in past articles, what our insurance company is willing to cover is based on what is (and isn’t) explicitly stated in our insurance contract. This is why insurance advice blogs all over the internet tell you to read your contract before you signed on the dotted line.
For the most part, renters insurance policies DO cover items that were stolen, vandalized or damaged in your garage or the garden shed. Let’s say you keep your bicycle in the garden shed because your Homeowner’s Association doesn’t allow for “storage” in the front yard. Figuring no one would be interested in going into a shed, you didn’t bother locking the shed door. But you also didn’t remember the books, stereo equipment or electric tools you also store in the shed. One day an opportunist tried their luck and checked the shed door to find it unlocked. They made off with your bicycle, tools and stereo equipment, but not before trashing the books, leaving their pages strewn across the floor.
Is Renters Insurance the Same as Homeowners Insurance?
Renters and homeowners insurance are the same in that they both cover the financial damages and loss of your personal effects. However, homeowners insurance also covers structural damage to the home. As a renter, your landlord’s insurance covers any structural damage done to the property. There’s another difference between renters and homeowners insurance: only one-third of renters have renters insurance compared to 95 percent of people who have homeowners insurance. Why is there such a huge discrepancy in the numbers? Most homeowners have had to take out a home loan from the mortgage company they are asking for a loan. To get the loan, prospective homeowners are required to get a homeowners insurance policy. While landlords are starting to make renters insurance mandatory, it still isn’t widespread. Because it’s not mandatory, renters insurance isn’t seen as necessary, even though it totally is.
Don’t take chances with your stuff. Renters insurance protects after a thief strikes. Click here to get your free quote at CoverHound.