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Who needs renters insurance?

For Americans who don't own a home and seemingly invincible young people everywhere, your rent is probably where you spend a large portion of your budget. While you don't pay homeowner's insurance as a renter, you might be under the false impression that your landlord's insurance will cover the cost if anything were to happen to your possessions.

Ask not what you can do for renters insurance, but what renters insurance can do for you.

Whether its theft, a fire or a sharknado, having renters insurance to cover your personal things if they are stolen or destroyed can provide peace of mind and financial stability.

In addition to helping replace your old things, renters insurance can cover the cost of legal fees if someone gets injured in your apartment and they decide to sue you.

Cost of renters insurance

What might surprise many is the affordable price of renters insurance. For a basic policy that will cover most or all of your belongings or help you replace them, the annual cost totals only a few hundred dollars a year, depending on where you live. How much you will pay for renters insurance will also depend on how much coverage you think you need when you add up how much you think all of your belongings are worth.

Amount of coverage you need

Some renters believe they don't need insurance because they don't think anything could possibly happen to their apartment or they are careful about damage. However, the unexpected does happen and you could find yourself in serious trouble if you don't protect your possessions. If you believe your assets aren't valuable, think again. Once you put together about all the things you own - from laptops and TVs to jewelry, furniture and clothing, these items can really add up in value. If you can't afford to buy back all of your possessions if they become lost, it is wise to get renters insurance.

What is covered

Basic policies will usually cover:

  • Property damaged by fire and wind

  • Theft

  • Moving or living expenses if you have to leave your apartment while it's under repair

  • Personal liability costs if someone sues you after getting hurt at your apartment

  • Damage to another person's property while they are at your place

  • While all of these instances are covered by renters insurance, other events such as flooding often are not. Depending on your financial situation and risk of flood, you may want to consider adding flood insurance to protect your property.

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