money·3 min read

Here’s What You Need to Know About Renter’s Insurance

Two renters getting the keys to new apartment from leasing agent
Design: theSkimm | Photo: Getty Images
Mar 25, 2022

Even if it's not required by your landlord, renters insurance could help cover you if something happens to the things you own. Think: Your apartment is broken into and your laptop is stolen. Or your kitchen catches fire and your dishes need to be replaced.

Psst…Your landlord has insurance, too. But that policy covers what you don’t own. (Read: the home and property itself.) Not your belongings. Enter: Renters insurance. 

Okay, but…do I really need renters insurance?

So renters insurance covers three things: the things you own, the things you’re responsible for, and events that could force you to move (like a fire or a broken pipe). 

It could help you replace broken personal items or protect you from having to shell out a ton of cash to temporarily live somewhere else while damage is repaired. It can also cover theft or injuries to others while in your home. 

The good news? Coverage is relatively inexpensive.

All right, break it down for me. How much is renters insurance?

To give you an idea: Renters insurance cost an average of $179 per year in 2018, according to the Insurance Information Institute. That breaks down to an average of about $14.92 per month. 

Of course, costs will vary based on the state you live in and the amount of coverage you purchase. To get the cheapest renters insurance, shop for it like you would any other insurance policy or item. Get quotes from several different renters insurance companies, and compare the coverage and costs offered. 

Bundling your renters insurance with other policies you might have, like your car insurance, could also help you save a little bit of money. 

Now, how do I know how much renters insurance I need? 

A good place to start is by taking an inventory of everything in your apartment. Get an idea of the total value of everything you own, including valuables like jewelry, computers and electronics, and furniture. You’ll want your renters insurance policy to at least cover these items. 

PS: A typical renters insurance policy covers about $100,000 worth of personal property or liabilities. What it won’t cover: Personal property damaged as a result of natural disasters, like earthquakes or floods. Nor will it cover extra expensive or valuable items like fine art or antiques. However, extra policies (often called riders or floaters) can cover these things at an additional cost.

theSkimm

Renters insurance is every renter’s fallback. It’s relatively inexpensive and could help cover your belongings in the event of a theft, burst pipe, or fire, among other qualifiable events depending on the policy you choose.


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