Life as an apartment renter is peppered with surprises. From pleasant perks like swift repairs on a broken dishwasher to less-than-desirable surprises like noisy neighbors, the ups and downs of renting are many and varied. Unfortunately, some of those surprises can cost you a big chunk of change under certain circumstances. That's why many apartment renters choose to get renters insurance—to account for the unexpected.
What is renters insurance? How does it work and why might you need it? Here is our guide to renters insurance, its benefits, and whether it may be worth it for you.
Renters insurance is a type of insurance policy that protects you and your belongings when you lease someone else's property. As with other types of insurance, the purpose of renters insurance is to help prevent you from having to pay for large, unexpected expenses out of your own pocket. In this case, those expenses are home-related, and may range from occupant injury to reimbursement after theft.
In short, yes they can. Landlords may require you to provide proof of renters insurance before you sign your lease. This is often because landlords are offsetting their own costs, which might include the cost of insuring the apartment property.
There are two primary types of renters insurance: liability insurance and contents insurance. Liability insurance covers injuries and the costs that might result should the renter be held accountable for those injuries. For example, if someone is accidentally injured in your apartment, renters liability insurance could help you cover medical bills, and even costs incurred if that person decides to take legal action against you. Contents insurance covers personal belongings like furniture, electronics, clothing, kitchenware, and appliances. There are also types of policies that cover additional living expenses resulting from displacement, the loss of others' property, and loss of contents off premises.
Renters insurance does not usually cover damage from natural disasters like earthquakes or flooding, nor does it cover intentional acts of damage, wear and tear, mold, rodents, and instances in which the renter failed to take reasonable steps to prevent a loss.
According to the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America, renters insurance costs $144 per year on average. Of course, these numbers vary from policy to policy, depending on what you need to cover, whether you are eligible for discounts, etc. There are usually several deductible amounts you can choose from, ranging anywhere from $500 to $2,000.
If your lease requires you to have renters insurance, this one's a no-brainer. If not, the fact remains that having renters insurance is a good way to prepare for the unexpected. After spending time and money moving into your apartment and making it your own, damage to or theft of your possessions is the last thing you want. As with any optional insurance policy, you may be taking a monetary risk without the coverage. However, if you are a new renter just starting out and don't have a lot to insure, it may be a cost you feel comfortable forgoing.
For help with renters insurance and more moving finances, check out ApartmentSearch.com's Moving Partners page! From storage to credit checks to furniture rental, we have you covered every step of the way.