Renter’s Insurance – Is It Worth the Cost?

For Rent Sign

As an insurance professional, I am asked often about renter’s insurance.  Usually, it is followed by, “isn’t it expensive?”  The short answer?  No.  An average renter’s insurance policy is only about $15 per month.  What is expensive, is not having renter’s insurance.  As a college student some moons ago, I had my apartment broken into twice in the city.  It was during Spring break both times, and all of what I considered my prized possessions were stolen. Did I mention twice??  Believe it or not, I actually had renter’s insurance as it was required by my landlord.   I was required to fill out some lengthy inventory forms, and within a week or so, I was sent a rather handsome check to replace my lost belongings.  As far as renter’s insurance claims, this was a fairly basic claim.  What many renter’s don’t realize is, the insurance not only covers you for theft like in my situation, but for a multitude of other things.  How about a few years back when there were fires at the newly built Santana Row.  Does anyone remember seeing these poor people on the news who lost everything?  We’re talking all of their clothes, furniture, stereo, t.v.’s, kid’s toys?  The majority of these people did not have renter’s insurance.  I know this because the news was reporting it and actually urging renters to go out and purchase policies.  Had these people had renter’s insurance, not only would it have helped them re-build their lives, it also would have paid to put them up in temporary housing.  Renter’s insurance also provides liability protection.  How many renter’s out there have animals?  Any idea how much it costs if your dog bites someone?  A lot!!  How about if you have a cocktail party and someone has a little too much to drink and slips and falls while doing the limbo on your kitchen floor?  What if that little fall causes a serious head injury, or worse?  Guess who may be liable for that?  I think you are getting my point here.  $15 to $20 per month, you tell me, is it worth it?  Keep in mind that renters insurance policies do vary from company to company, but most basic policies cover at least fire, theft and liability.  Your limits are based on your individual needs.  Liability coverage is there to protect your assets, so don’t think just because you don’t own a home that you have nothing to protect.  If you work and bring home a paycheck, you have something to protect.  You may also be eligible for a nice discount on your auto insurance by adding a renter’s insurance policy.  Often times, the discount almost pays for the renter’s policy.  Give your agent a call today and let them assess your needs. If you would like to talk to me about it click here:

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  1. I had no idea that renters insurance covered all of this for so little! I think buying some for my son in his new apartment will make a great “housewarming present.”

  2. Was watching the news last night about the fire in the Mission last night. They mentioned that most of the displaced tenants did not have renter’s insurance. What a shame !

  3. Jennifer Selvitella; Local State Farm Insurance Expert says:

    Hi David and Michael..

    Yes, it is true that renter’s insurance covers an awful lot for very little. It would make a great gift for your son! As for the tenants in the Mission fires, a very sad and all too common situation. I always recommend to my clients who own rental property, to include in their lease agreements a requirement for renter’s insurance. It not only protects their tenants for catastrophe’s such as fires, but gives them the liability protection. Many renter’s believe their belongings are covered by their landlord’s policy an unfortunate misunderstanding…

  4. SteveTinFC says:

    Let me just echo the comments here and in Jen’s article. When my wife and I were renters (15+ years ago … yikes!), we would never think of anything other than having renters’ insurance. Although we were only 23 when we got married, we knew that we’d be up “cripple creek” if we were not protected financially. In some regards, I think the insurance is of the same if not more importance than homeowners insurance (which you have to have anyway, right?). Think about it … without renters’ insurance, you are placing all your “stuff” at risk and relying upon some absent property owner (many of whom you only know by address and zip code) to make sure they are keeping their property up to code and protected in case of fire. No way baby … I’d be taking proactive measures to mitigate my risk of loss while on someone else’s property. Just say YES to renter’s insurance!

    Steve in FC

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