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What you need to know about renter’s insurance

a mini house model on the table

There’s no shortage of advice about moving apartments out there. However, there’s one thing that a typical apartment rental guide might forget to mention: getting renter’s insurance.

What is it and why do you need it? Read on to know more!

What exactly is renter’s insurance?

Like all insurance policies, renter’s insurance is designed to help you recover from unfortunate circumstances. If you ever experience a home burglary or accidentally start a kitchen fire, you’ll have to foot a huge bill to replace whatever was lost. Will you have the financial capability to do so? If you have renter’s insurance, however, you can receive a lump sum payout that will help cover your losses.

What else does it protect me from?

Aside from protecting your possessions, renter’s insurance can also shield you against liabilities. For example, if someone is injured in your home in a slip-and-fall accident, you might be sued and ordered to pay for the medical bills. You might also inadvertently damage the leased property, like when you leave the bathtub running and cause water damage. Whatever the case may be, the legal, medical, and repair bills will undoubtedly be significant but your renter’s insurance can help soften the financial blow.

Are there other benefits I should know about?

Renter’s insurance typically covers additional living expenses, as well. This is especially helpful if your rented property is rendered inhabitable due to damage or other untoward events. Your policy will cover the cost of your temporary accommodation (e.g., hotel bills) as well as your meals and other associated expenses. If you travel frequently, renter’s insurance may also cover properties from your home that you bring on your travels, such as a laptop or mobile phone.

Can my landlord require me to get it?

Yes. In fact, many landlords require renter’s insurance from tenant applicants. Such a policy reduces their legal liabilities should a renter’s belongings get damaged or stolen inside the leased unit. Landlords do have insurance policies, as well, but they typically cover only structural damage to the building or unit — not personal properties. More importantly, renter’s insurance will cover any repair costs arising from damage caused by the tenant, which gives landlords extra peace of mind.

How much does renter’s insurance cost?

As if paying for rent and utilities wasn’t enough, now you have to spend money on renter’s insurance, too. Not to worry, though: it’s actually much cheaper than you think. According to data from NerdWallet.com, the average annual renter’s insurance premium is $168 or roughly $14 a month. For this surprisingly small amount, you could get up to $30,000 in personal property coverage and up to $100,000 in liability coverage. Do note that your actual rate will depend on factors such as the value of your belongings, where you live, and your deductibles. You can even request a free online quote from many insurers nowadays.

How much renter’s insurance do I actually need?

Insurers say that $100,000 in coverage is usually enough, but you might need more if your assets exceed that amount. Likewise, it would be smart to up your liability coverage if you frequently entertain visitors at your home. Since some policies do not protect against flood loss or exclude items like electronics, you could get supplementary coverage, though this will naturally increase your premium.

Are there ways to save on renter’s insurance?

Indeed! For starters, you can bundle your renter’s insurance with your auto insurance to get up to 20% off on your premiums. Another tactic is to opt for a higher deductible, which will lower your monthly insurance bills. Yes, you’ll pay a bigger upfront cost if something happens but you’ll save money in the long run. Installing devices like smoke detectors and security systems can also make your apartment less risky and thus, less costly to insure. Got an excellent credit score? This may also lower your bill as insurers often factor in your financial standing when assessing your premium.

Leasing an apartment can be immensely rewarding but you must have the foresight to prepare for the worst. With renter’s insurance, you can rest easy knowing that for a relatively small price, you can protect both your dwelling and its contents.

If you’re looking for an expert guide to renting an apartment, be sure to check out Sundance Property Management‘s blog. And if you want to find the perfect apartment, just call us at 513.489.3363 or send an email to info(at)sdpmi(dotted)com.

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