Why You Need Renters Insurance And How Much It Costs.

The renters insurance for the house I am renting is a whopping $12.50 a month for a $45,000 full-replacement value plan. Granted, I have my car insurance with them as well, but as you can see, renters insurance is just not that much money for a decent amount of coverage. And while I could have bought way more coverage than that if I wanted, I really just wanted a basic plan covering my most expensive items like computers and other electronics. That way if I was robbed or a disaster happened, I could easily replace the high-end items in the home without too much pain and agony. I have been paying for renters insurance for years now, but it seems that a majority of renters do not have this kind of insurance, and I just cannot figure out why – after all, it doesn’t cost all that much money and it can provide a little piece of mind for those of us who do not own our own homes yet but do have a few nice things.

In my book, a renter is more likely to experience a major loss than a homeowner is. This is because oftentimes they are sharing a building with many other people in apartment-like settings, so they have to trust every other single resident to not leave the water running, not leave a burner on, or to remember to put out their cigarettes before they go to bed. That is a lot of faith in other people to have to have! Many renters think that the owners of the building have insurance that will cover them, but that is not the case at all – it is up to you to insure your belongings against any loss or damage.

Photo from Shutterstock

While there are many different things that can be written into renters insurance policies, a biggie to focus on has to do with something I mentioned earlier – full replacement cost. Renters policies can come in two flavors:

  • Actual Cash Value (ACV), which is coverage that pays you for the market value of your belongings at the time they get damaged.
  • Full Replacement Cost is coverage that will pay you the full replacement cost of getting a new version of whatever it is that you lost.

I pay for full replacement cost coverage, as I know that if I didn’t, and I lost my TV, I would only get what it is worth today – not what it costs to actually replace it. It may cost a little more than ACV, but it is totally worth it for me and my stuff. Here is what my renters policy looks like for $12.50 a month:

  • $45,300 for loss of personal property, Actual Loss Sustained
  • A deductible of $1,000
  • $100,000 in personal liability

If you rent, and you do not have renters insurance, you are taking a very big gamble. While you might not think that you own many things of value, I bet if you walked around your home and added up the cost of everything in it, it would add up to a pretty penny – and wouldn’t you want some insurance against having to pay for all of it again? I know I like having it. And for a whopping $12.50 a month for $45,000 in coverage, I feel pretty secure in the fact that I could quickly and easily replace the most expensive of my belongings without much pain.

I use State Farm for my car and renters insurance policies, but there are plenty of companies out there who want your business. Quite often, a good place to start is an insurance comparison shopping site like ESURANCE or HOMETOWN QUOTES which let you see how much a policy would be with different insurers. If you already have an auto insurance company you are happy with, see if they offer renters insurance as well and if you can get a discount because of your other policy. Whatever else you do this week, LOOK INTO RENTERS INSURANCE SOON if you do not have it – it doesn’t cost a lot but can save you a lot in case of emergency!

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Comments (6)

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  1. Jason Unger says:

    We just bought a house (and homeowners insurance is pricier), but I was always pleasantly surprised how cheap renter’s insurance is.

    We were paying around $100/year for coverage. Quite honestly, even if we never used it, the price made it an obvious choice to get … just in case.

  2. I lived in apartments for 16 years. If I had to do it all over again, I would have had renter’s insurance every step of the way.

    However, I never had it the whole time and I never needed it.

    I would love to see some statistics on the number of people who buy renter’s insurance compared to the number of people who end up needing it.

    All insurance is a gamble–the inusrance company is gambling that nothing ever happens to you causing you to need the insurance, and you of course, are protecting yourself for the day you do…

  3. Craig says:

    This could not be more timely for me. I just called up Geico yesterday to talk about renter’s insurance. I was scared to get it thinking costs would be so expensive. Turns out full coverage for personal items and liability for the year is $88 for me. I am definitely going to be purchasing it within the week.

  4. David says:

    Very few people know just how cheap renters insurance is, and I imagine more would get it if they got a quote!

  5. Great topic, David. It’s important to mention that most renters policies even cover property that’s not physically located in your apartment (e.g. your laptop in a coffee shop, or your bike). And many policies also include personal liability coverage, which can protect you if you’re ever sued for injuring someone else. Given these benefits versus the price, renters insurance should be a no-brainer.

  6. Good post! Too many people overlook the fact that if you are in a building with others, you are at their mercy to avoid disaster as you pointed out.