“Apartments are no longer the housing of last resort. As American lifestyles have gotten busier, young professionals and empty nesters who could afford to buy are choosing to rent instead … one-third of [American] citizens are renters and 40% surveyed reported that they prefer to rent, even though they could afford to buy.” (National Multi Housing Council/National Apartment Association joint statement before the House Committee on Financial Services 6/30/05)
As housing prices continue to skyrocket, along with the taxes associated with home ownership, more and more are willing to trade privacy and ownership for the convenience of apartment living. As much as they’re willing to make that trade-off, however, renters often forget to protect the things that make a house a home – their belongings.
Fires have ravaged areas of the country, while flooding and landslides can cause widespread damage. Those with homeowner’s insurance will be find, but if you’re renting and have no renter’s insurance, you could be stuck.
Lori Tuggle at State Farm in Bastrop, says, “Everyone renting a house or apartment should get [renters insurance]. Unfortunately, it is one of the most overlooked policies.” A landlord only covers the structure being rented but what about your property? That’s your responsibility. If you think renter’s insurance is too expensive, spend a little time adding up the ocst of replacing everything you have in even a 1-bedroom apartment; the dollars add up if you were to have to do replace those things out of your own pocket. Renter’s policies also cover in case of theft and liability, the same as a homeowner’s policy.
Renters insurance covers your apartment contents for the same things as a homeowners policy – damage caused by fire, lightning, windstorm, hail, explosions, riots, smoke, theft, electrical surges, and so on. You won’t be covered for flooding or earthquakes, which would have to be covered under separate policies. There is also the option of actual cash value (which pays what your property was worth at the time it was damaged or lost) or replacement value (which reimburses you the cost of replacing the property), so make sure you know what you’re paying for and fully understand what your policy does and does not cover before you sign on the dotted line.
Renter’s insurance is relatively inexpensive; the actual premium depends on a number of factors, like where you live, how much you have to insure and which type of policy you want, but it can cost as little as $15 to $20 a month. Compared to having to buy everything out of your own pocket, even an actual-value policy can save you hundreds. Most major auto insurance companies sell renter’s policies; if you buy the policy through your car insurer, you may also qualify for a discount on your other insurance products, including renter’sinsurance.
There are still intangibles that no amount of insurance can cover – family photos, heirlooms, etc., but those things are on the line whether you rent or own. But why take the chance on the things you can protect and cover just to save a few bucks?