One great thing about renting is that the landlord usually pays the costs of repairs and the upkeep of the property. If something catastrophic happens, the landlord files a claim with their insurance provider. Normal wear and tear costs are generally not the responsibility of the renter.
However, what happens to the renter’s valuables after a fire, break-in, flood, or any number of unfortunate events? If you have no renter’s insurance, it is your responsibility to pay for anything that is lost or damaged. If you have renters insurance, you pay a premium to protect personal valuables in case of theft, damage, or loss.
Renters insurance can also cover medical expenses or financially protect a renter if a guest were to sue for injuries that are the renter’s responsibility. If an apartment light fixture falls and hurts someone, that incident would likely be handled through the landlord’s insurance. But if a picture you hung on the wall falls and hurts someone, this might leave you at fault. A renter with renter’s insurance might be finically covered for such a scenario.
Typically, renters insurance will not pay if you lost your diamond engagement ring, but you can purchase additional riders that cover jewelry. Riders can be purchased that protect your liabilities if you have a dog labeled “dangerous.”
What about roommates? While sharing a policy with roommates is allowed, it can get problematic and costly. From the point of view of the insurance company, the policy would be considered a shared expense and shared coverage for all policyholders.
Why could this matter?
- A roommate files a claim for a stolen laptop, which raises the cost of the insurance, leaving you both paying more.
- Your TV was stolen, and the shared policy reimburses a portion of TV’s value to each roommate, not all to you as the TV owner. With individual renters’ insurance, the one who incurred the loss will solely be covered.
In 2020 the average monthly cost of renters insurance was only $20. Paying that small amount every month can give you the peace of mind that your things will be replaced if something terrible happens.