If you're a renter, you may think you can get away without insurance to protect your personal belongings. While a 2016 poll by the Insurance Information Institute found that 95 percent of homeowners have homeowner's insurance, it also found that just 41 percent of non-owners have renters insurance to cover their possessions.1
Maybe you're opting out of renters insurance
because of the cost, or maybe you don't think your possessions are valuable enough to warrant coverage. The truth is, renters insurance provides significant protection that can save you money in the event of an accident, theft, or other disaster. If you've had excuses not to purchase a plan, it's important to know all the facts in order to make an informed decision. Here are five of the most common misconceptions about renters insurance and the truth behind each one:
- It's too expensive. Since renting a property often comes with added costs like cable, internet, and utilities, you may be putting off purchasing insurance because of the price tag. But plans are probably much more affordable than you think. In 2014, the national average for a renters policy was about $190 annually, or about 52 cents per day - that's much less than the price of a decent cup of coffee.1
- My personal property isn't valuable, so I don't need it. Even if you think your individual items aren't worth protecting, you might be surprised by the grand total when you tally the value of all your possessions. In addition to obvious high-price items like electronics, your living space holds everything from your clothing and furnishings to small kitchen appliances, cookware, dishes, and more. If you lost everything all at once, it would likely be very expensive to replace out of pocket.
- I'm protected by my landlord’s insurance. This is a commonly held belief that keeps many renters from protecting themselves. In reality, most landlord insurance policies protect only the physical building, not your possessions. That means if someone steals your television or a fire destroys your furnishings, you're responsible for the cost to replace them.2
- Renters insurance covers only my property. You may be surprised to learn that in addition to property protection, many standard renters insurance policies also provide liability coverage. It may protect you against personal legal responsibility for things like injuries someone might sustain while on your property.3 That means if someone slips and falls in your home, your policy might help pay for their medical expenses, as well as any legal fees you may face, up to your policy's coverage maximum.4
- It only protects my items inside my home. Many renters insurance policies actually cover items if they're stolen or damaged outside of your home as well. For instance, if your car is broken into, and items you have insured are stolen, your policy will most likely cover the cost to replace them if your car insurance doesn't.3
If you're part of the 43 million rental households in the U.S., one of the most important things you can do is protect your family's possessions with renters insurance.5
The right policy for you is probably a lot less expensive than you think, and will end up saving you money - and potential heartache in a worst-case-scenario.