Your home is your haven filled with all the creature comforts – electronics, home furnishings, clothing, jewelry, and other sentimental items. But what happens if there’s a fire and you lose everything? Whose responsibility is it to replace the items in your apartment?
While your landlord will cover apartment structural damage, they’re not liable for your personal property.
What is Rental Insurance?
Rental, or renters, insurance covers the cost to replace your belongings in the event of theft, vandalism, or fire since your security deposit won’t cover such incidents. Depending on your policy, renters insurance also may cover liability, legal costs, and medical expenses should you or a guest get injured in your apartment.
Is Rental Insurance Worth It?
If you own a home or car, you must have insurance in case of accidents. You may not think your belongings are worth much, but walk through your apartment and start adding up costs. You’ll likely find you have tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of items.
As an added bonus, belongings that fall under your rental insurance are covered even when you’re away from home (i.e., if your laptop gets stolen from your car).
How Expensive Is Rental Insurance?
Rental insurance is surprisingly affordable. The average national cost is $197 a year, or $17 a month. However, your rate will depend on factors like credit score, where you live, and the amount of coverage you need. You can also get a better rate if you have multiple policies (like car insurance) with the same insurance company.
What Does Rental Insurance Cover?
While policies vary, your typical rental insurance policy will cover your belongings in the event of:
- Theft or vandalism
- Fire or lightning strikes
- Smoke damage
- Water damage from burst pipes, air conditioning, and water heater
- Electrical appliance malfunction damage
- Wind and hail
If your apartment burns down and remains uninhabitable, your rental insurance may even cover the bill for temporary housing and food.
What Does Rental Insurance Not Cover?
- Have termites or mice? Call your landlord and get the issue taken care of as soon as possible. Renters insurance won’t cover property damage as a result.
- While lightning and windstorm damage is covered, you’ll need to add additional coverage for natural disasters like earthquakes and floods.
- Do you have a lot of valuables at your place? There’s a limit on the amount of coverage for jewelry ($1,500) and electronics ($2,500), so consider taking out extra insurance coverage for higher-dollar items.
- Interestingly, rental insurance has you covered if a car crashes into your living room. It won’t, however, cover damage or theft of your vehicle, so make sure you have car insurance.
The nominal costs for rental insurance are worth it for your peace of mind, and your apartment community may require renters insurance per your lease agreement. Check with your landlord or property manager before you make the purchase.