DO I REALLY NEED RENTER’S INSURANCE?

My family and I recently moved from Oklahoma to Arizona and went from owning a home back to renting. [Related: How to Sell a House Fast]. There are certainly pros and cons to both home ownership and renting. We’re hoping renting will be temporary for us so we can get back into the real estate game. Anyway, with our home we were required to have home owner’s insurance (obviously). Since we’re not required to carry renter’s insurance, we’ve been wondering whether we really need renter’s insurance. The short answer is yes, we definitely need renter’s insurance. Here’s why.

WHY YOU NEED RENTER’S INSURANCE:

(1)  Renter’s insurance covers a lot. 

The biggest reason that you need renter’s insurance as a renter is that it covers a lot! Renter’s insurance typically covers your personal property (even if you lose it somewhere else– like on vacation!), medical bills, and personal liability. But it also generally includes coverage if your rental becomes uninhabitable– it will cover the costs you’ll incur from having to stay somewhere else. You can also get amazing additional coverage with renter’s insurance that will cover things like your storage unit. And I think my favorite thing about renter’s insurance is that it covers theft that happens anywhere. So say someone breaks into your car and steals your bag which had your lap top and phone in it. You’d be covered!

(2) Renter’s insurance is not that expensive. 

As we’ve discussed, renter’s insurance covers A LOT. And what makes that even better is the fact that renter’s insurance just isn’t that expensive– making it another compelling reason why you need it. And when I say inexpensive, I really mean it. Like, you can get a great policy that will take care of what you need for $20 or less per month. Think about that for a minute. Imagine you end up paying $15 per month for a really great policy. And then imagine that someone comes into your house some night and takes your $1000 TV, $1200 lap top, and $900 cell phone. For only $15 per month, you’ll be able to replace ALL of that!

(3) Your landlord’s insurance doesn’t cover you. 

Your landlord’s insurance is only going to cover some damage that might happen to the actual dwelling of the space your renting. For example, if a tornado came whipping through (I recently moved from Oklahoma. It’s tornado season. They’re on my mind), and ripped the roof off of your home or apartment, the landlord’s insurance would likely cover it. But, if during that same tornado, all of your belongings got whisked away in the tornado (think about any expensive things you might have, lap top, phone, TV, bike, etc) that stuff would NOT be covered without your own renter’s insurance policy.

(4) You probably have more valuable belongings than you think. 

Some people (myself included) may think that they don’t have enough valuable stuff to make a renter’s insurance policy worth it. And most people are probably wrong about that. Take a quick look around your space and think about the things that you have. Do you have clothes? A lap top? A camera? A phone? Jewelry? Watches? A couch? Other furniture? Food on your shelves/in your fridge? Kitchen appliances? Dishes? If you lost ALL of your belongings tomorrow, would you be able to afford to replace them right away? Probably not. And even if you could afford it, renter’s insurance is a good investment in that you’ll probably get more out of it than you put in. Value Penguin estimates that if you make just one renter’s insurance claim in your whole life, it will off set the costs of renter’s insurance by a landslide– because remember, it’s super cheap.

The bottom line? You need renter’s insurance. There is no good reason not to have it, especially given how affordable it is. Unlike my feelings on health insurance (we use a health care sharing ministry now instead of traditional health insurance, read more about that here), you get enough coverage out of renter’s insurance to make it TOTALLY worth it.

What about you? Have you felt the need for renter’s insurance? Have you ever made a claim on a renter’s insurance policy? Drop a comment below. 

Here at Deeply in Debt, we offer tons of personal finance advice based on our own journey paying off $650k of student loan debt. If you have student loan debt and aren’t sure where to start or what to do, I highly recommend the CFA’s over at Student Loan Planner to help you put together a solid financial plan for your student loan debt. We personally used them and it literally saved us over $200,000 on our student loans. You can check out the Student Loan Planner here.

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