If you’ve decided to rent an apartment, condo or house, one of the more important considerations you should take into account is renters insurance. But, if you’ve never purchased a renters insurance policy before, it’s normal if you have a few questions.
And that’s exactly why I decided to write this article.
In an effort to make your foray into renting as smooth as possible, I am going to answer 15 of the most common questions you might be wondering about renters insurance.
Let’s get started!
Is Renters Insurance Expensive?
When you first step into the world of renting, you will be met with a number of different expenses. Between rent, utilities, security deposits, pet deposits, new furniture, dishes, and so much more, it can get a little overwhelming. But when it comes to renters insurance, there is a bit of good news.
Compared to other forms of insurance, renters insurance is fairly inexpensive. Assuming you purchase a policy with $25,000 of personal property coverage, and $100,000 of liability coverage, you should only expect to pay between $15 and $30 per month.
That said, the amount of money you pay for renters insurance will vary based on a few different things:
- The amount of coverage you need
- Where you live
- Whether or not you qualify for any discounts
- Which insurance provider you decide to use
If you want to get a better idea of how much you can expect to pay for renters insurance, I recommend getting an online quote from Liberty Mutual. Their online quote tool is quick and easy to use, which is nice when you’re just trying to hone-in on an expected monthly cost for renters insurance.
Why Is Renters Insurance So Cheap?
Ok, so now that you have a better idea of how much you can expect to pay each month, but that might lead to the inevitable question, why is renters insurance so cheap?
In short, renters insurance is “cheap” because it doesn’t cover damage to your physical dwelling. Rather, it only covers your personal property, liability (i.e. damage to other people or their property), and any additional living expenses that might arise in the event of a covered loss.
In other words, since renters insurance doesn’t cover damage to large, expensive assets like your house or your car, insurance companies don’t need to charge as much.
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How Much Renters Insurance Coverage Do I Need?
This is one of the first questions an insurance company will likely ask you when you decide to sign up for a policy. And, like so many other forms of insurance, your coverage really depends on your individual situation.
For example, if you own a lot of really expensive stuff, and you want to make sure it’s covered in the event it is stolen or damaged, then you should opt for a policy with a higher amount of personal property coverage. That said, if you are completely unsure of how much coverage you need, a good starting point is $25,000 of personal property coverage, and $100,000 of liability coverage.
In many cases, your landlord will actually require you to carry a policy with a specific amount of coverage. So, if you are unsure how much renters insurance coverage to get, talking to your landlord is a good place to start.
How Much Should I Pay For Renters Insurance?
As I mentioned earlier, the amount you pay for renters insurance will vary based on a few different factors. However, if you’re looking to narrow down a price for budgeting and financial planning purposes, you can generally get a good renters insurance policy for between $15 and $30 per month.
Once again, the best way to get an idea of how much you should pay for renters insurance is by getting an online quote from an actual insurance provider, like Liberty Mutual.
Is Renters Insurance Included In Rent?
Ok, so this one might fall under the heading of “questions you’re too embarrassed to ask about renters insurance”, but that doesn’t make it any less valid. In fact, if it is your first time renting, it seems to me that this is a pretty logical question to ask.
So, is renters insurance included in rent?
No, renters insurance is not included in your rent. Since coverage needs vary from person to person, and renters insurance is not designed as a one-size-fits-all kind of solution, you will need to purchase your own policy with an appropriate amount of coverage for your specific situation.
How Do I Get Renters Insurance?
The easiest way to get renters insurance is by filling out an online quote through a particular provider’s website. In fact, I recommend getting quotes from a few different providers.
As with any other form of insurance, it is beneficial to take some time to shop around and get quotes from multiple companies. That way you can be confident you are getting a sufficient amount of coverage for a fair, and competitive price.
I’d like to add, however, that you should be careful not to base your entire decision on the monthly rate alone. Just because a provider offers the lowest rate doesn’t mean they are your best option. For example, you might find that the provider offering the lowest rate isn’t very responsive. And when it comes to insurance, the last thing you want is an unresponsive provider in the event that you need to file a claim.
Remember, you get what you pay for; so, don’t just go with the cheapest rate. Remember, renters insurance isn’t very expensive. And if purchasing a policy through a provider known for quality customer service comes at the cost of a couple extra bucks each month, it is well worth it.
Can I Bundle Renters Insurance With Car Insurance?
Yes, you can bundle renters insurance with car insurance. In fact, many insurance providers offer a discount to customers that bundle two or more policies. This is also why you should consider getting a renters insurance quote from your current car insurance provider.
That said, if you feel like your monthly car insurance premium is a little steep, I don’t recommend throwing your renters insurance policy into the same mix.
In fact, you should consider shopping for a new auto policy and see what kinds of rates and discounts you could get with other providers. Additionally, to make this process as easy as possible, I recommend using a tool like Insurify to compare different quotes and discounts from various providers.
What Does Renters Insurance Cover?
Renters insurance is one of those things that isn’t particularly fun to pay each month, but should a time arise when you need it, you will be extremely glad to have it. So, what does renters insurance cover?
- Personal Property – Renters insurance covers your personal belongings in the event that they are ever damaged or stolen.
- Liability – Should you be found responsible for the injury of someone else, or damage to their property, renters insurance may keep you from having to pay the expenses out of pocket.
- Additional Living Expenses – If something were to happen to your home that required you to temporarily live someplace else, renters insurance may help cover the cost of those additional expenses.
Can You Get Renters Insurance Online?
Yes. These days, many providers will allow you to purchase a renters insurance policy entirely online. Though, if you are unsure about how much coverage you need, or if you have any additional questions, you may want to speak directly with an agent.
Either way, the process is incredibly simple, and shouldn’t take up too much of your time; which leads me to the next question:
How Long Does It Take To Get Renters Insurance?
Whether you are purchasing a renters insurance policy online, over the phone, or in-person, it shouldn’t take you more than a few minutes. In most cases, from start to finish, the entire process will take you less than a half an hour.
What Information Do I Need To Get Renters Insurance?
At minimum, when purchasing renters insurance, you will be required to provide the following information:
- The address of the apartment, condo or house you wish to insure
- Your name and date of birth
- Your email address
- The total value of the personal property you want to insure
- The date your coverage needs to start
Does Renters Insurance Cover My Roommate?
No, unless your roommates are listed on your renters insurance policy, they will not be covered in the event of a loss. For that reason, it is recommended that you and your roommates each purchase separate policies.
As with anything in the complex world of insurance, be sure to check with your insurance agent about your coverage options. In many cases, you can add a roommate to your policy for a discounted rate, which may be beneficial for both of you. Just don’t sacrifice coverage to do so.
Do I Need Receipts To File A Renters Insurance Claim?
In general, you do not need to keep detailed records and receipts for your personal property in order to file a renters insurance claim. While receipts may simplify the process of filing a claim, in most cases, photos of your personal property will suffice.
For that reason, it is a good idea to take pictures of all your belongings when you first move into your new home. Though this may feel a little tedious and overly-cautious, it will make the claim process much easier for you if you ever have to go through that.
Then again, if you’re really that worried about it, it doesn’t hurt to keep your receipts (or take a photo of them so that you have an electronic copy).
Should I Take Pictures Of All My Stuff For Renters Insurance?
Yes, it is a good idea to take photos of any personal property you want to make sure is covered in the event of a loss. While this might not be as exact and detailed as keeping a record of all your receipts, it is better than nothing.
Will Renters Insurance Cover Items Stolen From My Car?
Yes, in most cases renters insurance will cover items stolen from your car. However, any damage to the car itself will not be covered. In other words, if somebody were to break your window and steal golf clubs from your car, renters insurance would likely cover the golf clubs, while your car insurance would cover the broken window.
Disclaimer: The information in this article should not be taken as insurance advice. Since Be The Budget is not an insurance provider, and everyone’s situation is unique, you should always seek the advice of an insurance expert/agent before purchasing an insurance policy or filing a claim.