Renters insurance is chock full of benefits that every renter should know. For instance, did you know if your phone is stolen outside your house, renters insurance has your back? Turns out not a lot of renters understand what insurance benefits they are actually getting when purchasing a policy.
Sound like you? Read on.
You aren’t alone. American households need renters insurance now more than ever. U.S. homeownership rates are at their lowest point in 51 years!
Want to hear another stat that’ll blow your mind? According to the Insurance Information Institute:
It makes you think: if there is such a big upside to renters insurance, why don’t more people get it? Why don’t most people know about these benefits? And, why are the stats drastically tipped in favor of homeowners?
When it comes to protecting yourself, your stuff, and your peace of mind, you’ll want to make sure you have the best coverage at the best price. You should also know what you are getting in return.
Why buy renters insurance
Let’s get a few things out of the way first: 1) your landlord’s insurance doesn’t cover your apartment and 2) insurance is way cheaper than most of you think.
Now, simply put, the main benefit of renters insurance is that it buys you peace of mind for all of those “oh [email protected]#” moments in life. Like when you check your bag and realize your phone was stolen on the subway, or you come home to find that someone took your bike.
The problem is, most people don’t know what isn’t covered by renters insurance and vice versa! Even if renters insurance was free, it’s not worth much if you don’t know how it applies to you and your stuff.
So, we rounded up some of the lesser known perks that basic renters insurance policies may cover. It’ll surprise you how comprehensive these policies actually are!
Perk #1: Your stuff is covered when you’re at home, and when you’re out and about
Who knew, right? So if your phone is stolen from your local coffee shop, or your laptop is picked up from your co-working space – your policy has your back. Yep, that’s right – even if your stuff is stolen outside of your home, renters insurance will reimburse you.
Plus, if your kitchen goes up in flames or your sprinklers go off accidentally and flood your apartment, you’re also covered. Talk about peace of mind!
Perk #2: Dog bites, check
If you have a furry BFF and were wondering “does renters insurance cover dog bites” you’re in luck. If your dog bites someone, your policy has you covered. The cool thing about this one is that it applies both when you are at home or at the park.
There are two exceptions though: you’re not covered if your dog has a history of biting, or if your dog is categorized as high-risk or “vicious.”
Perk #3: Your policy may help you out, if you’re forced out of your place
If a kitchen fire forces you out of your apartment, or your upstairs neighbor leaves a faucet running all day and floods your apartment – your policy may cover something called loss of use. It helps you out with temporary housing and some other basic living expenses until your pad is habitable again.
Perk #4: Medical costs for injured guests
Let’s be real. Stuff happens all the time when you aren’t paying attention and your friends sometimes get hurt at your place. Whether your dog decides to take a chunk outta your bestie (see #2) or cuts themselves while helping you prep dinner – been there, done that – their injuries are most likely covered.
If it’s something small (read: under $5,000), your medical payments to others will kick in but if your friend decides to take some unfriendly steps and sues you, your personal liability coverage will have your back. We’ll discuss liability more in the next section!
Note: you can choose how much coverage you’d like, which will influence your monthly premium (the amount you pay each month for your renters insurance policy).
If you have Lemonade, you can adjust this amount at any time with the Live Policy feature.
Perk #5: You’re sued – your policy may cover the costs to get you out of this jam
This is what we call liability coverage in insurance speak. It protects you from non-physical things such as getting sued if someone claims to be injured due to your actions or negligence. Your renters insurance will cover legal fees if you need a lawyer to defend you, and will also pay to cover damages you’re found liable for.
So that friend who cut his finger above? Say it was a really deep and had to go to the hospital, get stitches, and then sued you for the cost – your liability may jump in to save the day.
Liability coverage normally starts at around $100,000, which isn’t a small chunk of change. It can make a huge difference when legal bills and medical fees start racking up! If you find yourself asking “how much renters insurance do i need” looking at your lifestyle is a good place to start. Are you a risk-taker? Do you have a dangerous profession? Be honest with yourself and choose what makes sense for you 🙂
Other perks you should know about
There are some renters insurance benefits that come as add-ons to your basic renters insurance policy. They have to do with the things and people you value most!
Physical items such as expensive cameras, jewelry, and fine art can all be covered – they just aren’t part of your typical renters insurance policy. That’s because when you sign up for an insurance policy, you choose a coverage limit. But oftentimes, burglars will want to steal your most cherished and expensive things! We can’t let them get away with that.
This type of coverage protects your valuables from almost anything, including loss! So let’s say someone breaks into your apartment and steals your favorite (and most expensive) watch. Once you add extra coverage, renters insurance will have your back!
Will this extra coverage break the bank, you ask? Luckily, this add-on will only cost you a few extra bucks a month, depending on your insurer. And protecting the stuff you love most is definitely worth that extra peace of mind (and the cost of a large latte!).
You can also add other people to your policy. While a typical policy automatically covers any resident of your household related by blood, marriage, or adoption, your sig others are not. They need to be added to your policy as what’s called an ‘additional insured.’ There is a charge for that, so keep in mind that sometimes it is cheaper or easier for each of you to get your own insurance policy.
FYI – roommates aren’t covered by a typical renters insurance policy. You’ll have to tell them to get their own!
You’re a renters insurance pro, so here are the next steps
It may be a good idea to check on what isn’t covered under your standard renters insurance policy.
If you decide that purchasing renters insurance is a good idea, before you buy, take time to document how much your stuff is worth. It’ll help you to ensure that your coverage amounts reflect the real value of your stuff.
Once you do purchase an insurance policy, take your time and look over your policy for all of these hidden gems as well as the “Exclusions” section. The language is a little tough, but it’ll pay off in the long term when it comes time to make a claim or adjust your coverage.
Thank us later!
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