Let’s be honest: Getting renters insurance probably isn’t on your bucket list, nor is it the sexiest of topics. It’s that thing you have in case something bad happens, or that you keep putting off getting even though you know you shouldn’t.
But here’s the thing: Renters insurance can have your back in a bunch of situations that are all-too-common. We’re talkin’ about those klutz or bad-luck moments that can happen at a coffee shop, music festival, house party, or even on a trip. Plus, it costs less than an avocado toast per month.
So why aren’t more people getting renters insurance?
Truth is, many people don’t know which situations are covered after getting renters insurance (spoiler: you’re covered if your phone or laptop gets swiped, or your apartment catches fire).
But even more, many people might not understand why they should get renters insurance right this second. Since there’s no immediate threat of fire, theft, winstorm, vandalism, or burst pipes, why should you shell out $5/mo for something that probably won’t even happen?
Should I get renters insurance?
Here are 3 things to consider when deciding if you should get renters insurance:
1. Your landlord’s insurance covers the building, but not your stuff (or you!)
Whether you’re moving into your first apartment or a veteran renter, you probably have a lot of stuff. And that stuff is worth way more than you think! Think about your couch, bed, tech devices, kitchen equipment, and your clothes… most renters have more than $10K of personal property!
Question: If you accidentally flooded your apartment, would you be able to put down $10K tomorrow to replace your stuff? If your answer is in the range of “I don’t think so” to “Hell no!”, then you probably should consider getting renters insurance.
But if you could pay the cost to replace all of your stuff if it were stolen, getting renters insurance might not be for you.
2. You can add Extra Coverage for accidental loss or damage
If you have any jewelry, musical instruments, bikes, watches, or cameras worth over $1k, this one’s for you.
For a few extra bucks a month, you can insure all of these items against things like theft, fire, vandalism, water damage, etc (aka “named perils”). This type of Extra Coverage is known as scheduled personal property, and will have your back in the case of accidental loss or damage.
Btw, Extra Coverage also covers mysterious disappearance, and is deductible free! Score.
3. It’s way cheaper than you think
Don’t want to add another expense to your monthly bill? We get it. Most renters cite “it’s too expensive” as one of the top reasons for not getting insured.
But it turns out, renters insurance has gotten a lot more affordable over the last few years, thanks to artificial intelligence. While the average cost of renters insurance was around $22/mo in 2008, you can now get a renters insurance policy for $5/mo – less than the cost of your daily latte!
Think about the next time you order coffee, or buy lunch instead of bringing from home. Or that extra beer or glass of wine you drink while at happy hour, or that shirt you bought that’s still sitting in your closet, tags on and all.
Cutting back on just one of these things each month would free up a pretty small amount of $$ needed to purchase something huge: Protection for you and your stuff, and peace of mind.
When should I get renters insurance?
The best time to get renters insurance is right when you move into your first apartment. Why? Renters insurance coverage protects you and your stuff if you’re a renter.
And if you already live in an apartment and aren’t insured, then the best time to get renters insurance is… right now!
But the truth is, procrastinating on buying renters insurance is pretty common. The logic goes, ‘why invest in something now for a risk that may never happen in the future?’
But when something bad does happen, your rationalization will probably change – you’ll want to get renters insurance RIGHT NOW!
Consider this: People are much more likely to get renters insurance if they’re facing a loss, and are less likely to get insurance when they think they’re safe. In fact, residents who lived in a place for 7 years only had flood insurance for 2-4 years on average, according to a study by the National Flood Insurance Program.
Why? They probably only got flood insurance when facing a loss, or didn’t feel the need to renew when they no longer perceived a risk! So if an unexpected flood happened when they weren’t insured, they’d have to cover the cost of the damage with their own wallet.
Moral of the story? Don’t wait for an “oh $%#&” moment to act. Because at the end of the day, you can’t know when bad things could happen.
And you don’t want to get a renters insurance policy after it’s too late. If you’re not insured when your bike is swiped or your apartment catches fire, you won’t be covered if you get insurance after the fact, and you’ll have to pay out-of-pocket.
How to get renters insurance
Getting renters insurance is a lot easier than you’d think. Here are a few quick things you need to know:
What types of coverage to look for when getting renters insurance
A typical renters insurance policy covers three main areas:
1. Personal property
Personal property coverage covers your stuff. It can help you recover the cost of lost or damaged items for a bunch of different scenarios, such as theft, fire, windstorm, vandalism, etc!
So if a fire in your kitchen destroys your stuff, someone breaks in and steals your TV, or your laptop is stolen while you’re traveling abroad, renters insurance can help pay you back. Just keep in mind that if the stuff in your apartment belongs to your landlord or roommate, it isn’t covered under your policy.
2. Temporary living expenses
This covers you if your home ever becomes unlivable, and you need to stay somewhere else (which we hope never happens!).
Let’s say an electric outlet sparks a fire that forces you out of your apartment, so you need to get a hotel. Your renters insurance can help cover your expenses! Some may even cover the extra $$ you have to spend on food and laundry.
3. Personal liability & medical bills
Did you know that your renters insurance coverage also extends to cover damages or amounts you’re legally required to pay? That’s a surprise to most, so kudos if you did know.
So that house party you were debating? Host away.
If you’re sued after your friend slipped on spilled beer and broke his leg, your policy can cover the costs to get you out of this jam. And if one of your friends gets hurt in your apartment, goes to the hospital, and then decides to sue you (what a friend, right?), your personal liability coverage will kick in for both medical and legal fees.
And finally, for another worst-case scenario, if your house catches fire and it happened to reach your neighbor’s apartment and wreak havoc, the damages should be covered under your renters insurance policy. And if your neighbor is VERY unhappy and decides to take you to court, your coverage will once again kick in, legal fees and all.
What you’ll need to apply for renters insurance
Great news – when you get a renters insurance quote, you won’t need much. At the very least, you’ll need:
- Your apartment address
- A sense of how much coverage you’ll need (here’s a guide to figuring out how much your stuff is worth)
If you change your mind about your insurance coverage amounts after getting your policy, no worries! Lemonade’s live policy allows you to update your coverage right on the app, wherever you are, just with a few taps.
Btw, if you decide to get Extra Coverage for your high-ticket jewelry, musical instruments, bike, etc, here’s what you’ll need:
- A photo of each item
- A receipt or an appraisal for each item
If you don’t have these at this very moment, no worries! With Lemonade, you have 2 weeks of temporary coverage for these items after you get your policy, which gives you plenty of time to send these items to your insurer.
How to get renters insurance in under 2 minutes with Lemonade
Typically, it can be a pain to get renters insurance. That’s why at Lemonade, we make insurance easy, fast, and delightful.
With Maya, our charming artificial intelligence bot, getting a quote is fast, straightforward, and can be done right from your couch. Just answer a few questions, and you’ll a quote in less than two minutes.
So the question is: why wouldn’t you get a renters insurance policy right now? Every 30 seconds, someone gets a new Lemonade policy. To join them and take Lemonade for a spin in under 2 minutes, click here.