The reality is, if you’re a renter and you’re not protecting your valuable possessions, you’re leaving yourself vulnerable to some serious headache down the road. How to protect your belongings? For less than a dollar a day, you can protect the contents of your home or apartment with tenant (also called renter’s) insurance.
Unfortunately, tenant Insurance is often misunderstood by renters across the country. To help you decide whether this type of coverage is right for you, it’s vital to separate myth from fact. Here are five costly tenant insurance myths, and the truth behind each of them.
I don’t need tenant insurance – my landlord’s policy will cover me!
This myth is prevalent among renters – many incorrectly assume that their possessions are covered by their landlord’s insurance policy. The truth is, while your landlord’s policy does cover the building in which you live, that coverage doesn’t extend to the contents of your apartment or home, leaving your personal belongings unprotected.
With tenant insurance, if your possessions are damaged due to fire, vandalism, theft, and certain types of water damage, you can rest easy knowing that the contents of your home or apartment are protected, and your tenant insurance policy will help cover the cost of repairing or replacing them.
I don’t actually have that many possessions, so I don’t need to insure them.
If you think tenant insurance isn’t worth it because you don’t have enough belongings, think again! As a general rule, many people underestimate the cost of replacing their possessions.
Think of it this way: if you have a TV, laptop, furniture, appliances, a closet with clothes in it and a fridge with food in it, you have more than enough belongings to warrant protecting them with tenant insurance. What’s more, the replacement cost of items bought on sale is calculated based on full retail value – not purchase cost. So if you bought a $1,000 flat-screen TV for just $500, its replacement cost will be $1,000.
Remember: before you get tenant insurance, it’s important to make an up-to-date inventory of your belongings, so that you can get properly compensated.
Tentant insurance is too expensive – I simply can’t afford it.
If you can afford to go to the movies a couple of times a month, you can afford to protect your belongings with tenant insurance.
You might be inclined to automatically reject the idea of adding another item to your list of monthly expenses. Rent, after all, isn’t cheap. However, when you consider the cost of replacing all or some of your belongings, or even the cost of a liability lawsuit, paying a few dollars a month for renters insurance is actually the most affordable – and money-wise – thing to do.
Since my roommate has insurance, I should be covered as well – after all, we live together.
Even if your roommate has tenant insurance, you shouldn’t assume that you’re automatically covered under his or her policy. In fact, most of the time, renter’s insurance only covers the policyholder’s personal belongings – not those of his or her roommate.
Thinking of purchasing tenant insurance with your roommate? There are several things to think about before making this decision:
- Do you have an inventory of your belongings? Do you know how much they are worth?
- Does your roommate have a clear understanding of what his or her valuables are worth?
- If one of you has belongings of more value, how will you split your contribution to the policy?
- Who will take main responsibility for the policy, including submitting claims and making changes?
Tenant Insurance only protects my belongings, and nothing else.
This is false. Aside from protecting your possessions, your renter’s policy will also protect you in case you cause accidental damage to other tenant’s property. For example, if you accidently leave the kitchen tap running and the sink overflows, you may incur water damage on your kitchen tiles. However, if the water seeps into the apartment below yours and damages your neighbour’s belongings, you would be liable for that damage.
With tenant insurance, your policy will cover the damage to your neighbour’s property, so you aren’t stuck with the bill.
What’s more, tenant insurance also covers you in case someone is injured in your home. For example, if a friend slips on a rug in your living room, your policy will help cover his or her medical expenses. But what if they decide to sue? In the unfortunate event that your friend decides to take legal action, your policy will cover you and you won’t have to pay out of pocket.
Whether you’re renting an apartment or home, tenant insurance just makes sense. For the cost of getting a pizza delivered, you can protect your valuable possessions and protect yourself against liability. Remember: being protected means being informed – learn more about how tenant insurance can protect you and your belongings.