You should get renters insurance; it’s almost free and covers more than you think

Source: Keith Williams via Flickr under a Creative Commons license

Source: Keith Williams via Flickr under a Creative Commons license

You pay plenty already when it comes to rent, furniture, utilities, and all the other bills you’ve gotta pay to live somewhere. Perhaps so much so that there’s a pretty decent possibility that you haven’t even considered adding one more expense in the form of renters insurance.

Well maybe you should.

Chances are, it’s cheaper than you think and covers even more than you think.

It’s cheap … like really cheap

Have you even priced renters insurance?

You’d be surprised at how little it costs for a lot of people. This San Francisco Chronicle article quoted the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America as saying the average cost of Renter’s Insurance is $12.

I personally pay even less than that.

Not only that, you can also get discounts for installing things like smoke detectors and fire extinguishers in your apartment.

In fact, those simple changes can make renters insurance is effectively free for many people. If you already have life or car insurance, multi-policy discounts make the cost of adding renters insurance pretty darn close to negligible.

That’s right. Renter’s insurance — for all the things it covers — is effectively free for plenty of people out there.

It covers more than you think — like liability and moving

First things first: don’t be fooled into thinking that your furniture and appliances are already covered just because your landlord pays for property insurance. That property insurance covers his stuff like the outside walls, common areas, and  — if he’s got some supplemental insurance — some appliances he owns.

But maybe you already knew that and have considered getting renter’s insurance because you’d like to cover the nice things you’ve accumulated inside your apartment, but heretofore, covering those things hasn’t been enough reason for you to make the jump.

Well, renters insurance covers actually covers two very important things that might push you over the edge — liability and relocation expenses.

If someone gets hurt in your apartment or if your bathtub overflows, you could be liable for damages. Renters insurance covers that!

Also, if your neighbor’s bathtub overflows and totally makes your apartment hard to live in, your renters insurance policy could cover the cost of your move.

Of course, restrictions apply to these and you should check with your individual insurer to make sure of the limits.

That’s not all, because all renters insurance policies may be different, ask your insurer if it covers other things — like the loss of your laptop while you’re out and about or the stuff in your car. Both may also be insured.

Insure your smartphone for less than your cell service provider charges

If you own a smartphone, there’s a pretty good chance that you’re already paying insurance every month to replace it if it’s lost, stolen, or damaged.

That’s great.

But my renters insurance includes coverage for my smartphone.

And renters insurance policies that don’t already cover your smartphone are likely to offer an option to add a rider to your contract to include it. It almost certainly will cost less than your cell service provider charges.

Anyhow, that’s that. I hope you’re all having a wonderful Presidents Day weekend and wonder: What made you decide to get renters insurance or what’s keeping you from getting it?


  1. says

    I pay $30 per month for tenants insurance – I can’t imagine $12! It’s well worth it for me, because although it doesn’t feel like my stuff is inexpensive piece by piece, if I ever have to replace it all in one smash, I’d be screwed!
    Alicia recently posted…Dining Out, Responsibly.My Profile

  2. says

    Most people vastly underinsure, though. Most agents offer a basic renters policy with $10,000 of content coverage. Most people these days, even poor college students, have more than that just electronics and computers. While a basic $10k policy might be enough for a “spot” issue like a broken pipe that affects one corner of a room, it likely won’t be nearly enough for anything catastrophic like a fire or a flood or a major weather event.

    Total up all your clothing, kitchen stuff (pots, pans, measuring cups, forks, etc.), all your bits and pieces. Think about if you had to replace EVERYTHING after a fire. I guarantee $10k wouldn’t even cover a fraction of one room.
    Kara recently posted…Things 2014 – Week 7My Profile

    • says

      No, you’re very right. Some people think that protection starts and ends with signing up. You still have to do a real documentation of what you’d need to replace, a real estimate of what you have, and file all these things with your insurance company.
      Debt Blag recently posted…#FML FinanceMy Profile

  3. says

    I originally only got tenant’s insurance because it was a condition on my lease, but I’ve kept it over the years because it is cheap. I pay about $19 a month.

    Back when I was in school, I knew a girl who’s roommates threw a party while she out and the house got trashed. Someone took a can or two of spray paint to everything in her room, and ruined everything. Because she had tenant’s insurance (and the guilty parties confessed), everything was replaced at little to no to her.
    Amanda recently posted…Financial Carnival for Young AdultsMy Profile

  4. says

    Liabilities coverage is a very important part. You never know what the possible damages might be or how much people may claim as a result of your actions. If you have insurance you would let your insurer deal with outrages claims. Otherwise, you have to fight with your neighbors about them.

    I agree that there are many things covered by your renter insurance. For example, most policies would cover the damages your pet caused as well. I don’t buy cell phone or laptop coverage separately as they are covered by my renter insurance just like you said.

    It is a great point to stress that insurance may not cost as much as many people may think. It is surprising to see how cheap renter or travel insurance can be. But remember to shop around for the best deals.
    TCI recently posted…How Does Auto Insurance Coverage Work?My Profile

  5. Hannah says

    First, I love love love the bird photo! I’m a sucker for sweet, charming little birds in cute rows on branches!

    And yes, we have always had renter’s insurance. With apartment living, it is mainly for liability protection – what if you burned the place down with that pot on the stove? And also for protection against your neighbor’s pot on the stove burning the place down!
    I encourage you to get insurance quotes again every year, as companies tend to change their rates. The last time I did this I actually upped my insurance coverage amounts/liability amounts on both renters and car insurance. By switching to ( another good brand) of insurance I actually saved money but gained more coverage.
    We pay about $13/month for the max renter’s coverage.

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