Why Bother with Renter's Insurance?

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You’ve just moved all of your sweaters, dishes, electronics, and (mostly) useless sentimental gifts from your grandma into your new apartment. Surely, they survived the most dangerous part of their lives in the back of that moving van, and you don’t have to worry about them anymore, right? If anything should happen, your belongings are covered by your new landlord’s insurance, right?

Unfortunately, this is a common misconception held by renters. The homeowner’s insurance that your landlord has only covers the dwelling, the landlord’s personal property stored at the site, and liability protection. So, what can you do to protect yourself and your belongings in the event of a disaster? Thankfully, renter’s insurance is a relatively simple and inexpensive solution for this concern.

What does renter’s insurance cover?

Most renter’s insurance policies protect property losses from fire, wind, burglary or theft, falling objects, explosions, hail, and lightning, among other catastrophes. However, renter’s insurance generally does not protect your property in the event of a flood⁠—be sure to confirm this with your insurance company and seek to add additional coverage if desired.

Renter’s insurance policies cover more than personal property losses; they also offer liability coverage and loss of use protection. In the event that your dwelling is damaged and uninhabitable, renter’s insurance policies pay your living expenses until the property is repaired and you can move back in. This is a key benefit of renter’s insurance that is often overlooked. No one anticipates the surprise expenses that come with a disaster or unfortunate accident.

How much does it usually cost?

There’s no simple answer to this one because there are so many variables; however, the average rate is $187 per year. So, what will affect your rate? The amount of property and liability coverage you need is the biggest variable in determining the cost. The average policy provides coverage for $40,000 of personal property and $100,000 of liability coverage with a $1,000 deductible. These can all vary based on your personal needs, but this is a starting point. Your credit history and any additional riders (for high-value jewelry, earthquake protection, additional liability coverage, etc.) will also influence your rate. Surprisingly, even where you live will affect your insurance rate. This is good news for Pennsylvania renters, though! According to ValuePenguin, a company that analyzes data to help people make financial decisions, Pennsylvania renter’s insurance costs are 17% below the national average at around $156 per year or $13 per month.

How do I get renter’s insurance?

The key here is to shop around. Different insurance companies offer different rates.

Pro tip: Ask your car insurance company first. Chances are great that they will give you a better rate for bundling your renter’s and car insurance.

But, is it really worth it?

Renter’s insurance might seem unnecessary. What are the odds that all your stuff is going to be lost or destroyed? Honestly, the probability is low⁠—but not zero. And, your belongings are worth more than you might think. The yearly cost of renter’s insurance is less than what it would cost to replace a single television or laptop. Think about how much more it would cost if you had to replace numerous belongings!

Here at Birgo, we genuinely care about our tenants and want them to be protected. So, we strongly encourage all of our tenants to carry renter’s insurance.

If you want to know what it’s like to rent from people who truly care, check out the available listings on our website, and schedule a showing today!

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