Several consumer surveys over the past decade confirm that nearly two-thirds of the more than 81 million people living in rental properties in the U.S. don’t have renter’s insurance. Unfortunately, renting without coverage puts you at risk.
Here are 5 powerful reasons why you need a Rhode Island renter’s insurance policy to protect yourself.
Your Landlord’s Policy Doesn’t Protect You
Your landlord has insurance, but it covers the building you live in, not your personal belongings. If the building burns to the ground with your things in it, you likely won’t get a dime from the landlord or their insurance company.
If you travel and come back to an empty apartment due to theft, your landlord’s not going to replace your things. However, when you buy a renter’s insurance policy, you’re covered even while vacationing or away on business. You can also buy additional coverage if you own collectibles, expensive electronics or music equipment, jewelry or antiques.
In Rhode Island, your renter’s insurance may also compensate you for your expenses if you cannot live in your home. Your coverage may include meals, hotel rooms and other expenses up to the limit of your policy for covered hazards.
You Could Be Sued
Renter’s insurance also provides liability coverage. You may not think that you need this, but consider a few possible scenarios.
Let’s say that you have friends over and they bring along guests. A guest slips in your bathroom, falls, and cracks their head on your bathtub. They decide to sue. Could you pay the legal costs and their medical bills if they won in court?
What if you inadvertently left a tap running and the overflowing water caused damage to your neighbor’s apartment and belongings? Will they willingly pay their deductible on their insurance policy and take a hit on the loss? What if they don’t have insurance at all?
You Own More than You Realize
Many renters claim that they don’t own enough things to warrant buying a renter’s insurance policy, but is this really true? Take a walk through your place and write up an inventory. Then attach a dollar value to each item. The total may shock you.
When you must replace an entire household, the cost adds up quickly. If you’ve lived in your place for a long time, you’ve probably accumulated many possessions. They’ll probably cost much more to replace now. Just think about how much it would cost you to replace things like your clothes, shoes, and linens, never mind your television, computer, furniture and kitchen equipment.
You Can Bundle Your Coverage
Renters may avoid insurance because they believe it is too expensive. This isn’t the case, particularly when you take advantage of the many discounts available.
The national average is $185 per year, and many insurance companies offer substantial premium reductions if you bundle your policy with your auto insurance. You may also qualify for a discount if your home has deadbolts, an alarm, a sprinkler system or smoke detectors. Some insurance companies also offer discounts if you belong to a professional organization or you’re in the military.
Renter’s insurance policies are flexible too. You can opt for actual cash value coverage which pays the depreciated value of your possessions and pay a lower premium. You can also choose a higher deductible with lower premiums, too.
Your Landlord Requires It
Many landlords now require their tenants to have renter’s insurance. This is often because their insurance company insists on it. When residents carry their own policy, many legal and financial responsibilities shift away from the landlord and their insurer.