Even if you do not own your own home it is still important to take out insurance. You do not need to insure the structure of your property if you rent, but it is still highly advisable to insure its contents. If you were to experience a break-in, or a fire, then you could lose many, if not all, of your valuable items; items that could cost thousands to replace. By taking out renter’s insurance you give yourself peace of mind that if disaster strikes then you will be financially compensated.
There are a huge number of reasons to take out renter’s insurance. Firstly, it is relatively inexpensive; for example, in the UK you can get comprehensive cover for the full contents of a two-bedroomed house for less than £10 per month! This represents great value for money, especially as this figure includes cover for accidental damage, so if you inadvertently smash your widescreen television, or spill paint on your sofa then you can still make a claim.
Secondly, whilst your landlord should have taken out buildings insurance to cover any structural damage to the property this policy will not cover any damage sustained to its contents. If your home is damaged due to extreme weather conditions then renter’s insurance will pay out if some of your possessions are also lost or damaged due to storms.
Thirdly, some renter’s insurance policies include liability coverage, which means that if someone is injured whilst visiting your home, or if a member of your household accidently injures someone the policy will pay out if any liability claims are made against you. This payout will cover court judgements and legal expenses up to the policy limit.
Fourthly, if you rent an apartment in a multi-unit complex then you are at greater risk of experiencing loss or damage to your property due to fire. Although you may be diligent, and make sure that fire hazards are eliminated from your home, your neighbour may not be quite so conscientious, and the contents of your home could be ruined by smoke damage associated with a fire next door, above, or below you.
The fifth reason that renter’s insurance is an important consideration is that it protects you should your electrical items be damaged due to faulty wiring (something that is very much out of your control if you live in a rental property). Renter’s insurance will pay out for a repair or replacement of any of your electrical goods that are damaged due to a fault with the electrics in your home.
One of the main reasons that it is important to take out renter’s insurance is to protect your belongings against theft. Renter’s insurance covers the entire contents of your home including electronics, furniture, jewellery and clothing; although if you do own very valuable items then you may have to insure them separately. The contents of your home can often amount to a value far higher than you might expect, and if you were a victim of burglary you could find yourself seriously out of pocket. Most policies offer replacement items on a new for old basis; although make sure you check the policy terms and conditions carefully to confirm this before you sign up as some policies do allow for depreciation over time.
Another, little-known, bonus offered by renter’s insurance policies is the option to insure your personal possessions whilst you are away from home. This includes cover for mobile phones, laptops, tablets etc. For a very small additional fee you can get peace of mind that if you are a victim of theft whilst out and about you will receive a payout from your insurance provider.
Renter’s insurance is also ideal if you are a student living in shared accommodation. If you live in a house or flat with a number of other people then you are actually more at risk of having your possessions stolen or damaged by fire as your housemates could inadvertently leave a window open, or leave something cooking on a hot stove. You may not think that as a student your possessions have any great value but laptops, mobile phones and tablets can soon add up!
If you rent your property then it is vital that you do not forget to take out adequate insurance cover to protect the contents of your home. As a general rule of thumb, you should have cover in place for all those items that you would take with you should you move out (so if you are in unfurnished accommodation this would include beds, sofas etc.). Unfortunately, many renters omit to take out renter’s insurance as they incorrectly assume that their contents are covered by their landlord’s policy. This, of course, is not the case, and many people living in rented accommodation live to regret not taking out a suitable policy. For just a few pounds a months you can ensure that all the items you own, both inside and outside of the home, will be covered against a number of eventualities. This is most definitely money well-spent, as unfortunately, however careful you are, accidents can and do happen, and individuals can fall foul of conditions that are very much out of their control.