When you purchase a new home, it’s standard practice to buy homeowners insurance, as it is usually a requirement from your mortgage company. However, when it comes to renting only about 41% of people are protecting their property, and themselves, by purchasing renters insurance. Why is it that so many people choose to forego this important financial safety net? At Eastern Insurance, we hear all the excuses why clients choose to not have renters insurance. By sharing our top five reasons why all renters need renters insurance, we hope you will see the huge value this inexpensive policy will provide.
- Your Landlord’s Policy Won’t Protect You
Even if you are moving into a house or an apartment that is part of one, the insurance policy protecting that house does not protect your belongings the way a normal homeowners insurance policy would. A landlord’s policy will likely cover the structure, but nothing inside it, including you. If there is a property loss, such as a fire, or an accident, like one of your friends getting injured in your apartment, you will need renters insurance to avoid paying out of pocket for any claims.
- You Have More ‘Stuff’ Than You Realize
The most common reason that we hear for renters passing on renters insurance is, “I don’t have enough stuff to make it worth paying to protect it.” With all due respect, we think you might be wrong. Take a moment to think about every single item you own, such as electronics (televisions, tablets, smartphones, speakers), furniture (couches, tables, chairs, lamps, rugs), clothing (jeans, shoes, shirts, winter coats) and accessories (watches, jewelry, purses). You’ve likely acquired these items over several years, many of them being gifts, hand-me-downs, or your own quality investment pieces. Now, imagine they’re all wiped away by a fire in your building. Could you afford to replace everything? Would you want to?
Getting the right renters insurance coverage will provide you with tens of thousands of dollars in replacement coverage for your personal property. That means that, in the event of a loss, you’ll be able to buy a new couch for your living room, even if you got your original couch from your parents’ basement.
Pro Tip: Moving is the perfect time to create your inventory checklist! As you pack, make a list of all your items, and take photos or video of your most substantial pieces. This will help you and your insurance customer service representative determine the amount of coverage you need, and, in the event of a claim, the payout you should receive.
- You Can’t Control Your Neighbors
You promise to be careful in your new apartment; you’ll never host parties, you’ll never leave the oven on, and you’ll keep the door locked. Okay, we trust you, but do you trust your neighbors to do the same? We know a responsible young professional that was living in Boston and received a phone call one day that the apartment above hers had caught on fire. When she got home, she realized that all her personal belongings were soaked from the hoses trying to extinguish the flames, and that even the things that would eventually dry out had extensive smoke damage. She did not have renters insurance, and even though she did nothing wrong, she lost nearly everything.
- Liability Coverage Protects Your Future
This may be the most important, yet the most overlooked benefit of renters insurance. Most policies we write provide $500,000 of coverage to protect you in the event you are held personally liable for injury to another person, damage to property off your residence, or in a lawsuit.
For example, if one of your friends seriously hurts themselves while helping you move and sues you for their medical expenses, your renters insurance could help pay for your legal fees or settlements awarded in the case.
If you have a pet, you have even more reason to purchase renters insurance. Cats and dogs that live in apartments are often in small areas, and close to a lot of other people. If your cat were to severely scratch or bite a visitor in your home, or your dog startled an elderly neighbor causing them to fall, you could be held liable for their medical expenses. Without renters insurance, you could be footing the bill for a substantial medical bill for years to come.
- It’s Extremely Affordable
Currently, the average renters policy sold at Eastern Insurance with $300,000 liability coverage and $40,000 personal property coverage has an annual premium of only $250. If that sounds like a lot to you, let’s take a minute to break it down:
Three easy ways to pay for your renters insurance:
- Skip one trip to Starbucks per week ($5 latte x 52 weeks = $260)
- Go for a run instead of to one happy hour per month ($25 for two drinks x 12 months = $300)
- Pay for four years at once by saying no to being in a wedding that you don't really want to be in (The cost of being a bridesmaid or groomsman can easily top $1,000)
Pro Tip: If you have a car in Massachusetts, you have to have auto insurance. If you already have your car insured with Eastern Insurance, you can receive a discount on your auto policy by adding a renters insurance policy. Often, this multi-policy discount is so substantial that it can be almost as much as a standalone renters policy. When combined, the net cost of both policies makes your new renters insurance seem nearly free!
When you look at the cost of a renters insurance policy as protecting all your personal belongings and your financial future, it’s hard to see how you can afford not to have it.
To learn more about renters insurance, or to request a quote, visit www.easterninsurance.com/renters. Or, to start working directly with a member of the Eastern Insurance Customer Service Team, call us at 1-800-333-7234 and press Option 2, or email us at [email protected].