How to Decide Whether to Get Renter's Insurance

Have you been wondering about whether you'll be protected if your personal property gets damaged, or if someone is injured in your apartment? Here are some commonly asked questions about renter's insurance and some reasons as to why you might consider purchasing it.


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    Understand when you need renter's insurance. This insurance will cover you if any of your furniture, electronics, books, or other belongings get damaged or destroyed. Renter's insurance also covers you in the event that someone else is injured in your apartment or someone’s personal property is damaged and sues you.
    • Although your landlord almost certainly has property and liability insurance, your landlord's policy doesn't cover the items that you keep inside your apartment, and it doesn't protect you if a guest is injured and sues you for liability.
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    Expect renter's insurance to cost around $10-$25 per month. You may be able to benefit from certain discounts.
    • Look at typical insurers such as Allstate, Geico, and State Farm for renter's insurance. If you already have insurance (for instance, for your car) with a company that you like, ask your agent or broker whether you can also get a renter's insurance policy. Keep in mind that having more than one policy with the same insurer can save you money through a "multi-line discount."
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    Consider insurance even where you don't own much. Renter's insurance is still important even if you don't own much personal property because of the liability component. Also, chances are your personal property is worth more than you think. If you don't have much personal property to insure, then you can save money by choosing a lower policy limit.
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    Understand what you're likely to get back if something goes wrong. The payout depends on whether you opt for an actual cash value (ACV) or replacement cost coverage policy. ACV coverage pays for the market value of your property at the moment before it was damaged. Replacement cost coverage pays you the full cost of getting a new item to replace the one that was destroyed. As you would expect, replacement cost coverage is more expensive than ACV, but it's usually worth it.
    • For example, think about what would happen if your computer, television, or stereo system were destroyed. If you only had ACV coverage, you would probably run far short of what you would need to properly replace these expensive items.
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    Check the conditions on the insurance for relocation. Renter's insurance normally covers your living expenses if you must temporarily relocate because of extensive damage to your apartment. This is something that you should confirm, however, with your agent or broker before settling on a policy.
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    Seek to save money on renter's insurance. Here are some ways you can save money on renter's insurance.
    • Shop around to compare policies.
    • Don't get more coverage than you need.
    • Go with a higher deductible.
    • Ask your insurer about any discounts (for example, for having a protective device such as a working smoke detector, for having multiple policies with the same insurer, or for being over 55 and retired).
    • Pay the total annual premium in one payment (rather than in monthly payments, which typically add installment fees.


  • If you purchase a renter's insurance policy and then move to a different apartment, your policy shouldn't be affected, at least if the move is within the same state. Inform your insurer of your upcoming move and provide your new address to ensure uninterrupted coverage.

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