Knowledgeable people say renters insurance is a good idea (Don’t believe me? Go ahead and search for “renters insurance” in Google News. I’ll be here.). Despite this, most people do not have renters insurance policies. Specifically, only 40% of renters have insurance. Compare this to 95% of homeowners who are insured.
Congratulations on getting this far. You’re acting like a total adult. Way to go.
So why don’t more renters have insurance? Maybe it is because renters are young, hip and lead exciting lives. Insurance is not young or hip. Buying insurance is not exciting. It is boring.
Worry not though, that’s what Bungalow is here for. Well, we can’t make insurance exciting, but we can make it so easy everyone will be buying it… or so we hope.
What is renters insurance? What does it cover?
Renters insurance is like homeowners insurance, except it doesn’t need to protect the dwelling you live in since you don’t own it. In practice, renters insurance protects you with 4 main coverages. Let’s break down each one for you.
4 Benefits of renters insurance
- Personal Property Coverage – This protects your belongings from theft, loss, fire and other forms of destruction. This protection applies anywhere in the world, not just inside your apartment. And yes, this covers you when your bike stolen. We’ve been hearing a lot about gangs of marauding bike thieves.
- Personal Liability Coverage – This protects you from lawsuits should anyone be hurt in your apartment or should you damage someone else’s property.
- Medical Coverage – This covers medical expenses if someone is injured in your apartment, regardless of whose fault it may be.
- Loss of Use Coverage – This pays for living expenses (like hotel and food) if you are unable to live in your apartment.
If any of those coverages above sound nice to have, you should consider renters insurance. In fact, with an average rate of $15-$25 per month, renters insurance provides a lot of protection for a (relatively) small amount.
4 Things to look for when buying renters insurance
- Deductible – This is the amount of loss you pay out of pocket before the insurance coverage kicks in. You can adjust this amount up and down to your liking.
- Replacement cost – If you have a claim, replacement cost pays you the amount to buy your possessions over again. The alternative is “actual cash value” which subjects the value of your assets to depreciation. Bungalow policies have replacement cost coverage because it’s better.
- Exclusions – Renters insurance typically covers lost property from 16 perils: fire/lightning, wind/hail, explosion, riot, aircraft, vehicles, smoke, vandalism, theft, falling objects, weight of ice/snow/sleet, accidental discharge or overflow of water/steam, accidental tearing/cracking/burning/bulging, freezing, damages from electrical surges, and volcanoes. Yes, renters insurance covers against volcanoes. However, that does mean that renters insurance does not protect against losses from events such as floods, earthquakes, landslides, sinkholes, neglect, war, and nuclear hazard. For a full breakdown of what is and isn’t covered by renters insurance, consult your policy documents.
- Sub-limits – Something to keep in mind when choosing the amount of personal property coverage you would like is that there are sub-limits within that amount for specific items like jewelry, instruments, antiques et cetera. So if you have a lot of jewelry or a vintage gramophone, be sure to give us a call at 1-877-209-5336 so we can get you the protection you need. To find out more about personal property sub-limits, read our dedicated FAQ+ post.
5 Common misconceptions about renters insurance
The average renters insurance policy is $15-$25 per month. That’s like 3 Starbucks Frappuccinos a month or one meal at Shake Shack.
My landlord has insurance so I’m covered
We hear this one pretty often. However, landlord’s insurance only covers the building you live in. It won’t cover your property or any damage you may cause. That is why you need renters insurance.
My roommate has it so I don’t need it
That depends. Some renters insurance policies don’t allow roommates to be added unless they are a “significant other”. Bungalow allows one roommate to be listed as an additional insured party.
If you decide to split renters insurance costs with your roommate(s), make sure everyone is listed as an additional insured party and that the personal property coverage amount is enough to cover all of your collective possessions.
If the cost is reasonable, it could be a good idea to get your own insurance coverage to cover your possessions. Common pitfalls of sharing renters insurance include your roommate’s insurance claims going on your insurance record and complications when one roommate moves out. So, since you’re an adult and getting renters insurance, maybe go all the way and get your own policy. It’s the adult thing to do.
I don’t have that much stuff
You probably have more stuff than you think. Consider how much it would cost to replace your laptop, bed, furniture, kitchenware and appliances and all your clothes. People also sometimes forget about items they may have of value like an SLR camera for taking pictures of cappuccino foam, a musical instrument, or that marble bust of Marcus Aurelius your grandparents gave you.
Getting renters insurance is hard or complicated
This one may actually be generally true. But that is why we created Bungalow, to make insurance easy. Give us a try today and see if you agree.