Young people are increasingly living in rental apartments rather than buying homes, sometimes citing expensive taxes and home insurance as reasons they’d rather not take on the long-term responsibility of becoming homeowners.
But what they may not know is that their landlord’s insurance covers only their living space itself, and not the belongings contained in it. That means that if any of their possessions are damaged by a fire or leaking pipes, they have no recourse unless they’ve taken out their own policy to insure their property.
“If you don’t have renters insurance, you’re out of luck,” Ruth Thaler-Carter explained summarily in the Democrat and Chronicle Dec. 5.
Renters insurance covers three basic concerns: damage, theft and liability.
Nasdaq.com lists renters insurance as one of the four types of insurance all people should have, with Joe Young writing Dec. 9 that “in today’s tumultuous economic environment, going without insurance is inviting trouble.”
How many renters are putting themselves at risk? A survey conducted last year by Rent.com suggests that 60% of tenants don’t carry renters insurance.
Experts say there’s no reason for that number to be so high, especially considering how affordable renters insurance is. Policies, which are offered by most of the same insurance carriers who offer home coverage, often cost between $15 and $30 each month.
And if you don’t already have renters insurance, U.S. News Money warned tenants in a recent article, now is the right time to get it.
“The candles and Christmas trees just mean more chances for disaster to strike,” wrote Niccole Schreck.
Last year, a home fire occurred every 85 seconds on average, according to data from the National Fire Protection Association. And research by Allstate Insurance shows a 15% increase in claims over the holidays.
But fires aren’t the only danger renters should worry about. Burglaries go up during the gift-giving season, when people tend to have expensive items showing up on their doorsteps or tucked away in their closets. Tenants also need to think about liability for slip-and-fall injuries sustained on their properties; while personal health insurance would cover the tenant, it won’t be of any help if a guest slips on ice while leaving a Christmas party.