Apartment Life Blog

What Do You Know About Apartment Rental Insurance?

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Renter's Insurance

Insurance is one of those things you hope you never need to use, but don’t want to be caught without. You have insurance coverage for your car and your health, but what about your apartment? Living in a multifamily complex can have its surprises. Apartment rental insurance can be that little umbrella that saves you from a sudden rainstorm. Wood Partners would like to answer a few questions you may have:

What is renter’s insurance and why do I need it?

Renter’s insurance protects you, the renter, and your personal property. Renters often have a false sense of security believing that if anything happens, the property management covers any and all damages. But this is not the case. Most apartment leases have some type of indemnity clause: in the case of fire, flood, or other disaster where the tenant is found not at fault, the apartment complex will cover the damages to the apartment’s property, not the renter’s personal property. Also, see this article in U.S. News and World Report about common myths of renters insurance.

What does renter’s insurance cover?

Your renter’s insurance policy will state specifically what it covers. These named perils include (but are not limited to) smoke, fire, lightening, accidental discharge of water, vandalism, and theft. Your policy will also include medical payment coverage within your liability coverage which applies only to non-resident guests of the insured.

Renter’s insurance pays for replacement of your personal belongings and liability coverage pays for any damages due to your negligence. Read this article about what most insurance does not cover – it might surprise you.

Scenario #1

You leave a candle burning on the counter while you make a quick run to the store for some milk. Mr. Kitty jumps up on the counter and knocks the candle over. The mail you were going to shift through later was also laying on the counter. The two meet, and flames ensue.

The good news is that you were home in time to contain it in the kitchen. The bad news is that the counter top, dishwasher, top and bottom cabinets and their contents need to be replaced. Renter’s insurance could cover all of it. Otherwise you are coming out-of-pocket.

Scenario #2

Your significant other’s parents are over for dinner. You didn’t burn dinner and there weren’t too many awkward silences during the meal, a success in your book. You’re in the kitchen doing the dishes, not paying attention to how much water you are splashing on the floor. In walks the mom on her way to the bathroom. She doesn’t notice the water either…

After taking her to the hospital you learn that she has a broken ankle. Her medical insurance will only cover so much. You are liable for any charges she may incur. You would be paying for that out-of-pocket if you didn’t have renter’s insurance.

Another benefit of renter’s insurance is the personal property coverage could extend to your vehicle.  If your vehicle is broken into, your car insurance will not replace the laptop that was stolen. Depending on your renter’s insurance, they might.

How much does renter’s insurance cost?

It depends on the policy you choose, but coverage is fairly inexpensive. Here is a list of items that cost more than one month’s premium for renter’s insurance:

  • One $5 cup of coffee a week for a month
  • Two movie tickets
  • 15 Redbox rentals
  • Eating fast food once a week for a month
  • Two month subscription to Netflix
  • 12 songs downloaded from iTunes or Google Play
  • Two month subscription to Xbox Live
  • Replacing all of your furniture, clothes, and other personal belongings because one of your neighbors doesn’t know how to use a stove properly and the caught the building on fire.
  • Having to come out-of-pocket for the damages caused when you started running a bath, fell asleep, and flooded the apartment below yours. As far as which policy to choose, you want enough to cover the cost of replacing your belongings and have enough coverage to account for any emergency that may arise.

As far as which policy to choose, you want enough to cover the cost of replacing your belongings and have enough coverage to account for any emergency that may arise.

Where can I get renter’s insurance?

There are many options when it comes to purchasing a renter’s insurance policy. You should first speak with the apartment management. They may have partnered with an insurance company to get their tenants an excellent rate. If not, it’s important to shop around to not only find the best rate, but also find the policy that best works for you.

Most nationally known insurance companies offer renter’s insurance. They usually offer discounts if you also have an auto policy with them.

Renter’s insurance is worth the low monthly cost for the peace of mind knowing you are covered in case of emergency. At Wood Partners, we take your safety just as serious. Contact us with any questions you have about making a home with us.

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