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Good Reasons For Getting Renters Insurance Coverage
By Mike Heuer

Many people think they don’t need renters insurance due to not having many things to insure. Yet, a large amount of people who have renters insurance wind up filing a claim at some point. And since the economic downturn began in 2007, the percentage of U.S. households living in rental properties has gone up to more than 35 percent. In some cities, the percentages of people renting their homes are much greater than those who own them with nearly 70 percent of households occupying rental homes.

Deciding to purchase renters insurance requires assessing family needs and assets as well as the likelihood of being forced to move due to some sort of emergency or otherwise suffering some type of loss that might be covered by a renters insurance plan. Affordability is the first consideration.

With renters insurance plans typically costing between $10 per month and $20 per month, most people can afford the policies. If the potential policyholder also owns a vehicle, the property and casualty insurer underwriting the auto insurance plan also likely provides insurance coverage for renters or is partnered with an insurance company that does. Bundling policies can save up to 25 percent not only on the cost of renters insurance but also the cost of auto insurance.

Once affordability is established, conducting an inventory of belongings kept in the rental unit will help determine if the cost is justified. In most cases, it is justified when factoring in the value of furnishings, audio and video equipment, tableware, jewelry, artwork, sports and hobby equipment and other things people commonly keep in their rented homes but often fail to consider when assessing the value of the things they own. Conducting an inventory of owned items can help determine if less than $20 per month for renters insurance is a sensible cost.

Potential liability also is another important consideration, especially if there are children in the household. If a family lives in a rented home and has other children over to visit and play with their children, nearly anything could happen. Children might get injured while playing, possibly get into a fight or wind up breaking the property of another’s, and the renter could be held liable for any financial losses as a result.

Even if no children are present, an in-home accident might cause damage to the rental unit, and the landlord might hold the renter liable. A renters insurance plan could the costs of such damages.

So when considering whether or not to get a renters insurance plan, it helps to assess the value of belongings, potential liability and affordability of renters insurance when deciding whether or not to purchase renters insurance coverage.

Mike Heuer is a former insurance producer in Nevada with expertise in Property & Casualty and Life and Health insurance. He also is a former newspaper reporter with 20 years’ experience in print media.