If you're renting, it's important to understand that your landlord's insurance typically covers damage to the building only – not you, your guests or your things. Despite this, most renters don't buy renters insurance, which is a policy designed to protect you financially if you rent a house, apartment, or condo.
This affordable insurance covers you in a variety of scenarios. For example, should your belongings be damaged, renters insurance can repair or replace them. It can also:
- Help pay for repairs if you accidentally damage another's property
- Pay for a guest's medical bills if you're found responsible for his or her injuries
- Cover additional living expenses if your rental is uninhabitable due to a catastrophe
The average renters insurance policy costs about $17 per month. However, where you live, credit history, the value of your insured items, and coverage amounts will affect the cost. A higher deductible also helps keep the cost down.
Certain safety features — such as security systems, fire extinguishers, and various alarms — can get you a discount on your policy. And if you need car insurance, bundling the two policies together can lower your cost.
A standard policy does include coverage for jewelry and other high value items, but there are limits. Take the time to inventory your personal items and their value. Then, be sure to review the coverage limits carefully to ensure you have the coverage needed to recover the value of your high-value items.
The Bottom Line: Renters are responsible for everything that happens inside their rental home, which means they are also liable if someone is injured inside. There's no need to take this unnecessary risk, because it's easy to find a renters insurance policy that suits your needs and is also affordable.