Whether you're a young person moving into that first apartment or an older adult who has rented for years, renter's insurance is an important part of sound financial planning. Your landlord has protected the structure -- his or her investment -- but that's where the coverage ends. It does not cover a tenant's possessions. Nor does your landlord's insurance cover you if someone is injured in your apartment or rented home. You could be responsible for that visitor's medical bills.
Begin by making an honest and accurate assessment of all your belongings. How much would it cost to replace them in the event of loss? To buy even the most essential items all at once could quickly add up to a lot of money. Don't overlook expensive sports equipment, a lifelong collection of books, artwork, music or inherited items like jewelry.
You could take your chances and just decide to live without those things should they be stolen or destroyed by fire or natural disasters such as floods or tornadoes. But what will it cost to replace clothes, especially if your work requires expensive business attire? Add to that what it would cost you to live in a motel and purchase meals should you be temporarily forced to stay elsewhere while damages are repaired. The tab can quickly run into hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.
Many people on tight budgets often look at insurance as "nice but not essential." If you're trying to economize, consider other options before totally eliminating coverage. There are many ways to remain insured while lowering premiums.
Begin by buying only the coverage you need and choosing a high deductible. If your area is not subject to earthquakes and floods, skip that rider. However, if these are threats in the area, be sure to ask specifically for those riders. Flood insurance is not automatically part of your policy.
Your insurer can suggest other savings such as multiple-policy discounts, so don't be afraid to ask. Renters could be surprised to learn that adequate coverage might cost no more per month than a nice meal at a restaurant.
Obtaining renter insurance is a good idea, regardless of how many possessions you have. Rental insurance will not only cover all your personal property, but it will also cover you in the event of any personal injuries to you or any guests while you are living in the rental.
Does renters insurance cover moving? Some policies will insure the items for a certain time period, but you'll need to read the fine print on your individual policy.