For many people, the American dream is to own a nice house in the suburbs, complete with a white picket fence and one of those house-shaped mailboxes out front. Saving to purchase a home is something many of us plan for, but it may take years for those homeowning dreams to actually become a reality. If you’re one of the 35 percent of Americans who rent and aren’t quite ready to buy a home, you may want to consider getting renters insurance to cover your personal belongings while you wait.
Renters are often under the misconception that their landlord’s insurance will cover their personal property if there’s a burglary or a fire. And maybe that’s why fewer than 40 percent of U.S. renters have insurance. Though your landlord should have insurance that covers structural damages, you need to be proactive and purchase your own policy to cover your stuff, like clothing, furniture, jewelry, and electronics.
Luckily, renters insurance is typically just a fraction of the cost that a homeowner may pay — often less than 20 dollars a month! Plus, you may be covered in more ways than you realize, which is another reason why renters insurance can be hard to pass up. Check out these 5 surprising things protected by renters insurance.
5 things covered by renters insurance
1. Your property (wherever the loss occurs)
Did someone steal your camera during your Fiji vacation? What about that brand-new tablet snatched from your bag at the gym? Many renters policies cover your personal property wherever you are. Sometimes you may have to show proof of ownership to your insurer if you need to file a claim, so it’s a good idea to save your receipts and take photos of your valuables before a loss occurs.
2. Medical payments if a friend gets injured at your place
It’s Friday night. You and your friends are playing a close game of table tennis when your buddy makes the winning pass, throwing his arms up and cheering. In celebration of his team’s victory, your friend circles the table for a round of high-fives, failing to notice your nearby ottoman, which he then trips over, fracturing his wrist. Take a deep breath: your renters insurance will likely cover any medical payments you could be responsible for and possibly also the legal fees (up to a certain amount).
3. The stuff in your dorm while you’re living on campus
If your parents have renters (or homeowners) insurance, the personal property inside your college dorm room is most likely covered to a certain extent, so you probably won’t need to purchase your own policy. If there’s water damage in the building that destroys your computer or if your smartphone is stolen from a classroom, your parents could likely file a claim on your behalf.
4. Items in your car
Auto insurance often protects a vehicle itself and sometimes bodily injury. But what happens if you have valuables in the backseat or the trunk that somehow get damaged … or even stolen? Renters insurance will often protect the personal property that’s in your car, even if you’re not parked at home during the time of loss.
5. Temporary housing if your building is being fixed after a disaster
Sometimes the unexpected happens, like a neighbor accidentally starting an apartment fire after falling asleep with the stove on. Your landlord may need to repair your building, and if you don’t have renters insurance, there’s a good chance you could end up footing the bill for your hotel room, even if it’s not your fault that you have to relocate while repairs occur.
And for more great insurance tips, check out Answer Financial’s Insurance Center blog.
Please note: The information provided above is general and does not necessarily reflect the policies of Esurance or the discounts available through Esurance. Esurance discount amounts may vary and coverage and discounts are not available in all states.