You may own a bar cart or know how to set up a dinner table, but you can't fully qualify an adult until your apartment is covered by renters insurance. Having a protection plan for the contents of your home is one of those small things that many neglect — until it's too little, too late. According to an Insurancequotes.com survey, 52% of millennial renters in America do not have renter’s insurance, mostly due to lack of consideration and the perception that it is too expensive. Many people also mistakenly assume that this is something provided by the landlord, when in fact, only the building's structure is covered in most building's insurance plans.
Getting yourself on a renters insurance plan can be one of the smartest things you can do to protect yourself and your valuable belongings. "Renters often underestimate the value of their possessions — which will comes as a huge surprise when it's time to replace the items they've accumulated," says Jeffery Hale, Director in Product Management at Liberty Mutual Insurance. "If you include everything from tech to furniture to clothing, an average renter's possessions can easily add up to $25,000."
Buying yourself the peace of mind is a lot cheaper than you think: According to a list compiled by Value Penguin, renters insurance costs an average of less than $20 per month in most states. And, these policies are relatively straightforward. Ahead, we've covered everything you need to know about renters insurance.
What It Covers
A standard coverage plan protects your personal property from theft, vandalism, or damage caused by fires or flood. Your possessions are covered inside the apartment, and up to 100 feet outside the apartment. The plan is in effect while you're on vacation, and even when you’re moving.
Do An Inventory Check
Before you commit to a plan, it helps to get an estimate of how much your belongings are worth, since it will directly affect how much you will be paying. The best way to move forward is to create a home inventory — a detailed checklist of everything you own and their estimated value.
It's very important to double check that your plan includes liability protection: This means that you'll be financially protected even if someone is injured on your property or if you accidentally damage the apartment. You'll be off the hook for losses up to your coverage limit, even when a claim is filed against you.
Tech Is Separate
Once you've decided on a plan, be sure to check the fine print on whether your gadgets are covered in the accidental damage clause: Tech products such as smartphone, software, and laptops typically fall under the umbrella of an additional protection plan, which has a higher insurance limit. Don't just assume that you'll be able to claim the damage for accidently spilling tea on your laptop.
...As Is Expensive Jewelry
Your jewelry is typically included in the personal item category of a blanket coverage plan, but the protection value won't be that significant. If you keep something of value at home, it's wise to buy an additional protection for jewelry, where you'll be given a limit that's specific to jewelry claims. This also applies to other high-price items such as antiques, collectibles, rugs and jewelry: If these items mean a lot to you, it’s worth checking in with your insurance provider to make sure you’re covered.