No one likes to buy insurance.
You pay month in and month out hoping you never need to actually use the insurance but resent the fact that you pay for it anyways. Some insurance, like auto insurance, is required by law in most states.
So we pay our dues (in the form of insurance premiums) and life goes on as we grumble under our breaths about the better uses we have for our money.
But what about the kind of insurance that is just as important as automobile insurance, but isn’t required by law to purchase?
The kind that would replace all of your personal belongings should an emergency occur in your home, even if you are just renting.
That kind of insurance is called renter’s insurance.
What is Renter’s Insurance?
While leasing a home, renter’s insurance provides coverage for all of a tenant’s possessions, up to the value set for them in a policy.
It also provides liability coverage should anyone sustain an injury while in your home.
After all, while the tenant may not own the home, they can still be responsible for certain accidents or damages that happen involving other people on the property.
Renter’s insurance typically covers things such as:
- Personal property including furniture, electronics, and clothing
- Damage to the home if due to a “covered loss” situation such as fire, smoke damage, water damage, and theft
- Personal liability should someone become injured while visiting, damage something within the home, or even attempt to sue
- It may even cover additional living expenses such as meals, car rentals, or hotel bills should the tenant be put out of the home due to extreme damage that renders the home unlivable
*Note flood and earthquake damage is not usually covered under standard renter’s insurance policies. If you live in an earthquake or flood zone, consider additional coverage.
Why People Don’t Have Renter’s Insurance
If you currently lease a home in Anne Arundel County and do not require renter’s insurance from tenants, you are not alone.
In fact, it was estimated that in 2014 only 37% of people renting homes in the United States had renter’s insurance.
This is frightening considering the fact that should something as tragic as a theft or fire in the home, there would be no way of financially recovering belongings except for tenants to use money straight out of their own pockets.
Here are some common misconceptions cited by people who do not have renter’s insurance:
My Landlord’s Insurance Covers My Belongings
Unfortunately, it is common for people to believe that their belongings are covered under their landlord’s insurance policy. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Landlord insurance usually only covers structural damage to the building, or when someone suffers an injury due to a condition the landlord is legally responsible for. Landlords have a lot of costs to manage while renting out a home in areas like Anne Arundel County or Baltimore County. It is unreasonable for tenants to think their personal belongings would be included under the landlord’s policy.
I Have An Emergency Fund To Cover Any Damages
It is wise for everyone to have an emergency fund available for when the unthinkable happens. However, to think that an emergency fund would be able to replace all possessions should let’s say, a fire or a break-in occurs, is not so wise. These incidents are more likely to happen than we may realize. It is far better for tenants to spend as low as $150 a year on a good renter’s insurance policy than to depend on an emergency fund.
I Am Willing To Take The Risk
Bad things happen. When they do, imagine how much it will cost to replace things such as expensive jewelry or electronics in the case of theft, or an entire wardrobe in the unfortunate event that a fire burns the rental home down. Since not all landlords require their tenants to have renter’s insurance, many tenants just skip purchasing any. But is saving a couple of hundred dollars a year worth the worry if something major were to cause any property damage? Replacing one item is conceivable and worth the risk. Yet most people literally cannot afford to risk losing every personal item they own. Most people can, however, afford the annual premium for even a basic renter’s insurance policy.
I Don’t Own Expensive Things
It is estimated that renters own on average $20,000 to $30,000 worth of goods. Many people tend to underestimate how much their possessions are worth and how many things they actually own. From the furniture to the toothbrushes tenants often own more than they realize and will really be hit hard if any damage is incurred. If they have not allotted enough money in their emergency fund to cover the expenses of replacing damaged belongings, they may start to also struggle with rent payments – a large concern for many landlords.
I Cannot Afford Renter’s Insurance
As mentioned above, no one wants to pay for additional things, especially insurance policies that could potentially never payout. Yet, as noted in #3 and #4, losing all of your belongings is going to cost a whole lot more than the annual premium even a high-quality renter’s insurance policy will cost. Everyone can afford renter’s insurance. With going rates as low as $10 a month in Maryland, acquiring renter’s insurance is feasible for anyone.
Why Tenants Should Purchase Renter’s Insurance Now
Simply put, the pros outweigh whatever excuses tenants may have for not obtaining renter’s insurance for your Anne Arundel County rental home:
- It’s affordable
- It covers personal property losses (whether inside or outside of the home, or if an incident occurs during travel) due to theft or damage
- It provides liability coverage
- It may cover additional living expenses should the home become inhabitable for some unforeseen reason
- It can even help protect against potential lawsuits s
You have probably realized by now that replacing all of one’s possessions would likely cost them more money than they may have originally believed.
Some property management companies in Anne Arundel County, such as Bay Property Management Group, advise all tenants to purchase renter’s insurance — protection for both the landlord and tenant in the event of an emergency.
Our team of professionals is ready 24/7 to respond to any emergency that may arise at the rental, however damaged or missing property is only covered by the rental insurance policy. Safeguard your tenants from even the worst of situations by strongly recommending rental insurance prior to move-in.