Jazzmin Lu • 2022-12-01
Renters insurance gave me financial superpowers I didn't know about.
I was floored the first time a landlord made me buy renters insurance. On top of having to furnish my apartment and fees for just about everything, I also had to pay an insurance company? To protect my Ikea couch and the TV I bought on Craigslist? Reluctantly, I looked up insurance providers without understanding what I was buying and forked over my payment to the company with the lowest premium for the required coverage.
I didn’t realize then that my renters insurance contained financial superpowers I had no idea I was getting.
Renters insurance's first superpower is that: it follows you wherever you go. You might assume that renters insurance stays within the walls of your apartment, but it’s much more powerful than that. For most policies, a percentage of your personal property coverage can be used in incidents that occur when you leave your home, say if you’re on vacation or someone breaks into your car or storage unit. And the personal liability coverage that comes with your renters insurance is even better. It doesn’t just protect you if someone slips and falls in your apartment, but also if you or even a pet accidentally injures someone outside your home.
Personal liability coverage also contributes to the second superpower of renters insurance; it protects your savings and investments—not just your Ikea furniture. Since I bought that first renters insurance policy, I’ve worked and saved for significant future events, like my first house, my retirement, and a few vacations in between. It’s taken a lot of sacrifice and strategic financial planning and I’d hate to lose it all because of something outside my control. And that’s where personal liability coverage shines. For a low price—more on that later—I’m paying to protect my assets if someone decides to sue me because a grease fire in my apartment damaged their property or caused a personal injury. How? Well, if someone wants to sue me for everything I’m worth, they could do that, or they could take a large payout from my insurance from that coverage. In many situations, that would be preferable to a long, expensive lawsuit, for everyone involved.
The final superpower of your renters insurance is that it’s actually pretty cheap. Compared to homeowner’s insurance or car insurance, you’re paying a low price for the protection you’re getting. According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), the average monthly cost for a renters policy was $15-30 in 2019, and you could get a discount if you pay the year in full. For about the same price as lunch at your favorite spot—or lunch for you and a friend, if you’re at the higher end of that range—you’re protecting yourself against many potential risks. So, even if you’re renting your first apartment or on a strict budget, that renters insurance is likely worth that small additional cost.
Now, when I purchase renters insurance, I’m much more careful. Sure, I’ve invested more into my furniture, electronics, and other items over the years, and it would be a big financial burden to replace those. Still, more importantly, I know I can get a good deal on coverage while protecting myself against big financial risk.
Want to maximize your own renters insurance superpowers? Make sure you’re getting the right price and coverage with Coverage Cat (and not just on renters insurance, but homeowners, auto, and personal liability insurance as well). Finally, remember that even if you’re currently insured, you can cancel your insurance anytime if you find better coverage.