In the wake of Sunday’s magnitude 6.0 earthquake that rocked northern California, it came to light that only 12% of California’s residents have insurance that includes earthquake coverage, according to a press release from the Insurance Information Institute.
But here’s an even more surprising statistic: According to a recent survey by InsuranceQuotes.com, only 40% of apartment tenants across the United States have any insurance coverage at all.
Short of an earthquake, there are many ways your belongings can get damaged or lost, such as by fire or as the result of a theft. Having a good renter’s insurance policy in place covers your personal property loss in many situations, plus it gives you liability coverage for times when a guest trips and breaks a leg in your apartment.
What’s Your Reason?
If you’re an apartment renting without insurance, take a look at the common reasons why so many tenants don’t have a policy in place. If any of these reasons looks familiar to you, it may be worth revisiting the issue:
- You didn’t know it’s available. Some tenants get so caught up in the excitement, stress, or fatigue of the apartment search process that they don’t consider insurance. Others don’t think about renter’s insurance because they assume that insurance is only a homeowner’s concern. But renter’s insurance exists as an option to help compensate tenants for property damage and injuries. Even if you never need to file a claim, knowing you have a policy in place can bring you valuable peace of mind.
- You haven’t gotten around to it. Did you know you can compare renter’s insurance policies and buy one online? The process is probably easier and less time-consuming than you think. Just search the Web for “renter’s insurance” and then visit the sites of top insurers to determine coverage and pricing. As a tip, if you already have automobile insurance, a good place to start is to check your auto insurer’s website to see if it also offers renter’s insurance coverage. Maintaining two or more policies with the same insurer may qualify you for a multi-line discount.
- You think your landlord’s insurance is all that’s needed. Picture what your apartment looked like before you moved in. That’s what’s covered by your landlord’s insurance. All the stuff you love that you brought with you to the space, from the living room sofa to the flat-screen TV, would be covered only by a renter’s insurance policy. Plus, don’t forget that renter’s insurance also has a liability coverage component, which can save you thousands of dollars in the event someone gets hurt.
- You don’t want to spend the money. You may be pleasantly surprised to discover that renter’s insurance costs less than you thought. Like other types of insurance, the premiums depend on the level of coverage you select and your deductible, but the average policy costs only between $15 and $30 per month, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
- You believe the chances of something happening are so slim. Hopefully, you’ll have nothing short of an enjoyable apartment living experience. But keep in mind that a crime or other loss can occur at any type of rental property. Even if you live in a gated community or low-crime area, that’s no guarantee that a crime won’t occur. Plus, keep in mind that a criminal can be a neighbor, a neighbor’s guest, or even a tenant’s own guest.
- You think it’s not worth the bother because you’re just renting for a year or so. As mentioned above, obtaining adequate renter’s insurance is a fairly quick and easy process. Also, a policy provides the same coverage every day for as long—or as little—as it’s in place. So, if you rent an apartment for only a year, you’ll only pay premiums to cover that time period.