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4 Surprising Things You May Not Know About Renters Insurance

Updated on November 28, 2017
Copley Broer profile image

Copley Broer is CEO of U.S.-based RadPad and is a 15-year veteran of the commercial & multifamily real estate industries.

Many people consider renters insurance one of those necessary evils of modern life. It’s something your landlord may require but not something you really want or appreciate.

Truth be told, it’s a reputation that was fairly earned. But things are changing in the insurance marketplace. Here are four good things about renters insurance you may be surprised to learn (and will make you glad you have it). But be sure to check your policy documents for details of specific coverage, as policies vary.

1. It might cover medical expenses.

In addition to covering loss of your possessions should your property catch fire or experience a break-in, renters insurance usually will cover reasonable medical expenses if someone gets hurt at your apartment.

We recently heard that renters insurance covered close to $10,000 of medical expenses when that resident’s dog bit the mailman. Without renter’s insurance, that resident would have been hurting financially in addition to feeling guilty.

If you’re renting a duplex or single-family home, you have the same need to cover liability expenses just as if you were a homeowner. Imagine if a friend slips and falls on your icy sidewalk. Renters insurance can protect you from huge medical bills just like a homeowner’s policy.

2. It covers liability expenses.

Accidents happen. Say you’re playing catch with friends and unintentionally bust out the window of a neighbor’s car – and that car is a brand-new Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet – and that neighbor is a lawyer who isn’t in a forgiving mood.

Renters insurance provides you with personal liability coverage. This covers the expenses if you accidentally damage someone else’s property, such as legal costs should things get to court.

3. You’re not locked in for a year. You can pay monthly.

Once upon a time, insurance companies only sold renters insurance in one-year increments. Today, several companies offer monthly plans and let you cancel at any time.

You may get a discount for paying for a full year, but if you prefer monthly coverage, it’s available.

Such flexible payment terms fit the realities of many renters’ lives better than the old system. If you’re in a 3- to 6-month lease because you’ve got a temporary work assignment in another state, why pay for a full year’s worth of renters insurance or face a penalty for cancelling before the year is out?

Shorter leases are becoming more common as millennials job hop and families decide to try out a neighborhood before buying. Renters insurance is starting to reflect these trends.

4. You can purchase it on your phone without talking to anyone.

Buying insurance once required a face-to-face meeting with an agent. Not anymore. These days you can buy renters insurance using your smartphone.

At some places plans start at $19.99 a month, and you get approved instantly with no credit check required. It all takes less than five minutes if you have all your information on hand.

This makes is easier than ever to get the coverage you need without the hassle of finding an agent and scheduling a meeting. It’s all online.

In short, renters insurance is changing to better meet renters’ needs. It offers peace-of-mind that your belongings, and your bank account are protected from the expense of unexpected damages and accidental injuries. And, it’s simpler than ever to buy.

© 2017 Copley Broer

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