Renters insurance is a responsibility that renters don’t typically give much thought to — until their apartment community reminds them of their responsibility. And when you need it, you’ll be glad you have it! Shop around, Renters, because like many other coverage options, there are tons of perks that come along with renters’ insurance, even potentially a temporary place to live from water or fire damage when needed. If you are new to renting or are just not sure as to what renters insurance is, it may be a bit of a confusing concept. Let’s demystify it! Here is a guide to having your renters insurance questions answered:

What is renters insurance & do I need it?

Renters Insurance supplements and protects a renters belongings and the liability of others’ belongings. In other words, renters insurance, according to Insurance Quotes, is “one of the wisest and most effective ways to protect the things you own” which is why many apartment communities set requirements and request that residents provide proof of coverage. There are 3 types of insurance that you will need to decide coverage amounts for: personal property, liability, and additional expenses. Make sure you check with your apartment’s specific requirements, so you’re property covered and in compliance with your lease. The nice part — it’s so inexpensive! Many renters insurance options are under $20/month. The peace of mind at that low cost is absolutely worth it!

What does renters insurance cover?

Renters insurance is great to have for both the resident and the apartment community itself. It often covers unforeseen damages of your personal items, when incidents happen that can be often out of your control, such as vandalism, lightning, damage caused by a car, and many more instances that you may not even think would happen to you. But please note, it does not cover the building, the asset that you live in. As with all insurance, you’ll want to work with a provider to understand what your options are. Liability, personal coverage up to a certain value. Remember, the apartment community is not responsible for your personal belongings or the belonging of your neighbors, and accidents happen! Make sure you know how your specific coverage can best benefit and protect you.

What does renters insurance NOT cover?

Unfortunately everything is not always covered by renters insurance. Natural disasters are often not covered. That’s why it’s so important to understand your coverage limits and address what you’d like to cover when you’re purchasing insurance. The least expensive option isn’t always the best choice. Do your homework and shop around to understand coverages, limitations and expectations. Per Policy Genius, “if you live in a flood zone, near a fault line, or in a region prone to major storms, consider buying additional, separate coverage” which in the instance of a flood could be flood insurance. The takeaway here is to do your homework and understand what’s in your personal best interest to cover your belongings and your liability to others within your apartment community.

How do I figure out what is the right amount of coverage for me?

You always want to make sure you have the right amount of coverage–no less. Take inventory of your possessions and add up the total cost to give yourself an idea of what amount you need. Know the value of your belongings! If you live with someone, Geico suggests to “be sure to indicate what belongs to each person. Be as precise as possible. Make a copy and keep one with you and leave a copy in a secure location such as a safe deposit box.” This way you are able to be at the ready when it comes time to purchasing your renters insurance in a quick and organized way. For a list of more ways to prepare before buying insurance, click here.

Overall, there are many reasons as to why renters insurance is usually required and smartest option for residents. Whether you are living in a house, apartment, townhouse, condo– anything could happen. Disasters do not discriminate. It is always best to be prepared.

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