Let's face it — when you're budgeting for your new apartment, renter's insurance most likely isn't even on the radar. When most of us hear the word "insurance", we cringe at what we assume is going to cost us a good chunk of change. Often, renter's insurance is given little to no regard, seen as simply an extra expense. So what IS renter's insurance? Here's a quick and easy guide to get you started:
Renter's insurance protects all of the property within your apartment, and can also protect valuables outside of your unit. For instance, if your bike is stolen, you are able to get the replacement cost covered under some policies. Renter's insurance usually covers theft, fire or water damage. Some things to consider when getting a quote:
In short: not as much as it would cost you to buy new stuff. According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the average policy costs around $169 yearly — much cheaper than car insurance, and not much more expensive than a Netflix subscription!
Take a look at your living situation. Consider how safe an area you live in, and the weather conditions in that area. If you feel that your personal possessions are in danger of being stolen, or incurring water damage or breakage from frequent earthquakes, than you may want to think about getting a policy.
Make a list of your valuable items, and how much they are worth to you. It is important to know what items you would want covered, and whether they can be protected under a renter's insurance policy. If you decide that you want these items protected, make sure they are all covered under your plan.
On a final note, it's important to know why you're purchasing renters insurance and what items it protects. This way you'll know whether it's worth it to spend time and money to sign up for it in the first place. Monthly costs can be reduced by paying higher deductible or taking greater measures to protect your stuff (i.e. dead bolts, fire extinguishers, etc.). If you've got some extra green and the quote from your local agent seems reasonable, then pull the trigger and get yourself a policy. If something doesn't add up, don't be afraid to get another quote and see what your best option is. It's your stuff. If you don't want to replace it, protect it.