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The Truth About Renters Insurance

lifestages // Gregory Williams, MBA, CPCU, CLU, AMIM on Thursday August 20, 2015

When it comes to your living situation, there may be a time when it is beneficial for you to rent rather than own property.  Maybe you’re trying to save some money for a home mortgage in the future, or you’re at a point in your life when temporary housing is the most suitable.  Renting an apartment, townhome, condo or house could be your best option.

A large percentage of U.S. residents are renters – 35 percent according to the National Multifamily Housing Council.  51 percent of these residents are under the age of 30, but people of all ages fall into the rental housing category.  However, it is important to note that renting versus owning should not be determined by age, but by the life stage you’re currently in. 

Whatever your housing choice may be – rent or own – you want to take precautions to protect your personal belongings and financials. Many individuals and families who choose to rent often do not protect themselves with adequate insurance coverage.  According to the Insurance Information Institute, only 37 percent of renters are covered by renters insurance, compared to the 97 percent of homeowners with homeowners insurance.  Why the difference? The truth is, many people do not think about the potential situations that could cause a loss until after they occur.  At that point, purchasing insurance will not be helpful for the damage already done. 

Why purchase renters insurance?

To put it simply, renters insurance covers your personal property and liability for injury towards others and/or their belongings. At first, this may not sound like much, but every day, renters face situations and circumstances that an insurance policy could lessen the burden of.  To illustrate the importance of renters insurance, consider the following situations:

  • You are on your way home from work, and you arrive only to discover numerous emergency vehicles and a burning building.  Your apartment unit is a total loss, and all of your clothing and other personal belongings have been destroyed.  Not only will you have to spend money to replace these items, you are left with the challenge of finding a new, affordable place to live during the reconstruction. 
  • You decide to go out of town for a weekend trip.  When you return at the end of the weekend only wanting to relax in front of your TV and enjoy Netflix on your new Play Station, you find your apartment broken into, and both of these valuable electronics gone. Without an insurance policy, you’ll be forced to pay for these items again out of your own pocket.
  • To relax one evening, you decide to enjoy a bubble bath.  After turning on the faucet to fill up the tub, you fall asleep, not noticing the water overflowing in your bathroom.  There’s damage to some of your property, but it also created a mess in the unit downstairs, and you’re responsible for the damages. 

Coverage doesn’t stop at fire, theft and property damage liability.  If a fire breaks out, but doesn’t claim any of your property, the damage caused from smoke is covered in a renters insurance policy.  For some cases, personal belongings stolen from your vehicle are included on a renter’s policy.  Any of these events could take place at any time. In fact, U.S. News states a house fire takes place every 90 seconds and a break-in occurs every 15 seconds. With renters insurance, all these situations would’ve been a lot less of a financial burden.  

How much does it cost?

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners states the average monthly cost of a renters insurance policy is between $15 and $30.  On average, a new renters insurance policy with GuideOne Insurance has an annual written premium of less than $200. That’s less than a dollar a day!  Compared to what you could be faced with after a major loss, your renters insurance premium is worth the protection. Cut back on your coffee shop visits, or limit the number of times you eat out each month. There are many easy ways to save money for insurance.  

Renting without insurance can be a costly mistake. Protect your property and your financials with proper renters insurance coverage.  To get a quote for what you could pay for renters coverage, visit

This information is only a general description of the available coverages and is not a contract.  In an effort to keep your policy coverage affordable, the actual policy contains certain limitations and exclusions.  Please refer to your insurance policy for the pertinent contract language and coverages.  Some coverages or discounts are not available in all states. 

This material is for information only and is not intended to provide legal or professional advice. You are encouraged to consult with your own attorney or other expert consultants for a professional opinion specific to your situation. This information is only a general description of the available coverages and is not a contract. In an effort to keep your policy coverage affordable, the actual policy contains certain limitations and exclusion. Please refer to your insurance policy for the pertinent contract language and coverages. Some coverages and discounts are not available in all states. GuideOne welcomes all applications, without regard to religion, race, color, national origin, sex, handicap or familial status.

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