5 Reasons renters insurance is worth $15 a month


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UPDATED: 2019-12-20T21:16:34.027Z
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living room and kitchen of rental unit

Have you been avoiding even checking into renters insurance because you think it’s going to cost a fortune? Well, get ready to get quotes because not only is renters insurance affordable, it’s absolutely worth the $15 a month that an average policy would cost you.

Here are 5 reasons that renters insurance is worth that $15 a month.

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Reason 1: Your landlord’s policy doesn’t cover you

This is one of the biggest misunderstandings about renting and insurance — the belief that because your landlord has insurance, you’ll be covered for a loss.

Your landlord’s policy covers the structure of your building, not your stuff. Put bluntly, if your apartment building burns down, your landlord’s insurance will pay for the construction of the new building. It will not pay for the personal items you lost in the fire.

About that stuff...

Reason 2: Even if your stuff is secondhand, it’s worth insuring

For many renters, they’ve accumulated secondhand items to furnish their space. If you’re one of these people, you may be thinking “this stuff is not worth insuring.” It might not be worth a lot, but it is worth something, and it would probably cost more than $180 a year you pay for renters insurance to replace all of it — replacing items in the kitchen alone would probably cost much more than that.

Instead of thinking of it as saving $15 a month by not insuring your stuff, think about how much you’d be out of pocket if you had to replace some or all of it — quite possibly due to an event that was completely outside of your control.

Speaking of those events...

Reason 3: If you’re responsible for the damage, $15 a month is a bargain

You had a really long day and came home and put a pot of water for mac & cheese on the stove because that is the only cooking you can manage as exhausted as you are. You then promptly fall asleep as soon as you hit the couch. Sure, the smoke alarm woke you before there was too much damage, but the kitchen ceiling is scorched and there’s a gross smoke film covering every surface in the kitchen, and the entire oven range needs to be replaced.

This is the type of damage renters insurance will cover. Even if the oven range belongs to your landlord and not you, your landlord may attempt to recoup their loss given you caused the fire.

If you don’t have renters insurance, you’ll have to pay the landlord out of pocket for the oven range, the specialized cleaning needed to remove the smoke damage, and any wall repairs and repainting, because you caused the damage.

Accidents happen, and when they do, paying $15 a month to guard against the risk of footing the bill for thousands of dollars in repairs is going to seem downright cheap.

You know what else is not cheap? Hospital bills...

Reason 4: Fluffy to you, Cujo to others

Renters insurance provides liability coverage in case someone is injured at your apartment. Make sure that your renters policy includes medical coverage as part of the liability coverage.

If someone trips and falls or suffers some other injury, or if your typically sweet dog gets overprotective and bites your Tinder date, medical coverage should pay the bills related to the injury — and, liability coverage will protect you if the injured person files a lawsuit against you.

(P.S. Even getting sued by your Tinder date likely wouldn’t qualify it as the worst one in history.)

Reason 5: It just makes good financial sense

A majority of Americans live paycheck-to-paycheck. Nearly 40 percent of adults in a recent Federal Reserve survey said that they couldn’t manage a surprise $400 expense without going into debt or selling something to cover the cost.

Most of the losses that renters insurance covers would cost far more than a few hundred dollars. Losing everything you own in a fire or natural disaster is hard enough. But accumulating significant personal debt on top of that loss to replace things that you need to live from day to day could hurt your finances for a long time. This is especially true if you use credit cards with their high interest rates to pay for replacements. A liability lawsuit could be enormously expensive, and saddle you with debt for years, which could then affect your credit score.

Paying $15 a month might seem like a lot if you are scraping by, but there’s always a risk of something happening that sets you back a lot more than the $180 a year that renters insurance costs.

Think of that $15 a month as a “peace of mind” payment, and get renters insurance. Best of all? You may be able to find a reputable company that offers a policy for even less than $15 a month.

Lemonade, the highest ranked company by renters, advertises policies that start as low as $5 a month.

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To see which insurance companies are rated the best by other renters like you, see our best renters insurance rankings, which you can filter by your zip code.


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