Only 37% of renters have renters insurance according to a study by the Insurance Information Institute. That was back in 2014, and not much has changed since. Given the relative affordability of renters insurance, why do so few people opt to purchase it? Perhaps some don’t know it exists, or some just don’t bother because they don’t understand its value. Whatever the reason, it’s a mistake not to purchase renters insurance. Here’s why.

What is renters insurance and what does it cover?

To put it simply, renters insurance is meant to protect you financially against any kind of disaster that may destroy personal belongings. This includes anything you own in the apartment from your phone and computer to furniture and clothing. And it can cover much more than that.

Personal Belongings

The average renter owns upwards of $20,000 worth of personal items. It might not seem like it, but think about it: with all of your gadgets (smartphone, tablet, laptop, TV), furniture, cookware and clothing, things really start to add up. Renters insurance can protect all of this against theft, fire and other disasters. Not to mention renters are around 25 percent more likely to be victims of theft than homeowners.

Living Expenses

If one of the above incidents do occur, you will likely need to stay somewhere else. Renters insurance can cover the cost of a hotel and other living expense. Again, the amount of living expenses insurance covers depends on the policy.

Property Damage

In the case of renters insurance, property damage refers to things you may accidentally break or damage at someone else’s property. Since renters insurance isn’t exclusive to your apartment, it can help you pay for or replace damaged goods elsewhere.

Medical Bills

If someone gets injured at your apartment, you don’t want to be stuck paying their medical bills. That person’s insurance company could likely fit you with the bill and your renters insurance can help cover it.

Personal Liability

This can vary from policy to policy, but many times renters insurance can help if you’re sued because someone else was injured in your apartment. This mostly applies to legal costs associated with the lawsuit, which can add up quickly.

How much does it cost?

Renters insurance is one of the most affordable types of insurance you can get. It is typically as cheap as $20 per month but can be even cheaper than this. And if you have a roommate, you can usually both be covered for this amount and split the cost. We’ll go into where you can purchase renters insurance in a minute.

You may actually be required to have renters insurance by your landlord

At the end of the day, it may not be up to you anyways. Many landlords nowadays are beginning to require renters insurance. Most landlords have an insurance policy for their property, but this doesn’t cover their tenants.

How can anyone force you to buy renters insurance? Simple. The only way your landlord can actually require you to have it is if it is in your lease agreement. Before you get defensive, remember that requiring renters insurance is simply a safeguard for everyone, most of all you.

What if I choose not to buy renters insurance?

You’re definitely taking a risk. If you think the risk is worth losing all of your personal belonging and potentially a lot more, then you will only be saving a few hundred dollars a year. If that much money is worth it for you, then, by all means, don’t purchase renters insurance. At the end of the day, we don’t think it’s worth the risk. There’s simply too much that can go wrong and too many things that are out of your control.

Ok, you’ve convinced me. Where can I buy renters insurance?

You’ve probably heard of many of the large providers that offer renters insurance, but there are some new players that are making it even cheaper and easier to purchase. We will list a few below, but to find the best deal you should do a bit of your own research as well.

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