General Question

tinyfaery's avatar

How can I determine if I need renter's insurance? And supplemental questions.

Asked by tinyfaery (44179points) December 27th, 2008

I don’t own expensive things. The only things that I would miss would be my computer, my iphone, a bit of jewelry, and my wardrobe. Do I need renters insurance for that?

Other questions:

How do I determine how much coverage I need?
Can I get another type of insurance to only cover certain items, and would that be a better choice for me?

Any insurance people out there?

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19 Answers

chyna's avatar

I am not an insurance person, but how would you ever replace your clothes? Think of all the clothes you need to survive including shoes and coats. That would be quite a lot of money. Plus your computer. I strongly reccommend renters insurance and get a “replacement value” policy. It will replace your items for cost and not devalue your items. It is well worth the money if something happens. It will probably cost around 50.00 a month.

skfinkel's avatar

Figure out what your stuff is worth, and then talk with an agent at a good insurance company to see if it is worth it. I like USAA—which has my renter’s insurance—also I have had good experiences with Safeco. Let them help you. And understand that they also have something to gain. But, if you have a few things that are of value to you, it might be a good idea.

tinyfaery's avatar

Would it make sense to get jewelry appraised?

amanderveen's avatar

It probably wouldn’t hurt to get jewelry appraised if there’s the chance it might be worth something, and the appraisals would help you figure out how much insurance you might need to cover it. Getting renter’s insurance is a good idea. You might never need it, but if anything ever does happen to your place, at least you won’t be left high and dry.

tinyfaery's avatar

Thanks all. I hate insurance. Most of the time you pay more into it then you ever get out of it. But I guess it’s necessary. Sigh…

amanderveen's avatar

I wouldn’t say it’s necessary, just a calculated risk. You could decide to put aside the equivalent of the insurance payments into a savings account to hedge against unforeseen disasters if you wanted to. You just have to ask yourself whether it’s worth the cost/risk. Just try to imagine what your situation would look like in a worst-case scenario if all of your possessions were destroyed/lost. Are you better off paying out the insurance or toughing it through a disaster without?

dynamicduo's avatar

Check with your lease, every apartment I’ve lived in required I had basic insurance for the place. It didn’t cost more than $20 a month for a $25,000 possesion value contract, and I think that’s actually the smallest they offered. In addition to the money to replace my possessions, it included an allowance for going to a hotel in case the place was truly damaged. So while I hate insurances too, I find home/apartment insurance to be not that bad of a value.

jessturtle23's avatar

I would recommend renters insurance if you are attached to anyone else. My neighbor caught our duplex on fire once and I lost everything to smoke damage. I really wish that I would have had insurance. I probably wouldn’t do it if I were in a detached home but you never know what kind of nut jobs you live near when you are in an apartment complex.

cak's avatar

While we were gutting the house we live in, now, we were in a short term rental – an apartment. At the other end of the building we were in, there was a unit that caught on fire. I believe it was a kitchen fire. The damage to the kitchen was pretty extensive and guess what, it was their fault! It wasn’t electrical, there was no fault of the complex owners – just the renter. They had no coverage and owed for the repairs, plus they needed to replace what they lost.

They didn’t have renter’s insurance and wound up owing the complex and needing to find another apartment.

Get the insurance! It’s very affordable.

Raggedy_Ann's avatar

As an insurance agent I would highly recommend it. In order to determine the value of your personal property make a list of everything you own and place a value on it. Even an approximate value is better than nothing. Once you’ve done that talk to an insurance agent. Make sure that the policy you purchase is for replacement cost NOT actual cash value (commonly known as ACV). You want replacement cost even if your items are old as the ACV will take into consideration depreciation of an item and also the deductible if you have a loss. Whereas with replacement cost you only have the deductible to worry about. If you want more info drop me a line. I’d be happy to discuss it further.

jca's avatar

Renter’s insurance is very cheap. I have the same company i use for my car insurance and so it’s about $15 a month or something really cheap for $30,000 coverage. I used to live in a building that was burned in a fire. Before that experience, fires were something that happened to other people. I didn’t have renter’s insurance. The girl across from me had $30,000 coverage and she just had a studio apartment. She got $30,000, which she used to buy a house. The insurance also pays for short term hotel for you to have a place to live temporarily while you find a new home (not having that, I stayed with my parents for three months). The insurance company contracts with someone to come in, clean all your stuff that’s salvageable, pack it up- all stuff I had to do myself. You don’t think you have much, which was how I felt. Believe me, think about all your clothes – underwear, socks, casual clothes, fancy clothes, coats, shoes, boots, now add on your electronic equipment, kitchen stuff, furniture, bed. You would get all that replaced if there was a disaster. Take it from me, I will never go without renter’s insurance again.

Raggedy_Ann's avatar

@jca-good good advice. If you do not have coverage I would highly suggest it.

Mizuki's avatar

I think renters insurance covers if your bath tub over flows and damages your neighbor’s stuff—I pay 20 per month with Farmers

Judi's avatar

You need it for the liability. If you forget that your stove is on and burn down the building you are liable. Insurance will cover it.

smartbob's avatar

Getting renters insurance is very inexpensive. I currently pay about $10/month for mine and the real cost is actually negative because I get about $200 in discounts on my auto insurance every 6 months for a “multiple policy discount”. Some apartments actually require you to get renters insurance because it also covers damages to the building if you do something that causes damage. Like flooding the bathtub.

Response moderated (Spam)
AshlynM's avatar

It’s a good idea. Most landlord’s insurance does NOT cover the tenant’s belongings. Also if you get renter’s insurance, you may be covered for things such as if someone injures themselves while on your property . You can pay for renter’s insurance for as little as ten bucks a month. Small price to pay for what you value most in life. Some things in life you just gotta buck up and do.

Judi's avatar

oh crap! I thought this was a new question and answered it again. Thank goodness for edit!

MollyMcGuire's avatar

Some leases require that you have it. I don’t understand anyone not having it; it’s cheap and so wonderful in case of fire. My aunt’s apartment building burned. She had a policy that was $80/year. It paid her rent which was to me because she stayed with me for three months. It covered all of her belongings. It paid for movers to move her belongings into a storage unit which it paid for. It paid for movers to move her into her newly repaired and renovated apartment. That is a lot of peace of mind for a little money. That was in 2008 so I imagine prices are a quite a bit more now, but renters ins. is generally a steal. I don’t even see a debate there. Perhaps the most important things it does is insure you against any liability which, if you are sued, again that $80 is nothing.

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