Renter’s Insurance: Do You Need It, and What Does It Cover?
Sign up for our FREE Monthly Email Newsletter
In addition to keeping in the financial know, you may be interested in checking your credit score and report.
¹The credit scores provided under the offers described here use the Equifax Credit Score, which is a proprietary credit model developed by Equifax. The Equifax Credit Score and 3-Bureau scores are each based on the Equifax Credit Score model, but calculated using the information in your Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit files. The Equifax Credit Score is intended for your own educational use. It is also commercially available to third parties along with numerous other credit scores and models in the marketplace. Please keep in mind third parties are likely to use a different score when evaluating your creditworthiness. Also, third parties will take into consideration items other than your credit score or information found in your credit file, such as your income.
²The Automatic Fraud Alert feature is made available to consumers by Equifax Information Services LLC and fulfilled on its behalf by Equifax Consumer Services LLC.
³Equifax Credit Report Control™ is only available while you have a current subscription to Equifax Complete Premier. Locking your credit file with Equifax Credit Report Control will prevent access to your Equifax credit file by certain third parties, such as credit grantors or other companies and agencies. Credit Report Control will not prevent access to your credit file at any other credit reporting agency, and will not prevent access to your Equifax credit file by companies like Equifax Personal Solutions which provide you with access to your credit report or credit score or monitor your credit file; Federal, state and local government agencies; companies reviewing your application for employment; companies that have a current account or relationship with you, and collection agencies acting on behalf of those whom you owe; for fraud detection and prevention purposes; and companies that wish to make pre-approved offers of credit or insurance to you. To opt out of such pre-approved offers, visit www.optoutprescreen.com/.
4We will require you to provide your payment information when you sign up and we will immediately charge your card $4.95. After that, we will charge the card $19.95 for each month you continue your subscription. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.
Equifax® is a registered trademark and Equifax Complete™ Premier is a trademark of Equifax, Inc. © 2014, Equifax Inc., Atlanta, Georgia. All rights reserved.
One good thing about growing up with a dad in the insurance business and working with him as a teenager is you understand how critical insurance is when you’re an adult and have adult responsibilities.
When I moved to Atlanta, Ga., in 1990 and rented my first apartment, I went to the independent agent in the neighborhood and told him I needed renter’s insurance. I was quite proud of myself. I took photos of my apartment and saved all my receipts for major purchases so that in the event of a claim, I would have evidence of my belongings.
If I hadn’t grown up in my family, where insurance was discussed every day around the dinner table, I might have never known that there was such as thing as renter’s insurance.
Recently, a client was renting an apartment with his family. A fire destroyed half the apartment building and shut down the entire building for repairs for almost a year because a tenant fell asleep while smoking in the adjacent unit.
Our clients came to our office the day of the fire with deer-in-headlights looks. They were in such a state of shock they didn’t even know what kind of insurance they had. We were thrilled (despite the circumstances) to tell them they had renter’s insurance. Their immense relief should be a reminder to pay your premium every month and reminds us why we enjoy what we do.
Unfortunately, clients don’t have the insurance experience agents have. In the case of my clients who were victims of an apartment fire, we had had to convince them that renter’s insurance was essential to their insurance portfolio. They didn’t see the need when the building owner’s insurance would cover repairs.
Lucky for them, and their wallets, they took our advice about renter’s insurance. Here are the four reasons we gave them to get renter’s insurance, and why you should be talking to your insurance agent about renter’s insurance today.
1. Your stuff. Renter’s insurance provides coverage to protect the contents of your home. It can cost a lot of money to replace your clothes, books, electronics, furniture, and all the little things in your closets and cabinets. Remember buying a cartful of cleaning supplies, basic necessities, and home goods when you moved into your apartment? You’ll have to go through the same process if everything perishes in a fire.
2. Your liability. You are responsible if someone is injured while visiting you in your home. If your friend expects her medical expenses to be paid for, or worse, sues you, your renter’s insurance (or homeowners’) policy would respond with a lawyer and a checkbook to settle the suit.
3. Loss of use. If a covered claim (an incident covered by insurance) causes you to move out and seek alternative living arrangements, there is coverage for that in most standard renter’s insurance policies.
4. Account discount. If you combine your auto insurance and renter’s insurance policies, you could save as much as 10 percent on both.
If you’ve never researched renter’s insurance, you may be surprised to see how inexpensive it is compared to the benefits in the event of a catastrophe.
Renter’s insurance, unlike other forms of insurance, isn’t required by law. You have a choice: you can look at insurance as an expense or you can look at it as leverage and a way to minimize financial hardship for you and your family.
Linda Rey is a licensed insurance agent at Rey Insurance with a broad spectrum of expertise in life, accident, health, property and casualty insurance as well as retirement planning and college funding strategies.
Equifax maintains this interactive forum for education and information purposes in order to allow individuals to share their relevant knowledge and opinions with other members and visitors. We encourage you to participate in discussions about personal finance issues and other topics of interest to this community, but please read our commenting guidelines first. Equifax reserves the right to monitor postings to the forum and comments will be published at our discretion. Do you have questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or customer-service issues regarding an Equifax product? If so, please contact Equifax directly. All opinions and information expressed or shared in blog comments are solely those of the person submitting the comments, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.