Who needs renters insurance?
Only 35% of renters buy renters insurance, even though it's an easy and cheap way to protect yourself from theft and liability.
Despite low prices, only about a third of renters in the U.S. carry insurance, compared to 96% of homeowners.
If you're a renter, take a moment to think about what it would cost to replace everything you own in the event of a fire—not just your TV and sofa but clothes, kitchen appliances, books, and so on. You can insure against that sort of scenario, and receive some personal liability protection, for usually less than $20 a month.
Here are some situations where renters insurance makes sense.
📖 College students
A basic renters policy can protect your textbooks, your bicycle, your clothes, and sometimes things like computers and smartphones. If you live in a dorm, make sure the policy covers temporary housing, because not all do. You may also already be covered by your parents’ homeowners or renters policy, so check there first.
A basic renters policy may be included for on-base housing, but it's unlikely to cover the total cost of replacing your belongings. Fortunately, you can typically find great prices on renters insurance through USAA.
🏢 Roommate situations
Your roommate doesn't have to be on the lease to be added to your policy, and you can split the premium to save money. Just remember any claims checks will be made out to both of you—and renters insurance won't cover theft by roommate.
People with children
Kids have an uncanny ability to injure themselves and others, usually while doing something amusing. Insurance can help prevent huge repair bills or lawsuits from strangers.
To cover pet health care costs you need pet insurance. But to protect yourself from liability in the event that your pet causes damage or injury to a third party—for example, a dog bite—you want renters insurance.
Insurance won't replace the hours you've spent on a passion or make your rare collection disaster-proof, but it can provide cash to help soften the blow should disaster strike.
Compared to other types of insurance, renters insurance is a bargain. The average U.S. premium for renters insurance has remained flat for the past decade.
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