Renters insurance isn’t just a good way to protect your belongings inside and outside your apartment – it’s also an affordable way to do it. But the amount of renters insurance you need depends on what you’re covering and how much you can afford to pay each month.
Calculating Your Renters Insurance Coverage
Your renters insurance policy is split into a few different coverage types. Here’s how your policy is typically divided, along with the most common coverage amounts in the U.S.
- $25,000 personal property damage coverage: Covers the cost of replacing or repairing your belongings if they’re damaged or stolen.
- $300,000 personal liability coverage: Covers legal costs from damage or injury that occurs in your apartment.
- $2,000 medical payment coverage: Covers medical expenses for anyone injured in your apartment.
- $10,000 loss of use coverage: Covers the cost of lodging, food, and more if your apartment becomes unlivable due to damage.
To learn more about your coverage, find out what renters insurance covers and what it doesn’t.
You should also aim for a $500 deductible – the amount you have to pay before your insurer begins covering costs.
You can lower your renters insurance premiums by opting for lower coverage amounts, but the difference in price is negligible. For example, the above coverage will cost most shoppers under $15 a month, and changing the personal property damage coverage to $10,000 lowers the premium amount by just $4. Learn more about the average cost of renters insurance here.
Tips for Calculating Your Renters Insurance Coverage Needs
Rather than just guessing how much coverage you need, use these guidelines to figure out what your stuff is worth (which determines what your limits should be) and how much of a premium you can actually afford.
What do I own?
You’ll want to make sure your personal property damage coverage is enough for all of your possessions. Any easy way to do this is with a home inventory, where you’ll take stock of what you own and its value so you know how much it would cost to replace or repair anything (and everything) if it’s stolen or damaged.
Do I need additional coverage?
Some renters insurance policies have coverage limits on expensive items like art, electronics, and jewelry. Before you sign your renters insurance policy, make sure you know its coverage limits and get additional coverage for valuable items, or a separate policy like jewelry insurance.
How much liability can I afford to pay?
If someone injured themselves in your apartment, would you be able to cover legal bills if they decided to sue you? What about covering their medical bills? These can add up fast, and renters insurance lets you cover them without dipping into savings like an emergency fund.
Whatever you do, don’t underestimate your coverage needs. Renters insurance is one of the most affordable types of insurance available, and saving a few dollars a month isn’t worth the thousands it could potentially cost you if you need to make a claim. For more answers to your questions, check out our renters insurance FAQ.
Last updated on Oct 12th 2017