To protect you and your property, renters’ insurance is dollar for dollar the best insurance policy on the market — or so says the best insurance agent in the world, Steve Maas. Okay, ya, he’s my dad, but that doesn’t change the fact that he is right. You see, because I was raised by an insurance agent I know how important each type of insurance is. But only now that Ethan and I have lived in our first apartment for almost a year, do I fully grasp the importance of renters’ insurance.
As “Steve Maas, State Farm Agent” (that was said in my dad’s outgoing voicemail voice) would say, the main goal with a renters’ policy is to protect your assets. You see, people’s belongings are usually worth more than they realize — with the average renter having over $35,000 worth of belongings that are most likely not covered by their landlord’s policy. So when you get renters’ insurance you are making a move to protect what’s yours, i.e., computers, furniture, electronics, bikes, etc. “That’s important for everyone, but especially for young people, who can’t necessarily afford to go out and replace items,” Steve said.
But what are you protecting your items from? Usually a policy will cover losses caused by weather-related acts (fire, storms, wind, hail, lightning, freezing, weight of ice, snow or sleet) and non-weather related acts (theft, vandalism, riots, aircraft and vehicles). However, there are limits to what is covered, as is true with all insurance, including if the insured intentionally causes harm to property or person.
But renters’ insurance is not all about your property, it is also extremely important because it covers liability in case you damage your home or someone gets hurt in your home. And Ethan, going into his third year of law school now, can tell you all about liability, but I’ll limit him to a few sentences.
“Everyone from first year Torts can tell you that liability happens when you are negligent. A basic understanding of negligence is that you don’t have to be perfect, you just have to be ‘reasonable’ to avoid liability, which is pretty nice for the renter in this case. What insurance helps with is that it’s expensive to figure out that your were ‘reasonable,’ and even then there is a chance that you might not have been as ‘reasonable’ as you thought. So insurance gives you that extra bit of protection, though it isn’t an excuse to be statistically deviant.” Everyone get that? Good.
Now renters’ insurance costs, on average, $125 a year. “So, the honest truth is, for less than a cup of coffee a month, you are protecting yourself and your items,” Steve said. Another tip my dad will give you is that if you get a renters’ policy with the company you already have your auto insurance with they will most likely give you a “multi-line discount,” which can end up basically paying for your renters’ policy. Pretty sweet, huh?