We talk to new renters every day. We provide each of our renters an easy to follow checklist that walks them through the things that they need to do before their move in date. One point that we stress is renter’s insurance. You would be surprised how many of our renters ask us “do we really need renter’s insurance?” Our answer is that we highly recommend it and then explain why.
Many renters assume that the property owner has the home insured and that they are covered by extension of renting from them. This is absolutely not true. Two of the biggest problems that can occur are fire or theft. The homeowner’s property insurance will cover damage to the structure, but that is all. If there are any lawsuits as a result of fire, the renter is responsible. If there is any property loss due to theft or fire, the renter is responsible.
As with all insurance products, there are many options when it comes to renter’s insurance. We do not recommend any specific carrier. There are many companies to choose from including State Farm, Allstate, Farmers, American Family and Travelers to name a few. It takes a quick call to an insurance agent to ask for options, and the policies generally range in cost from $250 to $350 per year. The renter is going to look at this as an additional $20 to $30 per month towards their overall rent. We explain the importance of that investment to protect themselves in the event of theft or fire.
Let’s say a renter named John has a grease fire in his kitchen in the duplex he is renting. The fire spreads and damages both sides of the duplex before firefighters are able to contain the fire. John loses a bunch of personal property, including his big screen TV and DVD collection, and is responsible for the damage to the duplex (both sides). If John does not have renter’s insurance, he is facing a bill that he can’t afford. We believe that it is worth $20-$30/month for the peace of mind of having renter’s insurance in this situation.
We do all that we can to protect our owners and renters during the process of managing homes, and this is one example of how we do that. We would love to hear your thoughts on renter’s insurance, so please comment!