When to Update Your Renter’s Insurance

Written By Mary Beth Eastman
Last updated April 28, 2020

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October 10, 2018

Simple. Thrifty. Living.

Many people don’t understand the importance of having a renter’s insurance policy if they rent an apartment, home or other temporary residence. Don’t make the same insurance mistake. Knowing why renter’s insurance is important, what it covers, and when you need to update the policy helps ensure that you don’t suffer a huge financial loss if something catastrophic happens to your belongings.

A renter’s insurance policy covers your personal belongings and the items in your home against theft or damage. This includes clothing, jewelry, electronics, furniture, and any other property kept within the rental home. The policy doesn’t cover the building itself, the homeowner or landlord most likely has an insurance policy on the structure.

You may not think you need renter’s insurance if you mainly have furniture from a thrift store, inexpensive clothing and little or no jewelry or electronics. If so, you should take a tally of all your belongings and calculate how much money it would cost to replace all these items in the case of theft, an explosion, fire, or other unexpected disaster. You will probably be surprised at the total cost. Since renter’s insurance is quite affordable, it’s smart to have a policy.

Many consumers don’t know that renter’s insurance also covers your belongings while you are on vacation. For instance, if you take your mountain bike along on your vacation and it’s stolen, that loss will be covered. It also covers other people’s property. An example is if an explosion occurs in your apartment that destroys the wall to the next apartment and damages your neighbor’s belongings, the renter’s insurance will cover the cost of replacing your neighbor’s belongings.

Typically, a renter’s insurance policy renews every 12 months. This is a good time to reassess your belongings, but you can adjust your policy at any time. For instance, if you inherit some valuable art or jewelry, purchase an expensive computer or entertainment system, or purchase new furniture. Contact your insurance agent to add the belongings to the policy. You can even add special riders to the policy if the item is something that a policy doesn’t typically cover.

Having a renter’s insurance policy can give you peace of mind and a feeling of security. The monthly payments on this type of policy are quite small. The policy ensures that you don’t suffer a great financial loss due to an unexpected occurrence that damages or destroys your belongings. Whether the policy saves you several hundred or a few thousand dollars in replacement costs, it’s a smart move to obtain one of these policies.

About the Author

Mary Beth Eastman

Mary Beth Eastman serves as the content manager for Simple. Thrifty. Living, where she is dedicated to helping readers use money and credit wisely. Mary Beth believes that access to the right financial information paired with a growth mindset are essential tools for getting out of debt and building wealth. Mary Beth has a degree in Journalism from Bowling Green State University and has focused her 20-year journalism career on putting readers front and center, carefully considering their concerns and presenting information that will help them in their everyday lives. She has won numerous statewide journalism awards. Her writing on personal finance as been featured on numerous websites in addition to Simple. Thrifty. Living, including Huffington Post and Lexington Law blog. Mary Beth resides in Pittsburgh, Pa., with her family and two rescue dogs.

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