As a long time renter, for many years I chose not to invest in renters insurance. I was certain it was out of my reach and being on a really tight budget, I chose to ignore the real life fact that tragedies happen – usually at the worst times. To be honest, I just didn’t take the time or effort to see what the costs would be. When we relocated many miles away from friends and family, I decided it would be best to make sure we were covered. I was very surprised to see how affordable it was – probably even more so by bundling with our auto insurance carrier.
Often overlooked, many renters think that the landlord’s property insurance will cover their loss as well. Untrue – typically it will only cover the owner’s building damages. Some renters may even think that renters insurance is too costly or that a tragic event will never happen to them. In the past few months, I have read several stories here locally about families that were victims of house fires. Usually these tragedies are caused by something completely unavoidable – bad wiring hidden in the walls for instance with no warning that they will occur. By planning ahead and obtaining renters insurance, you will be making sure that the most basic necessities will be able to be replaced. You would be surprised at how costly just a few sets of clothes and some kitchen and bathroom supplies will cost until you have to start all over. Then multiply that cost by the number of family members – it sky-rockets fast!
While renters insurance will never be able to cover replacement of family memento or heirlooms, it will at least allow you to get clothing and basic housekeeping supplies for your new home. There are many options for paying, I know my insurance company allows small monthly payments instead of a lump sum. When you research the renters insurance coverage you can determine the amount you wish to be covered for and by giving the insurance company as much detail about safety features of the home and in the general vicinity (smoke alarms, fire hydrants, etc) it may even bring your cost lower.
I strongly encourage you to look into covering your assets if you don’t already have renters insurance coverage in place. Shop around to make sure you’re getting the best deal. Start with your current auto insurance carrier – often times by bundling they can save you much more than starting with a new company. While your carrier may not have renters insurance available, there are many other companies out there that offer it very affordably. Maybe it’s time to switch auto carriers too…
Lori Hartjoy is the owner of Blue Mountain Rentals, established in 2011. As well as being a devoted mother of 3 toddlers, she provides over 20 years of clerical experience to her clients. Her background includes processing employment, tenant screening, background checks and working as a property manager and payroll clerk for a major telecommunications corporation.
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