Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Renter's Insurance Protects Your Assets

By Ellen Chang

NEW YORK (MainStreet)--Protecting your valuables and assets by purchasing renter's insurance could be a worthwhile investment and a way to minimize your risk financially.

Even apartment dwellers who have not amassed a large amount of furniture or expensive belongings should ensure they are protected against theft, accidents or other liabilities.

If the list of your current inventory of valuables is short and mostly limited to electronics such as your laptop, smart phone and TV or clothing, renter's insurance will protect you from any losses.

Purchasing renter's insurance protects your belongings, because your landlord's insurance only covers the structure and liability exposure, said Bob Ketchum, East region product vice president for American Modern Insurance Group, based in Cincinnati.

Not purchasing renter's insurance can you leave you exposed to a potential financial loss or setback, he said.

Renter's insurance covers the tenant's personal belongings and provides personal liability protection in case a guest is injured while in the home or property is damaged outside the home, Ketchum said.

Some companies such as American Modern offer policies which includes coverage for things such as debris removal, reasonable repairs, fire department surcharge and broken glass.

Only 34% of Americans who rent their homes or apartments have renter's insurance, according to a March survey released by InsuranceQuotes.com, a Bankrate company.

"Renter's insurance is often overlooked by younger and older people," said Laura Adams, senior insurance analyst at InsuranceQuotes.com. "It's unfortunate, because it's a really inexpensive financial safety net. You need to be prepared for a worse case scenario."

Some policies even provide coverage for when you are traveling and your laptop or other items are stolen, she said. Or it can protect your valuables that are housed in a storage unit.

"It's as if the theft occurred at your home," she said. "This is optional coverage for some policies."

But What's The Price?

Paying for renter's insurance is fairly inexpensive, and the average monthly cost is $18 a month or $0.58 per day, said Ketchum.

Some policies start as low as $180 per year, and the deductibles vary from $100 to $250 or even as high as $500. Setting your deductible at a higher amount will lower your payment.