Whether your landlord requires it or you’ve decided to buy a policy on your own, the hardest part about renters insurance is figuring out how much you need to buy.
Buy too little, and you won’t be protected when you most need help. Buy too much, and you could be wasting money.
Here’s what you need to know to buy the right amount of renters insurance coverage.
What Renters Insurance Covers
To figure out how much renters insurance you need, it’s important to know what it covers. Your landlord’s insurance takes care of the actual building including whatever is a permanent fixture and/or belongs to your landlord. That means, if a fire destroys your apartment, the landlord’s insurance will fix the building and the interior of the apartment. It will not, however, help you replace your belongings.
That’s what renters insurance does. If your stuff is destroyed, damaged, lost, or stolen in a covered peril, it pays to replace those items for you, minus your deductible. Most people own more things than they realize and most things cost a lot more to replace than we realize. A common renters insurance policy is about $30,000 of coverage and costs approximately $12 per month. That’s a lot of coverage for not a lot of money.
How Much Renters Insurance to Buy
The big question, of course, is how to figure out exactly how much coverage you actually need. The most important step to figure this out is to take a home inventory. You can’t know what it would cost to replace all of your personal belongings until you know what you have.
Whether you use a piece of paper, the notes app on your phone, or a home inventory app, it’s important to have a way to make this list. Pick the method that suits you best. Whatever that is, make sure you have a way to keep multiple copies — on your computer, on your phone, or in the cloud.
Now, go room by room and list everything in it. Larger items, like furniture or tech, should be listed individually. Small items like clothes or video games can be grouped together i.e. 5 pairs of jeans, 15 games, three pairs of sneakers, etc. Once you have the list, then you can determine the approximate cost to replace it all.
Consider Liability Coverage Limits
Renters insurance also includes liability coverage. This means that if someone gets hurt while in your rental or on the property, you don’t have to pay for the damage or medical bills out of your own pocket. How much liability coverage should you buy? As much as you can afford. A minimum of $100,000 is a good place to start. But if you can purchase more, do it. You may never need the full amount, but you don’t want to be in a position to have to worry about it, either.
Once you have your home inventory, contact Charlotte Insurance for a free quote on renters insurance. You may also qualify for discounts if you bundle your auto insurance with your renters policy. Ask us how!