Nov 18 2007

The importance of renter’s insurance

It was loud. It took me a minute to figure out where it was coming from. At first, I thought someone was playing a prank on me.

Turns out, our apartment building’s fire alarm was sounding. I hadn’t heard it before–but as I got closer to the door I realized it was really loud!

I know that if it had been a real fire, stopping to put on my boots, grab my coat and keys could have been a fatal mistake. But, I grabbed those things anyway.

We ran down the stairs and out the door and saw other people outside, shivering.

A few minutes later, two volunteer firefighters showed up, and minutes after that, two fire engines.

The problem wasn’t in our building, as it turns out, but in the building next to ours. We share a wall with that building, so it makes sense as to why our alarm was going off, too.

What does this have to do with saving money?

One of the first things I thought (besides “Where is my coat?”) is “I’m glad we have renter’s insurance.”

If there had been a fire, or even smoke damage, and it affected our apartment, without renter’s insurance we’d be out of luck.

If some neighbor’s burnt dinner catches the place on fire and my things get burnt, I’d have no possessions and nowhere to live. Uh…bad.

Fortunately, our renter’s insurance policy would replace our possessions and provide money to help us get into a new place fast.

This policy cost about $120 for the year. At about $10 per month, you absolutely have to figure this into your budget if you’re a renter. Sure, you could have a policy for your entire life and never need to use it. But, in the one in a thousand (or whatever the odds are) that you would need it, wouldn’t you rather be insured?

Keep a copy of the policy in your home, and keep a copy somewhere else–perhaps in your parent’s file cabinet or in your car. That way, if your policy becomes damaged, you can easily get your coverage info if you need it.

4 Responses to “The importance of renter’s insurance”

  1. I’ve found that most apartments in my area anyways require renter’s insurance. I agree, it’s worth the cost! And sometimes you can get it cheaper if you get it with the same company you have car insurance with.

  2. Absolutely! I live in Boston and last January, a pipe burst on my apartment building’s rooftop due to the cold causing massive flooding for 4-5 units across for ~9 floors. EEk! None of my possessions were damaged – just a tiny swatch of carpet. But the apartment next to mine? He had a foot of water in some places. And he wasn’t the only one. Get renter’s insurance!!

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

I hope I can inspire and encourage you to improve your situation. See disclosure.

I'm adopting a much slower-paced posting schedule, and treating this as a hobby blog now.

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