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Friday, October 21, 2011

If you Rent, get Renters insurance

Original Article

“I installed a skylight in my apartment... The people who live above me are furious!”

- Stephen Wright
A co-worker recently experienced a fire in the apartment he rents. He did not have renter's insurance and must pay out of his own pocket the expense of a hotel room while looking for a new place to live and out-of-pocket to replace his belongings.

You might be thinking you could afford that if your belongings are few and/or modest. But there is another important component of Renters Insurance that no renter should be without - Liability protection. If a fire starts in your apartment and it looks like your fault (smoking in bed, a candle, a stove fire, etc) the landlord can sue you for damages and the cost to repair the entire building AND other residents can sue you for the damage they incurred from smoke, fire, and water.

Here are two examples I found on the Internet.

1. Insurance company for the apartment complex just had a law firm send a letter addressed to my sister-in-law and niece. It stated they were deemed at fault for the fire by the insurance company's fire investigator. [The bill is ] $180,000.

2. I am aware that i have to pay for the damages of the fire in my apartment that i caused accidentally. Now i get a bill & they're making me responsible for the buildings under me since i am on the 3rd floor. I don't have rentals insurance, so am i responsible for paying their damages as well? ...

[Answer] You are liable for all of the structural damage you caused ... You caused the damage, this is your puppy.

Bottom Line

There is just no excuse for not having renter's insurance, it can cost as little as $10/month!

Apartment fires are very common; most of the events I respond to as a Red Cross volunteer are apartment fires.

See also What to Do after an Apartment Fire


  1. This is and absolute no brainer!

  2. I have always had rental insurance. Sure it is $20 a month I often cannot afford but the three times I have had to use it, it was worth that investment.

    Last year someone in the building fell asleep with a smoke and all tenants spent a month in local hotels while the damage was taken care of. I was lucky but still could not enter the building until it was declared safe. Insurance kept us all dry and warm over the coldest wettest winter months.

    And funnily enough, just today I went in to up my coverage considering the cost of replacement today. I look around my place, my furnishings and electronics cost me perhaps $400 at most. Yeah, including my pc.

    Almost everything are gifts, inheritances, freebies, way old antique finds I have had for decades, and I have a really nice looking little place.

    Clothes, same, mostly hand me downs, thrift shops, etc, or from other countries at almost zero.

    Gorgeous paintings, all family inheritances.

    SOOO time to update because just to replace with new, minus sentimental values, seemed to be a wise idea. Seems it would cost about $30 000 to $40 000 to recreate the same comfort zone.

    No brainer folks. No brainer. I hate the whole insurance business, but this is one I would not do without. This and auto. The rest is ... to me... a rip.