It is a story we see played out way to often in the fire service. Someone has
suffered the catastrophic loss of a home; either by fire, natural disaster or other
event. It is difficult, at best, to see someone lose everything they have in an
instant. If there is a bright spot in the situation, it is that everyone is okay and the
“stuff” will be replaced. Or will it?
If you rent your apartment or home your belongings may not be covered by
insurance. Your landlord’s property insurance will cover the damaged building
but it won’t cover your belongings! This is why we encourage all renters to have
This very affordable insurance (usually around $20 to $30 a month) covers
renters against property losses from fire or smoke, lightning, vandalism, theft,
windstorm and water damage (except floods). It can also cover expenses you
incur while having to find a place to stay after the event. Most landlords are not
obligated to provide another living arrangement while the building is unlivable. It
can also cover you for liability if someone was injured in your home or something
occurs on your property that causes damage to someone else’s.
Many renters often think that they don’t have enough property value to justify the
insurance. Most would be surprised that if they started adding the values of
every single item in a home (electronics, computers, jewelry, clothing, etc.), that
the figure would quickly reach thousands of dollars in property value. The
following are two examples using a basic insurance calculator. A basic two
bedroom, one bath apartment occupied by a family of three is estimated to have
approximately $30,000 in contents and a 3 bedroom, 2 bath home occupied by a
family of four is estimated to have approximately $63,000 in contents.
So how much and what types of insurance do you need? It is best to talk to an
insurance professional about the property you want to protect and the property
hazards you would like to be insured from. They can give you coverage and
policy specifics based on your situation and the type of policy you want and they
can answer any important questions you may have before making a decision on
the right coverage for you.