Get Started on the Right Foot with Renting
Throughout your lifetime, your housing needs change. You might not think you need insurance unless you own a house, but what would happen if you were renting a place and you lost your personal items due to theft? Or if your things are destroyed in a fire and you have to find a new place to live? Or if you have a dog and it bites someone who is visiting you in your apartment and they sue you? Renters insurance can help in all of these situations.
There are various stages of your life when you might rent:
- Moving Out - The first time you move out of your parents’ house, you will likely be renting an apartment or house, by yourself or with roommates.
- Moving Away – When you first move to a new city, you might rent while you figure out where you want to buy a home.
- Downsizing - If you have a family, you might want to move to a smaller place when they grow up and move out. You might even choose to move to a retirement community where you don’t have to cook or do lawn maintenance.
Renting the place you live is a lot different from owning it. If you’ve never rented before, there’s a lot to think about. If you are just getting your first place outside of your parents’ home, you will need to consider if you will have a roommate or do it all on your own. That decision will affect how much space you need and how much you can afford. It will also account for how much you need to budget for utilities each month, how much you should expect to pay in deposits and fees, and what furnishings you will need. If you do choose to have a roommate, it’s likely each of you will be able to contribute something to your common living spaces, such as furniture and kitchen supplies.
When moving to an area you’re not familiar with, renting before buying a house or condo is a smart idea. You’ve probably rented before at some point in your life, so you already know about fees and deposits, you don’t need a roommate and you have all the furnishings you need. You don’t have to pay for homeowners insurance now, but you still need the protection renters insurance can offer.
The kids have moved out and now you’d like to move to a different climate, you just aren’t sure where yet. Or maybe you want to stay in your hometown but just want a smaller place and the carefree lifestyle that renting in a retirement community can offer. You still need renters insurance to protect your personal items in case they are stolen or destroyed in a fire.
Once you have your living situation worked out and you think you’ve found a place, there are a lot of things you should ask your landlord. One thing you should know is that if there’s a fire or storm that damages the outside of your rental, your landlord’s insurance will cover the damage to the building, but not to replace your things. A renters insurance policy can also help if your rental becomes unlivable due to storm or fire damage, and help you pay for additional living expenses to live elsewhere while your rental is being fixed. It can also help if you are faced with liability for certain covered situations. In addition, renters insurance is affordable. Shelter’s policies start at $10 a month and go up depending on how much coverage you need. If you aren’t sure how much you need, you can use our Personal Property Calculator. If your car is insured with us too, you might even get a discount! If you’re renting for any reason, renters insurance gives you affordable peace of mind that’s priceless.