Renting offers a lot of advantages, prevailing among them is the fact that renting frees you from many of the responsibilities that homeowners have to bear.
Just because you may have fewer responsibilities as a renter doesn’t mean that you’re completely free of accountability. Unfortunately, many renters make the mistake of forgetting this fundamental truth and end up paying for it when something unexpected happens in their unit.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common tenant insurance myths and find out why insuring your possessions is so important.
1. Fewer possessions means no need for insurance
One of the biggest myths about tenant insurance is that if you really don’t have all that much stuff then there’s no pressing need to insure it.
There are two ways that this myth gets perpetuated. First, people tend to underestimate just how much stuff they have. When you first think about all of your possessions, you may think about big-ticket items like your TV, computer and furniture, but you’re probably forgetting about dozens of other, smaller items that can add up to be worth a lot of money: your wardrobe, sports equipment, kitchen devices and utensils, and many more.
2. My possessions aren’t worth a lot
In addition to underestimating how much stuff they actually have, people often underestimate how much it would cost to replace their current possessions. For instance, even if your current electronic devices are all five years old and not worth half of what they once were, if you needed to replace them tomorrow you’d most likely be buying brand new devices that could cost thousands of dollars.
3. Your landlord’s insurance covers you
This is one of the most commonly held misconceptions when it comes to tenants’ insurance.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that your landlord’s property insurance will cover your possessions in the event that something outside of your control happens to your building.
Your landlord’s policy covers damage to what they own – the building – but not to things inside the building that they don’t own – namely, your possessions.
If you don’t have tenant’s insurance, then when your possessions get damaged, you’ll be the one who’s on the hook for replacing them.
4. The lowest coverage is enough
Even though tenant insurance isn’t required by law the way auto insurance is, people often make the same mistake with tenant insurance that they do with car insurance. They assume that if they just get the lowest possible premium, they’ll be all set.
As mentioned above, people often underestimate how much it would cost to replace everything they own. As a result, even if they do opt for tenant insurance, they often choose a cheap insurance product that won’t properly cover their costs.
When calculating how much coverage you’ll need, make a list of everything you own — or at least all of the major categories, like electronics, clothes, jewelry, etc. — and estimate how much it would cost to replace each one if you lost everything in a fire. That will help you determine what level of coverage you need.
5. As a tenant, I’m not responsible for the unit
This may be a more understandable misconception — we’re not used to thinking of ourselves as being responsible for someone else’s property — but it’s a myth nonetheless.
As a renter, you are responsible for the cost of repairing any damage you cause to your unit, or other units in your building. Mistakes that are your fault, like leaving a tap running and causing water damage, or starting an oven fire and causing smoke damage, are your responsibility to fix.
6. If something happens I can stay with family
While it’s tempting to think that you could easily relocate if your unit suffers damage, in reality, finding a new place to live can be difficult and costly.
Staying with friends or family may be viable in the short term, but if your unit suffers extensive damage that requires long-term repairs, you’ll have to find another living situation, and that will be on top of the cost of replacing any possessions you lost in the process.
That’s why Additional Living Expense coverage is so important. It can cover you even if you require a new, long-term living arrangement outside of your former unit.
The Need For Tenants’ Insurance is No Fairytale
Now that you understand some of the most common tenant insurance myths, you’ll be better able to anticipate them and make sure that you don’t let common misconceptions leave you on the hook for thousands of dollars in the event of an accident.
You may not be able to prevent accidents from occurring, but with the right tenant insurance coverage you can at least feel comfortable knowing you’re covered should anything happen.
To learn more about tenant insurance, call Bow Valley Insurance at 1-800-332-1308 or contact us here.
Coverage is subject to policy wording, terms, conditions, and deductibles. Protection is limited to the perils, coverage, exclusions, and limits shown on the policy.