Life happens. And when it inevitably does — it’s nice to have a safety net. That’s the idea behind renters insurance.
”Not sure if you need renters insurance? Accidents happen, bikes are stolen, and fires can leave an apartment unlivable. Without coverage, any costs due to a burglary or fire might fall to you.” — TruStage Insurance, VCU partner
In this post, we’ll explain what renters insurance is and all the good reasons to get it.
What Is Renters Insurance?
Renters insurance (aka tenants insurance) is an important form of financial protection for anyone who rents a property. It offers a cost-effective way to safeguard yourself and the things you own.
A renters insurance policy can:
- Reimburse you for personal property lost due to theft or damage caused by vandalism, natural disasters, fire, or other perils.
- Give you liability coverage in case someone is injured in your home.
- Provide funds for living expenses if your rental is temporarily uninhabitable.
A renters insurance policy consists of three different kinds of coverage: personal property, liability, and additional living expenses. It’s up to you to decide how much coverage you want.
You should be able to get a renters insurance plan for most kinds of rentals. For example, our partner, TruStage, offers policies for people who rent apartments, condos, and homes.
How Much Does It Cost & What’s Covered?
Costs and coverage vary. It all hinges on the policy and carrier you choose.
The Cost of Renters Insurance
Cost is based on a number of factors including:
- Where you live
- Amount of coverage
- Size of property
- Type of property
- Safety and security features of property (e.g., fire alarms, sprinkler systems, dead bolts, etc.)
- Policy add-ons
Often, you’ll have a choice of how to pay for your policy. You can make one lump-sum payment or monthly premium payments. Some policies may require the first month’s premium up front.
Renters insurance in the US averaged about $220 per year (or $18 per month) in 2022. However, Oregonians tend to pay much less than the national rate. (Some resources claim the average is only $9 per month.)
Discounts may be available if you hold multiple policies (e.g., auto and renters) or with group affiliations (e.g., your employer or alumni club). Some insurers offer better rates to long-time customers or people who’re over a certain age threshold, have good credit, etc.
What’s Covered with a Renters Insurance Policy?
Renters insurance protects you in the event of many common occurrences. Depending on the policy, it may even cover items like:
- Medical expenses
- Legal fees
- Property repairs
Additional Living Expenses
- Temporary housing
- Moving expenses
- Pet boarding
- Storage unit
What’s Not Covered by Renters Insurance?
Renters insurance usually doesn't cover damage to the structure of the building caused by tenant negligence or intentional acts. It also might not cover certain natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes, and other weather-related events.
Knowing what your policy includes and excludes can help you plan for any potential losses and be prepared should the unexpected happen.
Why Do You Need Renters Insurance?
Really, there are so many reasons for having renters insurance if you rent a property. Renters insurance provides you with a number of key benefits, including:
- Financial protection in case of theft, fire, or other disasters
- Liability coverage in case someone is injured in your home
- Funds to cover living expenses if your rental is temporarily uninhabitable
- Money to replace personal belongings lost due to covered events
- Protection against damage to your stuff or personal injury caused by a roommate
- Peace of mind knowing you are covered in case of the unexpected
Beyond these benefits, you may be compelled to purchase renters insurance because you have to have it. 75% of all landlords require renters to have renters insurance — though the type and level of coverage may vary. In Oregon, state law allows landlords to require you to have renters insurance.
Get Your Renters Insurance Through Valley Credit Union
Our partnership with TruStage enables you to get high-quality renters insurance coverage at a great price. And, signing up for renters insurance is incredibly quick and easy to do.
VCU is here to support you. If you have any questions about insurance coverage — or any of our other financial products (loans, accounts, etc.) or resources — feel free to contact us anytime.
About the Author
Katie Clark, Director of Administrative Services
Katie Clark has been at Valley Credit Union since 2011. She serves as the Board Secretary and oversees Human Resources, Marketing and Facilities for the credit union, some even call her the credit union mom. As a CUNA and GoWest HR council member she stays connected with the latest industry happenings. When she’s not in the office she enjoys weekends with family & drinking wine at the Oregon coast.