You’ve moved into your apartment. Finally. You set out all of your furniture and knickknacks just the way you want. You’re good to go …unless something happens, like the place catches fire or someone steals your stuff. What then? Well, that’s why you need renter’s insurance.

Text by Bo King

young couple meets landlord.

What Is Renter’s Insurance?

Simply put, it’s insurance that you take out on your own through an outside company. If you have car insurance, check with that carrier first. They likely offer renter’s insurance as well. And as an added bonus, they just might give you a discount for having multiple policies.

hand uses calculator.

What Qualifies?

It depends on what’s specified in the policy you choose. The more you’re willing to pay for your premium and deductible, the more the policy will cover. Renter’s insurance is relatively cheap, but be sure to check your budget to see what you can afford.

Of course, the building itself won’t be covered. In fact, your landlord has the policy for that. As to what is covered, personal property comes to mind first. Secondly, insurance covers any liability or damage you might cause to other people. This is something many people don’t think about. However, it can really help you out if you’re faced with legal expenses or emergency medical bills. And remember, every policy has limits. Be sure to read carefully before you sign anything.

woman holding baby uses cell phone.

How Do I Use It?

In the event of a disaster, after you’ve called your landlord and the police, call the insurance company and file a claim. Be sure to call them as soon after the incident as possible. There’s usually a limit — around 48 to 72 hours — on how long you have to report it. Also, they’ll want official documentation, like a police report. Additionally, they may send a claims adjuster to check out the extent of the damage or loss. Once the company completes their investigation, they’ll reimburse you according to the terms in your insurance policy.

Everything considered, renter’s insurance is a good and relatively cheap way to give you peace of mind that you’ll be taken care of in an emergency.