If you're like many 20-somethings, you likely rent a place to live instead of owning. And if you're like me, you probably base a lot of life decisions around the question, "What's the worst that could happen?"
Well, when it comes to renting, a lot. Don't skimp on renter's insurance. Here's why:
1. Your landlord probably requires it. Yes, this is lame. But thinking you can pull a fast one on your landlord or leasing company is even worse. There's a good reason companies require renter's insurance for tenants. It's because it protects you in emergencies and unforeseen situations.
2. It's cheap. The national average for renter's insurance is less than $300 per year. Thus, you really have no reason not to get a basic policy! The cons of not having renter's insurance far outweigh the pros. Check with your credit union to see if there are any discounts available to you as a member. (Hint: There probably is at least one available with your membership.)
3. You take the liability off you. What if a guest trips over a board on your back porch? You could be liable if that person sues, depending on the landlord's policies. Either way, renter's insurance pays legal fees and medical expenses in the case that happens.
4. Hey, things happen. Ice storms. Burglaries. Homeowners who don't fully take care of the property. Stuff outside of your control happens all the time, and it's better to be covered when these situations arise than to be unprepared.
5. It might cover additional living expenses. If your rental home becomes temporarily unlivable, it may cover additional expenses, such as food and hotel lodging, while your place is unavailable.
6. It covers your precious personal property. According to Esurance, the average renter owns $20,000 worth of personal property. Do you have $20,000 to throw down if something unexpected happens? Me neither!
The bottom line? Check with your credit union's insurance agent or another trusted professional about different policies. Get a clear snapshot of your property and take inventory of your temporary residence to start preparing yourself for a policy discussion.
Trust us: If something unexpected happens, you'll be glad you invested in renter's insurance.
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