Protecting Your Peace of Mind

Understanding the Importance of Renters Insurance

When renting a place to call home there are lots of things to consider. Renters insurance is one of those things. While it may be easily forgotten, it is a helpful tool for ensuring the safety of personal belongings if any unexpected issues were to occur.

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, renters insurance will cover the cost of personal belongings, and some plans will also cover living expenses if something were to happen to the rented building.

GeMonee Brown, a Bowling Green realtor, said that renters insurance is there to cover the renter. He said if a fridge loses power and all the groceries go bad it will cover that, or in a more dire situation such as a house fire, renters insurance can cover items and provide a new place to stay.

He said that the amount of coverage given by renters insurance depends on the plan that the renter chooses, but it will typically cover housing for four to six months.

He said there are not many cons to renters insurance besides potentially paying $40 a month and never needing it. However, in the case of an emergency, he said it can be very helpful.

Brown said when the tornado struck Bowling Green in 2021 a lot of people weren’t expecting it and they did not have renters insurance. Due to this, they didn’t get anything and had to figure out their own housing and replace their items themselves.

He said obtaining renters insurance is a fairly easy process. It is not included within leases, but a call to an insurance company, such as State Farm or Progressive, will give options for what renters insurances are best and potential benefits.

“While I was in college, I actually had it, and it cost me like $5 at the time,” Brown said. “It brought down my car insurance by like 15 bucks. So, technically, it was kind of free technically, you know, because I was going to be spending that money, because insurance gives you benefits for the more things that you have with them.”

Policies typically carry two plans, personal property and liability, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Personal property will cover the cost of belongings if they are damaged, stolen or destroyed, and liability provides coverage to bodily injury and property damage that happened on the property from an accident.

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, plans can vary in amounts of coverage, so evaluating personal belongings before obtaining insurance is needed. If renters have more expensive items or live in an area prone to violent weather they should consider pricier plans.

When deciding a plan another thing renters should consider is if they want actual cash-value coverage or replacement cost coverage, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. With actual cash-value coverage the policyholder will be reimbursed for the current value of the broken item, while with replacement cost coverage the policyholder will be reimbursed the full value of the broken item.

Brown said renters insurance is a good safety net to have because it can come in handy when least expected.

“It goes back to an old saying, ‘It doesn’t catch up to you until it catches up to you’,” Brown said. “You know, going back to the tornado, we went to bed that night.I ain’t gonna say nobody had an idea, but most people had no idea the next morning was gonna happen. That they’d be out of their homes, they’d lose their personal belongings and not only are you dealing with, ‘Where do I lay my head tonight?’, you’re also dealing with, ‘I’ve lost everything I’ve got’, and that could have been one less headache, one less stressor, because you had that (renters insurance).”