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Why New Graduates Should Consider Renters Insurance

Congratulations!  As a new grad, you’re out in the “real world” and that means independence as well as a plethora of bills to pay for that adult living. As you move out of the dorms or student housing, you may want to consider renters insurance. You may feel it’s an unnecessary cost, especially with all the other bills you have to balance in your budget, but in the case of theft, damage, or an accident, it may save you from having to foot the bill and take on a pricey expense later on.

If you’re renting, like most new grads, your landlord will have property insurance to cover the actual building and associated expenses, however you and your personal property will be left to fend for yourself. This means if anything were to happen to your things, you’d have to pay to repair or replace it out-of-pocket.

However, if you have renters insurance, it will provide you a way to recover your expenses for any lost, stolen, or damaged belongings. The coverage on your belongings isn’t limited by distance or location, so even if you lost a personal item in a different country, you can still claim it.  And even if you caused the damage yourself, you will be able to file a claim for it. Renters insurance also covers some incidental damage from accidents or circumstances, such as storm-related damage, smoke damage, and fire damage. And if you find that you’re in a situation where the damage to the house or apartment prevents you from staying there while repairs are made, renters insurance can also help cover temporary living costs, like motel/hotel stays, up to a limit.

Another way that renters insurance might be helpful to you is if you have guests over at your place quite often. If you play host or hostess, you should know that you’re legally responsible for what happens on your property. So if someone gets hurt while at your place and then sues you, renters insurance can cover costs for legal defense, as well as go towards covering your guest’s medical bills, which otherwise you’d have to pay.

Renters insurance also can provide coverage for damaged or lost/stolen personal items in two ways. You can be reimbursed for the actual value of the item, including depreciation and current value, or with a replacement – however, premiums for the replacement option often are much higher.  Either way, it will help you in recouping some of the loss, and help you if you decide you’d like to get a replacement.

Since renters insurance is relatively inexpensive – some estimates put it at about $14-$20 a month – it’s worth considering, since the average renter has about $20,000 in possessions. Even though various companies will offer different types of coverages, most renters insurance policies may not cover:

●    Damages caused by natural disasters, such as flood, earthquake, and hurricanes
●    Some damages to the actual house/residence
●    Your injuries or those of your roommate(s)
●    Damages by pets

*If you live in an area that has the risk of a flood, earthquake, or hurricane you may want to purchase a separate policy or add the option to cover specifically for those types of incidents.

Your renters insurance premium will vary depending on how much coverage you’ll need, but there are still ways to save. You can ask your insurance company if they provide discounts for safety measures, such as fire extinguishers, security systems, and smoke detectors. You can also raise your deductible, if you’re able to afford it, which will directly impact your premium, or lower the amount of coverage if you don’t have as many valuable items.

As a new grad, life is going to be full of new and unexpected challenges, hopefully having to recover lost, damaged, or stolen property won’t be one of them, but if it is, renters insurance can help ease the strain and stress.

Do you think renters insurance is a good deal? Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below

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