Whether you rent or own, your home should always be a place where you feel safe and secure. Insurance is a key part of that security, especially for homeowners.
But apartment tenants are every bit in need of protection as homeowners, and some may not be aware of how important renters insurance is. It doesn’t help that there are several myths about Florida renters insurance that are in need of debunking. We’ll shed some light on these myths and talk about the real benefits of having renters insurance.
I Don’t Need Renters Insurance If My Landlord Has Insurance
This is a common misconception — if a landlord has insurance on the rental property, then surely that extends to your belongings and possessions, right? Unfortunately, probably not. Landlord insurance covers the building itself against liability and damage but offers no such coverage to the renters themselves. If a fire, burglary, or other disaster were to occur, even if it’s a covered peril, your landlord’s insurance will not apply to you — which is exactly why renter’s insurance exists to begin with.
I Don’t Need Renters Insurance If I’m Renting a Furnished Apartment
So let’s say you’re moving into a fully furnished apartment, complete with all the furniture and appliances you need. Maybe you’re keeping your possessions few and simple. In that case, renters insurance is probably superfluous, right? Not necessarily. Even if you don’t have a lot of valuable possessions,
it’s a good idea to have some liability coverage in case you (or another person) get injured while in the rental space. Renters insurance can also help cover some of your temporary living expenses should the unit itself become unlivable (due to flooding, for example).
Renters Insurance Only Covers Personal Belongings
While having your personal belongings covered is a major part of having renters insurance, it’s not the only thing. In addition to protecting against things like fire, flood, and theft, it’s worth mentioning again that renters insurance also includes liability protection. If someone should get injured while in your rental unit and decides to file a lawsuit for medical expenses, your renter’s insurance can help defray some of your legal costs and potential settlements — saving you from potential financial disaster.
Renters Insurance Covers Everyone in the Property
But what if you have roommates? Is everyone in the unit covered by the same policy? The answer is, “it depends.” If you have family members listed on your renter’s insurance policy, they’ll generally be covered. But if you have roommates who aren’t immediate family members, they likely won’t be covered under your policy. It’s best for each roommate to have their own separate policy so that their personal belongings and potential liability are covered.
Renters Insurance Doesn’t Cover Portable Electronics
Some people operate under the misconception that renters insurance only applies to things like jewelry, artwork, family heirlooms, or other valuables. In reality, electronic devices such as smartphones, laptops, and even game consoles have become part of our daily lives, and are covered against theft, damage, or destruction just like anything else. If for some reason the items in question aren’t covered by a “vanilla” renters insurance policy, they may be added with a separate endorsement.
In fact, many tenants assume that because their valuables don’t add up to a great deal to begin with, renters insurance would just be a waste of money. Many insurance professionals advise going through your apartment, room by room, and assessing your valuables carefully, taking sentimental value into consideration as you do so. Even if you “don’t own much stuff,” you might be surprised at what you’ll want protected.
Renters Insurance in Florida Is Expensive
For many, the potential cost of renters insurance is an obstacle: it must be expensive, right? Not necessarily. Compared to homeowners insurance, renters insurance is surprisingly affordable. Although higher than the national average (according to Ross Martin at insurance comparison site The Zebra), renters insurance in Florida still comes out to only $227 annually — that’s just $18 a month, considerably lower than the average cost of homeowners insurance.
The annual premium can vary depending on a number of factors — as Martin points out, choosing Security First as your insurance company might only run you $142 annually for renters insurance, while State Farm will cost you more in the neighborhood of $181 a year.
Your premiums will also vary based on what city you live in, the value of your possessions, and a number of other factors. For this reason alone, it’s a good idea to do some comparison shopping and get quotes from different insurance companies before you choose one.
Don’t be fooled by some of the common myths about Florida renters insurance. Even if you don’t think you have much that needs protection, that $18 or so a month could buy you considerable peace of mind.