Do I Need Renter’s Insurance?
Insurance is a tricky topic to talk about. And a tricky topic to ask about, since you have to front up about how much you own, earn and what have you.
Let’s put it this way, insurance is always a good idea. If you asked someone who had their home destroyed in Cyclone Marcia if they’d like compensation for their losses, you can bet that they would say ‘Yes!’.
If you asked someone who had been in a car accident if they’d like their Maseratti replaced, they’d be stupid to say ‘no. And when you come off your dodgy rented moped in Italy or Greece, you’re going to be glad that your hospital trip going to take little out of your own wallet.
But, as with most things in life, you have to play a little cost/benefit analysis. So we’re not going to tell you outright whether or not you need renter’s insurance, but guide you along to way to realising what is best for your personal property, contents and situation.
First question – What exactly does Renter’s Insurance cover?
Renter’s Insurance is essentially Home Contents Insurance. It covers you for theft and damage to valuable items in and around your home. Renters, or Home Contents, Insurance is very different to House Insurance, which simply covers damage done to your home building itself. So, for example, if your home were to be flooded, House Insurance would cover the repairs needed to reconstruct your apartment or house building, but it wouldn’t cover the cost of your expensive TV, your designer couch or your expansive surround-sound system. This would be where Home Contents Insurance comes in.
In rental properties, typically the landlord will cover the house insurance, as they own the physical building itself. However, as the contents are just owned by the tenants, contents insurance soon became known in rental properties as Renter’s Insurance.
Okay, so what exactly does it cover?
Depending on your type of insurance, you can be covered for everything from laptops and home desktops to antique jewelry or furniture. You can be protected from both theft and damage, which includes things such as; weather events like cyclones and floods, burglaries and pipe (water/sewerage/gas) leaks. There’s also options (again, depending on your level and type of coverage) to have visitor’s belongings covered, to have locks replaced and to have temporary accommodation sorted if your home is temporarily inhabitable (for example, after a flood).
Right, so how would I figure out what type of coverage I want?
It really depends on what kinds of valuables you have in your home, and how likely you believe the risk of losing them to be. If, say, you own a fairly decent TV and complete home-cinema surround sound system while living in a high-risk flood zone, you may want to consider taking out some Renter’s Insurance. Similarly, if you have inherited some lovely antique jewelry from dear beloved grandma, and you’ve moved into a slightly less-than-savoury neighbourhood, it may be wise to either invest in a good home safe, take out some Renter’s Insurance, or both.
Again, it really depends on what you have, how much its worth, and whether or not you’re willing to pay to ensure you will still have it the morning after a killer storm.
What are the other benefits and negatives of having Renters Insurance?
Well, you’ve already seen most of the benefits highlighted above. If you have something worth insuring, the decision is as simple as whether you’d be devastated (both financially and emotionally) if that item was lost or stolen. Other benefits include security and a sound mind while you’re out and about while a severe weather event is occurring.
Negatives, as mentioned, are the costs. Depending on your level of coverage, the area you live in and the total worth of your belongings, Renters Insurance can be very reasonable or quite expensive.
It should be noted, however, that no matter how cheaply you manage to wrangle a deal out of the insurance bureau, Renters Insurance will still be another monthly household expense you will have to pay.
Where can I get Renter’s Insurance and how will I find the best price?
Most insurance companies will be able to offer online quotes. Your standard insurance giants such as NRMA, Allianz, etc, have a quick ‘Get a Quote’ process on their respective websites, and it’s fairly easy to compare your quotes online. If in doubt, ask around with friends and family to see if they’re happy or unhappy with their coverage and/or insurance company.
So there you have it, the ins and outs of Renters Insurance. As outlined above, so much is up to your personal situation and your belongings. Again, any type of insurance is always a good idea, if nothing else just for peace of mind. But conducting a solid cost/benefit analysis of whether or not Renter’s Insurance is right for you is also a good idea.
We hope this has been helpful in steering you on the right path of thinking. Best of luck!
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