It doesn’t matter where you live, your personal belongings are important and losing them could be devastating. The responsibility for protecting all your belongings is yours — along with the cost of replacing them if disaster strikes.
If you don’t have renters insurance, you are betting against an unforeseen circumstance happening to you: a fire, theft, vandalism, water damage, a natural disaster, or worse. Is that a wager you can afford to lose?
Too many people forgo renters insurance because they think their stuff isn’t worth much. This is not the wisest choice because
a) renters insurance is usually very affordable
b) you stuff is worth a lot more than you might think
According to USAA.com, “the average renter has more than $20,000 in personal belongings. Just think about how much it would cost to replace your clothing, books, furniture, laptop computer, flat-screen TV, bicycle, smartphone and everything else you’ve accumulated over the years.”
Renters insurance differs from company to company, so make sure you compare benefits before buying. If you already have insurance for your vehicle, start with that company and request information.
Some key features to look for (source: USAA.com):
Replacement cost coverage. This provides enough money to buy a new item to replace the one you’ve lost. That’s better than a policy that only covers an item’s actual cash value. For example, if your 10-year-old TV is destroyed, a replacement cost policy would cover the price of a brand-new set. An actual cash value plan would only give you what the TV was worth at the time it was destroyed.
Protection against severe weather and other events. Make sure your policy not only covers property damaged or destroyed by fire but also by flooding, earthquakes and other natural disasters.
Coverage of items in your car. The policy should pay for personal items if they are stolen from your vehicle.
Living expenses if forced to move. If damage to your apartment or rental property requires you to temporarily live elsewhere, renters insurance will reimburse your living expenses.
Medical expense coverage. This helps reimburse guests for medical expenses related to injuries that happen at your place.
Liability insurance. If an injured guest sues you, liability coverage can help with legal bills and will pay damages if you’re found liable for them.
Visit the U of O’s Off-Campus Student Resources and Programs page for more resources.