According to fairly recent statistics gathered by the Insurance Information Institute (III), home ownership in the U.S. has been dwindling over the past decade while the number of those renting homes is on the rise. It’s also been approximated that, while somewhere around 95% of those who own their own homes have homeowners insurance to cover those homes, less than 40% of renters have a renter’s insurance policy in force.

Add to this the estimation that the average renter owns somewhere in the neighborhood of $20K in personal possessions and that, statistically, renters are about 25% more likely to have their dwellings burglarized than homeowners. It may be wrongly assumed that, when you’re renting a home or an apartment, your landlord’s insurance will cover your personal property loss in the event that something occurs to damage or completely ruin any or all of your personal possessions.

The fact of the matter is, your landlord’s insurance is designed to cover his or her building in which you’re living, but not your property found therein. In order to protect yourself from the financial risk of losing your personal belongings from something like a fire or a burglary, you need to have renter’s insurance coverage in place. In the event that you suffer a covered loss, your renter’s insurance will help with replacing your lost or damaged property.

Great Value for the Money

Because renter’s insurance covers only your personal property and not your rental dwelling, it’s relatively inexpensive to buy. It also has the advantage of providing coverage to you no matter where you happen to be when you suffer a covered loss. If your camera or suitcase is stolen while you’re on vacation, for example, it’s likely covered under your renter’s policy.

The two major parts of renter’s coverage are for the loss of personal property or for liability if a visitor to your rental home is accidentally injured and sues you. Something not included in a standard policy is flood insurance. Flood insurance coverage may be available, but only as an additional policy obtained through the federal government flood insurance program.

Again, because this additional flood insurance coverage would apply only to your personal belongings and not the physical swelling you’re renting, renter’s flood insurance is relatively inexpensive to buy. Consult your personal independent insurance agent to obtain the particulars. It’s a good idea to learn about your options.