Why Do I Need Renters Insurance?

If you have had a chance to explore our website, you found we offer an array of coverage options including auto insurance, homeowners insurance, boat insurance, but we help with renters insurance too!

I have noticed our customers tend to put off their renters insurance policy until the last second… why do we do that?

It could be the fact that insurance can, dare I say it, be an “unnecessary” pain to discuss?

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I feel your pain! As a newly licensed agent I know where you are coming from. It was not long ago (3 months to be exact) that I had these same thoughts on insurance. We can all agree that we would rather talk about the new episode of “This Is Us”, or maybe the game last night?

Well, the way I see it, insurance is like that first aid kit you keep on the top shelf that is collecting dust. You totally forget it is there until your child decides it’s a good idea to have your family dog Buddy pull him on a skateboard down the driveway… in his Superman costume.

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Good ol’ Buddy goes into an all-out sprint and now your son is doing a hurdling 180 off the skateboard down the driveway, and suddenly you hear screaming. You sprint for that first aid kit like your life depends on it! Before you know it, that first aid kit patched everything up and stopped the bleeding.

The first aid kit is like having insurance. That initial investment in the kit did not benefit you right then, but it did later.  Life throws us uncontrollable situations that we are not capable of “bandaging” up ourselves. So, we have insurance to get the job done when we need it.

So how can a renters insurance policy protect you?

What is renters insurance? What does renters insurance cover?

Spoiler: We are getting the boring things out of the way, but I promise I will be quick!

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Many landlords require this policy before they allow a tenant to move in, but it should still be considered even if it is not a condition of your lease.

This is a type of homeowner’s insurance (HO-4) that is commonly referred to as a renter’s policy because it covers the contents of the home, but not the structure itself. Coverage that protects the building is the landlord’s responsibility.

There are two types of renter’s policies as it relates to your contents from Renters Insurance Publications:

“Actual Cash Value pays to replace your possessions minus an amount for depreciation (the reduction in the value of items due to age and use) up to the limit of your policy.

Replacement Cost pays the actual cost of replacing your possessions (with no deduction for depreciation), up to the limit of your policy. The price of Replacement Cost coverage is about 10 percent more than Actual Cash Value coverage but can be well worth the extra cost.”

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Renters insurance is an affordable way to cover what is most important to you!

Included in a renters policy is general liability coverage. This covers both personal liability and medical payments to others. This portion of the policy can pay for legal expenses in non-auto related accidents if you are held liable for bodily injury or property damage.

This coverage only applies if the accident is not the fault of the insured, which is no-fault coverage.

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An example would be if someone slipped on ice on your property and was injured. 

Normally the basic limit is 100,000, but higher limits are available.

The final portion of a renters policy includes additional living expenses. This coverage comes into play if something happens to the building you are living in and it becomes uninhabitable because of a covered loss. This includes expenses that relate to maintaining a certain standard of living.

This normally covers the difference in normal expenses that can include hotel, rental and food expenses during the time the building is under repair.

How much is renters insurance?

I know what you’re thinking: “I cannot afford such a great policy!”

Despite popular belief, you do not have to pay  an “arm and a leg” to get insurance. A renter’s policy is a pretty basic policy in comparison to others such as an auto insurance policy.

According to Value Penguin, the average price for renter’s insurance in Maryland is $13.33 a month. Typically the average cost for renter’s insurance across the the United States is $15.00 to $30.00 a month.

Yes, I said it, you can get renters insurance for the price of going to lunch! You’re welcome…

Take the cost out of the equation now that we have determined it is affordable, and lets get to a “flaming” example as to why everyone should have renters insurance…

Why should you have renters insurance?

I am going to try to make this a little more real for you…

Apartment buildings are made of close-knit units. There is margin for error with the number of people that occupy such a small space.

Remember: With what we know now, a landlord policy DOES NOT cover your things.

Imagine your neighbor who lives above you is running late one morning for work. Thick beads of sweat run down his face as he sprint from one room to another. He frantically throws his papers in his bag for the upcoming meeting. On the go he cracks two eggs into the griddle on the stove for breakfast.

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Once he grabs the eggs, he whisks his bag across his shoulder, runs for the door and locks the door behind him. Little did he know, he made the mistake of leaving the burner on….

Hours go by, everyone has left for work leaving the units unoccupied. As everyone’s day clicks by, the burner is getting hotter by the second. All of a sudden, that burner lights a nearby washcloth into a small flame.

That tiny flame eventually grows to a raging blaze. It eats away at the furniture and the structural integrity of your neighbor’s apartment.

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The smoke alarm signals the authorities, but they do not make it in time to put an end to the irreversible damage. That once above unit is now crashing into your apartment. The flames are burning all your new furniture, melting your valuable electronics, and destroying your irreplaceable childhood photos. This one little mistake that was not your fault, is now a life changing occurrence for you!

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Heartbreaking for the person who did not have renters insurance…

Sorry buddy, if you had a renters insurance policy, all of your things would have been covered.

The issue with living so close to others is your inability to control your neighbor’s actions. But, let’s face it… humans are not “flawless”, but “flaw-some”.

What we recommend:

Have a policy prepared before you move in. When you are obtaining quotes, make sure you have sufficient coverage to replace all your belongings.

  • Keep receipts for your high-ticket items such as computers, TVs, and expensive jewelry.
  • Keep an updated inventory of all the possessions in your home.

List everything because it is better to be safe than sorry!

We face many variables that are out of our control. But renters insurance puts the control back in your hands.

14% of the population rent in Maryland (this statistic only includes apartments, not single-family homes or town homes). With that staggering percentage, each rental contains both sentimental and financial valuables many cannot afford to lose.

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Wouldn’t you want coverage for what you have worked so hard for when something happens?

McCool Insurance Agency offers competitive insurance packages that include renters insurance! We can cater the package to your home and what is right for you!

Call us today for a free quote!

(410) 398-1373

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Are you ready to save time, aggravation, and money? The team at McCool Insurance is here and ready to make the process as painless as possible. We look forward to meeting you!