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Are You a Renter?

If you rent a house or an apartment, you’re not alone. Renting has become the fastest growing segment of the housing industry. A 2017 report by the National Multifamily Housing Council and the National Apartment Association said that the housing bubble fallout, which happened from 2007-2010, resulted in a nationwide shift among many households. Former homeowners are now renters. In fact, according to analysis of Census Bureau housing data, 36 percent of households are renters. Renting is big and getting bigger! 

 With this growing population of rental households, you would think people would have a better understanding about renters’ insurance. Sadly, far too few renters really know how needed and affordable renters’ insurance is. 

 If you are a renter, it’s important to understand that you have something to lose. You can lose your possessions to a fire, some other calamity or you can lose money if you’re sued. Let’s address and debunk some common misconceptions about renters’ insurance.

 Myth:I don’t need insurance because the property owner has it.

Fact:The property owner likely does have insurance that covers their interest in the property, specifically their structure and legal liability should they be sued. However, it does not cover your possessions or anything that you might be sued for.

 Myth:Renters’ insurance is too expensive.

Fact:Most people who say this have never really priced out how inexpensive renters’ insurance is. A typical renters’ policy is a fraction of the cost of a homeowner’s policy and in addition, it can save you money in the long run.   

 Myth:I rent my home and so I don’t really have any exposure to an “insurance loss.”

Fact:Wrong – you could lose plenty. Two types of financial loss renters could incur include property loss and liability loss.

  • Property loss: If you had a kitchen fire and all your furniture, electronics and appliances were damaged, do you have the money to replace them all? Odds are good that you own more stuff than you think. Could you really afford to lose it all?
  • Liability loss: What would happen if a kitchen fire in your apartment caused damage to the unit above, or a water leak from your overflowing sink caused a loss to a neighbor below? What if a guest tripped over a coffee table and was injured? Believe it or not, these incidents represent the potential for a lawsuit. A lawsuit can be filed against anyone, at any time, for any reason. Your landlord’s insurance policy would not cover your legal liability, and the damages awarded by a court would be yours to pay. In addition, you would have to pay any legal fees incurred to defend yourself in court.

If you have never had a quote on renters’ insurance, it’s probably a good idea to talk to your local Georgia Farm Bureau insurance agent. It only takes a few minutes and you’ll find it well worth your time!