Do I Really Need Renters Insurance?

September 27, 2021

While entertaining in your home is usually fun, accidents can happen. When a guest slips and falls, or is bitten by your dog, you might be liable for damages. If you aren’t protected by a renters insurance policy, you may be forced to pay out of pocket for a lawsuit on the grounds of premises liability law.

Why Do People Forego Renters Insurance?

Most landlords require renters insurance as a condition of the tenancy, but even if it’s not mandated for your unit, you should get it anyway: The benefits of renters insurance far outweigh the monthly cost.

Some people may think they don’t need renters insurance because they believe their landlord’s home insurance covers them. However, while a landlord’s policy covers the apartment’s structure, it doesn’t protect your belongings, which can add up if you need to replace them after a fire or other form of property damage.

Other tenants might think their belongings don’t have significant value, so renters insurance won’t be worth the investment. However, research shows that the average total value of belongings in an average two-bedroom apartment is nearly $30,000. Just factoring in electronics, like a TV, cell phone, and laptop, can add up quickly.

What Does Rental Insurance Cover?

While people might opt out of renters insurance to save money, thinking they’re only taking a risk on their personal property, tenant insurance provides more coverage than just your physical belongings. It can also provide protection for personal liability and loss of use.

Personal Property Damage

Renters insurance covers most potential damage to your belongings except in the case of floods, earthquakes, and hurricane damage. Depending on your policy, it can even protect your belongings if they are stolen or damaged outside your home, like in a car (although renters’ insurance does not cover the car itself).

Personal Liability

Personal liability coverage benefits you if someone is unintentionally injured in your home (for example, your dog bites them, or they slip and fall on the stairs). In that case, the related medical bills or any related lawsuits may be covered by your renter’s insurance.

Depending on your policy, if you are accused of failing to protect a guest from a foreseeable injury, your personal liability protection covers litigation costs and other damages, even if you lose the case. However, there are exceptions.

The personal liability portion of your renters’ insurance does NOT cover:

  • Damages done in the line of work, if you run your business out of your apartment
  • Medical bills after an accident of anyone that lives in the home.
  • Instances related to negligence on your behalf, such as any damages resulting from you leaving a cigarette burning and causing a fire.

Personal liability protection covers the most common injuries a guest at your apartment may sustain, such as slips, trips, falls, and dog bites. Dog bites can be particularly contentious, since the average dog bite claim amounts to $35,000.

Loss of Use

If something were to happen in your apartment that displaced another tenant, like if your washing machine leaks and floods the downstairs apartment, renters insurance would cover the cost of living, plus related hotel, food, and transportation expenses for you and tenants not on your policy, like your downstairs neighbor.

The Benefits of Renters Insurance Outweigh the Cost

Renters insurance provides a lot of coverage and many benefits, but the even better news is the price is much more affordable than you probably think. On average, renters insurance costs citizens of Louisiana $22 a month, with discounts available if you bundle it with your car insurance or have safety features in your apartment like interior sprinklers or a home security system.

Most insurance companies recommend that you purchase enough coverage to match the value of your belongings plus $100,000 of personal liability.

It’s also important to determine whether you want your policy to cover actual cash value (ACV) or replacement cost coverage (RCC). ACV is cheaper, but it only reimburses you the used value of your items, while RCC will cover the costs of buying a brand new item to replace the damaged one.

Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers Are Available to Help

If you are dealing with a premises liability case in Louisiana, the New Orleans premises liability lawyers at Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers can help. We can negotiate with your insurance company on your behalf regarding your claim and ensure you know your rights.

At Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers, we are proud to offer a No Fee Guarantee which means you don’t pay until we win your compensation. Contact us today for a free case review to get started.