Affordable and Totally Worth It: How Renters Insurance Works

By Nick Garza

Just because you’re not a homeowner (yet) doesn’t mean your stuff is disposable. Chances are you’ve got pricey electronics, musical instruments or other valuables you wouldn’t want to lose to theft or damage.

That’s how renters insurance works: no matter where you’re renting, having this coverage can make a huge difference in your ability to recover financially if your belongings get damaged or stolen.  

What makes renters insurance really special is that it’s easy to transfer coverage as you move, and it’s shockingly affordable – $12 to $15 per month on average¹. So, for the price of a large pizza, you could rest easy knowing that if something happens to your things, repairing or replacing them won’t wipe out your savings.  

Plus, renters insurance helps protect your stuff from way more than you might think. Here are a few ways that help spell out how this coverage works: 

Theft — Not Just at Home

It doesn’t take a break-in at your rented home or apartment for theft to occur. If leave your laptop in your car and someone breaks in and steals it, your computer will be covered. In fact, USAA Renters Insurance covers personal property loss anywhere in the world. So, if your luggage gets stolen at the airport, it’s covered, too.

Flooding

Floods can make a mess and cause a lot of damage, as recent natural disasters have shown. What’s worse is that normal homeowners insurance doesn’t include flood coverage — it has to be purchased separately. But USAA’s Renters Insurance covers flood-related damage at a fraction of what homeowners would have to pay for the same coverage. In the case of severe weather or even an overflowing washing machine or dishwasher, your damaged gear will be covered. (Note: USAA is special in that flood isn’t always included as a covered peril with renters insurance contracts, so if you shop elsewhere, be sure to ask about this.)

Fire

If your belongings are destroyed or damaged by fire and smoke, renters insurance has you covered. The property of any named insured people, meaning spouses and relatives living in the same home, or people under 21 in the care of the policyholder, will be protected against fire damage, too.

Pets and Liability

Pets themselves aren’t covered, but cages and other items used to care for your pets are covered in the event of loss. And let’s be real: pets can cause their own damage — not just to stuff, but sometimes to people as well. If your pet bites your neighbor, USAA renters insurance includes medical expenses and liability protection, so true accidents like these can get solved quickly and affordably, keeping your finances safe and goals for the future on track.

Spoiled Groceries

If your refrigerator decides to give out when you’re out of town, you won’t have to worry about losing your fresh produce. USAA Renters Insurance policy will pay up to $500 per loss for food due to a broken appliance or power outage. Even better? There’s no deductible applied — which means no out-of-pocket cost to you!

Slip-and-Fall Accidents

Having people over to your rented apartment or house is fun, but a party can quickly go south if someone takes a spill. That’s why it’s a smart move to get renters insurance. How USAA Renters Insurance works is that it offers a standard $100,000 in liability coverage and $5,000 in medical payments for slip-and-fall incidents and other accidents at your home. Policyholders also have the option to increase their liability coverage; we recommend picking a number that covers the value of your assets and at least a few years of your annual income to protect against any worst-case scenario.

Musical Instruments

With renters insurance coverage, if your guitar or other musical instruments are stolen, they’ll be covered as long as they’re not used for your profession. Business property is capped at $2,500 in the residence and $250 away from home, so if you’re earning a living through your musical talents, it would be wise to look into a commercial property policy for items used professionally. Sports equipment follows the same guidelines regarding hobby versus occupation.

Collectibles

Wondering if your collection of rare baseball cards will be covered in case of a loss? Well, collections are covered, with caveats. The value of special collections can be hard to document, particularly if they’re rare. Take digital photos with your smartphone, and keep any receipts or other documentation that could help with your claim in the event of loss. If you’re into stamps or have heirloom jewelry or other super-special items that would be hard to replace, consider a Valuable Personal Property policy for an extra layer of coverage for your collection.

Cellphones

If you just picked up the newest smartphone, but it was swiped at a party last night, don’t fret. USAA Renters Insurance policy covers cellphones. Just make sure to get a police report on file.

So renters insurance has more generous coverage than most insurance policies, it helps protect you against financial loss if your things are stolen or damaged (even when you’re away from home) and is way cheaper than taking a date to a meal and a movie. It’s the ultimate no-brainer. 

Ready to protect your stuff? Learn more about the benefits of USAA Renters Insurance and get a quote today.

 


 

¹Countrywide average price for policyholders who have $2,500 personal property coverage, $100,000 liability coverage and $5,000 medical payments coverage as of January 2017. Rates vary by location and risk. Rates are subject to change.

Coverage descriptions are brief and subject to the terms and conditions of your insurance policy. Read your insurance policy for details. Applications subject to underwriting.

Property and casualty insurance provided by United Services Automobile Association, USAA Casualty Insurance Company, USAA General Indemnity Company, Garrison Property and Casualty Insurance Company, and USAA, Ltd. (Europe), San Antonio, TX, and is available only to persons eligible for P&C group membership. Each company has sole financial responsibility for its own products.

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