When you rent an apartment or condo, you may think you don’t need to worry about getting insurance. But living without this crucial safety net could land you with a big bill if an unexpected emergency comes your way.  

Renters Have to Pay Even if it’s Not Your Fault 

Accidents and natural disasters happen — from freak electrical storms that fry your wiring to massive flooding that submerges everything under a foot of water. 

If they happen to you, your landlord is liable for damage done to the building. This means they’re responsible for returning your apartment to a safe and comfortable place to live. But they don’t have to cover any damage or theft of your personal property, nor will they cover any medical expenses if you or any guests get hurt.

You’re on the hook for these bills, as well as any additional living expenses in case you need to find a new place to live while your landlord repairs your home.  

To see what kind of costs you could be facing down, let’s look at the fallout of a major flood as an example.

You could end up having to replace your couch, wardrobe, TV, and laptop if dirty water or sewage damages these items. To make matters worse, you now have to think about booking a hotel room while your landlord takes care of the damage. Altogether, this kind of emergency could cost you thousands of dollars as a renter.

Do You Know How You Would Cover a Bill That Large?  

In the best-case scenario, you’ll have the money you need sitting in your checking or savings account, and this cash is not already dedicated to an existing bill.  

If you don’t have an emergency fund, you may turn to installment loans online. Taking out these small dollar loans is simple and straightforward, making them a suitable backup to an emergency fund in unexpected emergencies. 

While convenient, they only postpone the inevitable. Repayingan installment loan online is a round-about way of paying out-of-pocket for these emergency expenses.   

It’s unfair, but that’s why renter’s insurance exists.  

What Does Renter’s Insurance Cover? 

For a small monthly premium, the typical renter’s insurance covers the following expenses: 

  • Damage to Personal Property: If a natural disaster or emergency damages your personal property, your insurance will cover the cost of the damage up to your policy’s limits. This may include costly electronics, furniture, and clothing, as well as any items that may have been stolen.  
  • Living Expenses: If it’s unsafe to stay in your rental apartment due to the damages caused by the accident or emergency, your policy has what’s called a “loss of use” coverage, which pays out funds above and beyond your normal living expenses.  
  • Medical Expenses: In dire situations, an emergency may hurt you or someone else in your home. Your policy may cover the cost of medical attention. 
  • Personal Liability: If you’re at fault for an emergency that causes damages or injures someone in your home, your insurance will cover your liability expenses, too. 

How Much is Renter’s Insurance? 

In the U.S., the average policy costs $187 a year, which breaks down to just under $16 a month. However, rates may vary widely depending on your location and coverage. 

Regardless of what you pay, it’s likely smaller than most of your regular expenses, such as utilities or groceries. That’s why it’s crucial you think about taking out a policy if you rent. It protects you from costly, unexpected bills for roughly the same price as a premium subscription to Netflix.