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Let’s be real: Renters insurance isn’t the sexiest of topics. It’s not your go-to conversation starter and probably not on your to-do list of philosophical debates. Stay with me for a moment, however, as I tell you about the benefits of renters insurance. I’ll try and make this fun!
In your day-to-day, renters insurance stays in the way, way back of your mind. If at all. I get it.
But just to be clear, renters insurance is that thing you have in case something bad happens, or that you keep putting off getting even though you know you shouldn’t.
In fact, renters insurance can have your back in a bunch of situations that are all-too-common, especially if you’re an NYC urban dweller like me. I just moved to NYC, btw! So while you’re waiting for the L, take a second to understand how renters insurance can help you out the next time you’re in a jam.
Why Every NYC Renter Needs Renters Insurance
Let’s get a few things out of the way: 1) Your landlord’s insurance doesn’t cover your apartment and 2) Insurance is way cheaper than most of you think.
Now, simply put, the main benefit of renters insurance is that it buys you peace of mind for all of those “oh s!@#” moments in life. Like when you check your bag and realize your phone was stolen on the subway, or you come home to find that someone took your bike.
The problem is, most people don’t know what isn’t covered by renters insurance and vice versa! Spoiler: It’s chock full of benefits that every NYC renter should know and act upon. Plus, with companies like Lemonade, you can get affordable renters insurance in just 90 seconds.
The Benefits of Renters Insurance In NYC
Benefits of Renters Insurance #1: Your stuff
(aka, laptop, phone, bike) is covered when you’re at home, and when you’re out and about.
Who knew, right? So if your phone is stolen from your local coffee shop, or your laptop is swiped from your co-working space – your policy has your back. Yep, that’s right – even if your stuff is stolen outside of your home, renters insurance will reimburse you.
Plus, if your kitchen goes up in flames or your sprinklers go off accidentally and flood your apartment, you’re also covered. Talk about peace of mind!
Benefit #2: When Spot goes nuts
If you have a furry BFF and were wondering “does renters insurance cover dog bites” you’re in luck. If your dog bites someone, your policy has you covered. The cool thing about this one is that it applies both when you are at home or strolling the park.
There are two exceptions though: you’re not covered if your dog has a history of biting, or if your dog is categorized as high-risk or “vicious.”
Benefit #3: Your policy may find you temp housing
If a kitchen fire forces you out of your apartment, or your upstairs neighbor leaves a faucet running all day and floods your apartment – your policy may cover something called a loss of use. It helps you out with temporary housing and some other basic living expenses until your pad is habitable again. Let’s set expectations: you won’t be calling for room service at the Plaza Hotel, but your insurance company will make sure you have a roof over your head.
Benefit #4: Medical costs for injured guests
Stuff happens all the time when you aren’t paying attention and your friends sometimes get hurt at your place. Whether your dog decides to take a chunk outta your bestie (see #2) or cuts themselves while helping you prep dinner – been there, done that – their injuries are most likely covered.
If it’s something small (read: under $5,000), your medical payments to others will kick in, but if your friend decides to take some unfriendly steps and sues you, your personal liability coverage will have your back.
Note: you can choose how much coverage you’d like, which will influence your monthly premium (the amount you pay each month for your renters insurance policy).
Pro tip: Some insurance companies, such as Lemonade, allow you to adjust this amount at any time online (at Lemonade, they call it the Live Policy feature).
Benefit #5: Someone sue you? Your policy can help you outta that mess
This is what’s called liability coverage. It protects you from non-physical things such as getting sued if someone claims to be injured due to your actions or negligence. Your renters insurance will cover legal fees if you need a lawyer to defend you, and will also pay to cover damages you’re found liable for.
So that friend who cut his finger above? Say it was really deep and had to go to the hospital, get stitches, and then sued you for the cost – your liability may jump in to save the day.
Liability coverage normally starts at around $100,000, which isn’t a small chunk of change. It can make a huge difference when legal bills and medical fees start racking up! If you find yourself asking “how much renters insurance do I need,” looking at your lifestyle is a good place to start. Are you a risk-taker? Do you have a dangerous profession? Be honest with yourself and choose what makes sense for you.
Benefit #6: Extra coverage for those extra valuable things
There are some renters insurance benefits that come as add-ons to your basic renters insurance policy. They have to do with the things and people you value most!
Physical items such as expensive cameras, jewelry, and fine art can all be covered – they just aren’t part of your typical renters insurance policy. That’s because when you sign up for an insurance policy, you choose a coverage limit. But oftentimes, burglars will want to steal your most cherished and expensive things! We can’t let them get away with that.
This type of coverage protects your valuables from almost anything, including loss! So let’s say someone breaks into your apartment and steals your favorite (and most expensive) watch. Once you add extra coverage, renters insurance will have your back!
Will this extra coverage break the bank, you ask? Luckily, this add-on will only cost you a few extra bucks a month, depending on your insurer. And protecting the stuff you love most is definitely worth that extra peace of mind.
Benefit #7: Add-on people to your policy!
You can also add other people to your policy. While a typical policy automatically covers any resident of your household related by blood, marriage, or adoption, your sig others are not. They need to be added to your policy as what’s called an ‘additional insured.’ There is a charge for that, so keep in mind that sometimes it is cheaper or easier for each of you to get your own insurance policy.
FYI – roommates aren’t covered by a typical renters insurance policy. You’ll have to tell them to get their own!
Next steps: Get renters insurance
As urban dwellers, some of us are probably living in smaller spaces, but this doesn’t mean we don’t have tons of stuff! Take time to document how much your stuff is worth. It’ll help you to ensure that your coverage amounts reflect the real value of your stuff.
Then, you’ll want to choose the company you’re going with. If you’re anything like us, you’ll want this to be as painless and hassle-free as possible. Insurance companies such as Lemonade require zero paperwork and bureaucracy. Plus, you can get a policy in 90 seconds or less. Spoiler: you get to chat with a bot named Maya who provides you with a customized and free quote in seconds!
You can sign up for Lemonade here.
Once you do purchase an insurance policy, take your time and look it over. Search for all of these hidden gems as well as the “Exclusions” section. The language is a little tough, but it’ll pay off in the long term. Especially when it comes time to make a claim or adjust your coverage.
The concrete jungle is tough enough, so go ahead and make life easier knowing you have your stuff protected. You’ll thank us later.
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