Earlier this year, I wrote a little about renters insurance in Nashville — what it covers, what it usually costs. I think the post is well worth a read if you rent a home or apartment in Nashville, whether you’re a young professional just getting your footing or a retiree feeling out whether or not you’d like to buy a home here.
While I covered the “what” and the “how” about renters insurance pretty thoroughly there, the “why” could probably use a little more explanation. Because “why” might be the most important part of renters insurance, and I don’t think people in the insurance industry are getting it across effectively.
Stats that lead me to that conclusion: While 95 percent of homeowners in the U.S. had homeowners insurance, according to a 2016 poll, only 41 percent of renters had renters insurance.
Mortgage requirements notwithstanding, that 59 percent of uninsured renters is disheartening to me, considering how cheap and simple renters insurance is and how much protection it provides. Let’s put it this way:
Average annual renters insurance premium in Tennessee:
That’s about $18 a month. Around 60 cents a day. Couch-cushion cash to protect all your stuff.
(I don’t expect to see that rate significantly change, either. Over the past decade, average homeowners insurance rates across the U.S. have gone up every year, usually from 1 to 6 percent. But renters insurance has stayed almost exactly static — the average annual U.S. rate was $193 in 2005. Nine years later it was $190.)
Don’t assume you’re immune
So, why is the number of insured renters so low? It’s probably a) that need for outreach from people in the insurance industry, like me, and b) renters assuming they’re immune to what renters insurance protects against.
Insurance is, in a lot of ways, a probability business, so we embrace statistics. And statistics say a lot about why renters insurance is smart.
Your Nashville renters insurance will usually cover you against:
— fire or smoke
— wind/water (excluding floods)
Plus more, depending on your policy. Good coverage gets your stuff replaced, takes care of living expenses if one of those occurrences puts you out of your home, tackles legal fees, and more. It’s broad, and valuable.
So, let’s see what rolling the dice as an uninsured renter looks like, based on the most basic of those covered basics.
For me, those stats and those odds aren’t particularly soothing. And they underline why I encourage Nashville renters to explore renters insurance.
Don’t assume you’re already covered
I think the most frustrating misconception, especially with young renters, is that your landlord’s home insurance will protect you. But that’s not the case.
If your place is broken into, a fire occurs or your dog bites the mailperson, the property owner — and their insurance provider — aren’t on the hook for anything other than the structure itself. That wrong assumption gets too many renters stuck without their stuff, and with a bunch of fresh debt.
Whether you call me to help you or not, I hope this gives you enough pause to do some research, and find a renters insurance policy that works for you.
If you have any other questions about renters insurance beyond the what the how and the why, I have plenty of whos and whens to share too. Give me a call, or send me an email, and let me know what you need.