The old “show, don’t tell” adage has broad applications. As an independent Nashville insurance agent, I can tell you about the benefits of renters insurance all the live long day — that it’s affordable, and easy to get, and covers a wide array of really awful and inconvenient things.
Much as I’d like to think my encouragement holds serious weight, though, I get that real stories from human beings who’ve felt its benefits — or struggled without it — probably hit a lot harder.
To give you a clear and fully rendered picture of why I think renters insurance is massively important for every renter in Nashville, I gathered stories from all across the country. Some have happy endings, some not so much. All are from renters who’ve dealt with catastrophes that renters insurance can help you bounce back from.
If nothing else, I think this’ll give you a deeper understanding of how broad renters insurance coverage can be.
An important side note to keep in mind while you’re looking at this: The average annual premium for renters insurance in Tennessee is about $215. That’s about $18 a month. About one movie night with popcorn, or a drink plus tip at any of Nashville’s fine craft-cocktail establishments. Pretty affordable, even if you’re just starting out.
A LEAKY FAUCET STRIKES BACK
“A friend of mine was renting an apartment, and decided to go on vacation for several weeks. Their kitchen sink had a slow-drip leak. Unfortunately, they packed up and left while a plate was sitting in the sink, waiting to be washed. At some point, the plate shifted and covered the drain. Needless to say, the sink eventually overflowed, for weeks, and caused thousands of dollars in damage to the apartment below theirs, in addition to their own apartment. They had no renters insurance, and neither did their neighbor.” (Source)
“I guess the core of the turkey was still frozen when I put it in the fryer. [The fryer] exploded on the counter. Oil spread and set fire to some stuff that was already the stove cooking. We’ve got a gas range. In seconds flames were reaching the cabinets and our mat near the sink, the gel one, was lit up. Everybody got out okay but about 30 percent of the kitchen burned. Not even a week before, we were deciding if we should renew our insurance policy. Needless to say, we did after that.” (Source)
A SIGNIFICANT OTHER SCORNED
“My friend was asking if he should get more serious about this girl and I said, ‘She’s wife material, man. When you see a girl like that you’d better jump on it.’ My girlfriend got upset and left. I thought that was that. She came back later and spray painted some choice words on our place, something about seven years wasted. Not cool. We had to repaint the front of the house and it cost about two grand. We could’ve gotten insurance for about a fourth of that price, for the whole year, but we didn’t so we paid out of pocket.” Post-script: “Yeah we’re back together but we got renters insurance now.” (Source)
A MOLAR MISHAP
“Jim Angleton was helping his daughters move into their first post-college apartment in Tallahassee, Florida, and their renter’s insurance was already in effect. The apartment didn’t have an elevator, so they had to get everything up two flights of stairs. When he helped his daughter move a cabinet, he says, ‘She lost her grip and the entire piece began to rest upon me.’ As a result of the weight, Angleton clenched his teeth and heard a pop. His tooth was split in half and he had to have emergency oral surgery. His medical costs were $7,500, but he was 100 percent covered under the accidental medical coverage of his daughters’ renter’s insurance policy.” (Source)
A CHIHUAHUA CHOMP
“Jesse Harrison was completely shocked when his normally sweet dog bit his friend. ‘My friend was sitting with my Chihuahua on her lap, petting him, and he bit her hand. She had to get stitches,’ he says. ‘I felt terrible because it was totally unexpected; my dog had never shown any aggression before. I thought I would be responsible for all the damages.’ Luckily for Harrison, his renters insurance covered his friend’s medical bills — and that’s not a rarity.” (Source)
A CHRISTMAS CATASTROPHE
“One of my clients had all their family’s Christmas presents stolen, including the ring her boyfriend was going to use to propose to her on Christmas Day,” says Rhiannon Estandia, an insurance client care manager. “They were driving out of town to celebrate the holidays with their family. … Because they had purchased a good renters insurance policy, they got reimbursements for everything they lost, including the engagement ring.” (Source)
AN ‘INDOOR HURRICANE’
“Imagine waking up to a downpour from your ceiling. That's what happened in May to Danny D’Apuzzo in South Florida, who ended up soaked and feeling like he was caught in an ‘indoor hurricane,’ D’Apuzzo told 7 News Miami. The culprit? His overhead sprinklers had gone off accidentally, drenching his belongings. The good news? D’Apuzzo had renters insurance. The bad? His limit was $10,000, and the damage totaled $15,000.” (Source)
JOLTED BY JOYRIDERS
“A group of teenagers in Tucson, Arizona, stole an SUV and led police on a high-speed chase, then ended up crashing into a house that was being rented by the Burwell family. According to KVOA, the homeowners insurance covered repairs to the home, but it did not cover anything inside — and the Burwells didn't have renters insurance. That left the family with the costly recourse of suing the offending teenagers' families in the courts.” (Source)
Teenagers Wiley Gates and Evelyn Guzman lived on the first floor of a Kalamazoo apartment building that caught fire in 2016. Once it was extinguished, the fire department let the residents grab a few immediate needs, like clothing, and the couple said that their place had some smoke damage, but no fire damage. When they returned the next morning, the building was nothing but rubble — they said no one warned them that their home was getting knocked down overnight. Gates and Guzman didn’t have renters insurance, and the landlord claimed he wasn’t responsible for replacing their stuff. (Source)
A NEIGHBOR’S BLAZE
A fire in a nearby apartment building was what convinced Cecilia Garza to get renters insurance. Seven years later, it came in handy, when a neighboring unit in her building caught fire, causing soot and smoke damage to her home. “It destroyed pretty much everything that had fabric — couches, curtains, clothes,” she told The Washington Post. “All of the carpeting had to be replaced.” Through her renters insurance, she got a check to replace her damaged items “in a few weeks.” (Source)
These are just a few stories that stuck with me — I’ve seen, heard and experienced many more that illustrate just how invaluable renters insurance can be.
Have any questions about how renters insurance works or what it covers? Always happy to answer — just give me a call. If you’re ready to start the process, an easy online renters insurance quote can be grabbed here.