For people who rent their homes, renter’s insurance can offer stability when unexpected problems — think fire, hail, or human error — crop up.
But new research is showing that a lot of renters aren’t actually buying insurance.
A new report by the Associated Press says only about 40% of rental households nationwide purchase renter’s insurance.
That number came from a Harvard University study, which also found that a third of those renters said they either couldn’t afford it, or it was too expensive.
So, what does renter’s insurance actually cover?
For one thing, your personal belongings. If your property is stolen or destroyed, the insurance company will pay for it.
Also, it covers liability and medical costs — that comes into play if you’re the one responsible for another person’s injury in your home, or for property being damaged.
Renter’s insurance may also cover hotel bills and other unexpected costs if you have to relocate because of a disaster.
If you decide to get renter’s insurance, here are some tips.
Some insurance companies will give you a discount if you buy it with other policies they offer. And you usually have a choice of either taking the cash value of lost property, or the cost of replacing it.
If you decide to replace, the monthly premium could be higher.
Experts also say that renters should check their policies over the years and make changes when necessary.