Sage Advice for First-Time Renters

Posted by Haiyen Truong July 29, 2013

Sage Advice for First-Time Renters

Picture of student in apartment

After a long search and a mountain of paperwork, you've finally moved in to your first apartment. You've properly furnished your new home with everyday essentials and are eager to begin living on your own for the very first time. But hold the phone! As a college intern at Safeco Insurance® this summer, I've learned that you should consider buying renters insurance before getting too comfortable in your new place.

Renters insurance can help protect you from fire, smoke, vandalism, and theft-related losses. It also provides liability protection in the case that you are sued for bodily injury or property damage. There are two types of renters insurance: actual cash value and replacement cost. Although replacement cost policies are a bit more expensive than actual cash policies, they help reimburse you for the full cost of replacing your belongings — that is, the policy does not take depreciation into account.

According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), only 31% of renters have renters insurance. This low percentage is likely caused by the common misconception that landlord's insurance covers damage to personal possessions. The truth is, your landlord's policy probably covers only damage to the building.

Renters insurance is a smart idea if you're a college student living away from home or a recent graduate, as you may not be fully covered by your parents' homeowners policy. This not only differs by policy, but also by carrier. To be on the safe side, double-check with your agent about specific policy details.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you look into renters insurance:

  • Make sure to keep a record of items that may need to be replaced, such as a video or photo inventory. Make sure to store this in a safe place separate from your apartment.
  • If you are living with a nonrelative, your roommate may not be covered by your policy. Be sure to check with your agent.
  • Lastly, take the extra step and personalize your policy with additional coverage options that suit your lifestyle.

While this may seem obvious, renters insurance policies often differ by insurance carriers. Did you know that you can be reimbursed under some Safeco policies if you become a victim of identity theft? Or that your policy rate may be discounted if your rental property has a burglar alarm? Your local agent is a great resource for coverage options and potential discounts under Safeco’s policies.

Once you find a policy that fits your needs, you'll finally be ready to begin living in your new apartment — with a lot more peace of mind. Best of luck!

Check out Safeco's renters insurance features and options.

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Insurance is offered by Safeco Insurance Company of America and/or its affiliates, with their principal place of business at 175 Berkeley Street, Boston, Massachusetts, 02116. This website provides a simplified description of coverage. Nothing stated herein creates a contract. All statements made are subject to the provisions, exclusions, conditions and limitations of the applicable insurance policy. Please refer to actual policy forms for complete details regarding the coverage discussed. If the information in these materials conflicts with the policy language that it describes, the policy language prevails. Coverages and features not available in all states. Eligibility is subject to meeting applicable underwriting criteria. 36 USC 220506