With more than 43 million renter-occupied units, the number of renters in the U.S. is near an all-time high, according to insurer Nationwide.
However, according to an Insurance Information Institute poll, only 41 percent of renters carry renters insurance, a substantial difference from 95 percent of homeowners who carry homeowners insurance policies.
"Many renters underestimate both the value and affordability of renters insurance," said Mendi Riddle, vice president of product and pricing for Nationwide's personal lines. "Not only does renters insurance provide coverage for belongings inside the residence should those items be stolen, destroyed or damaged, but the coverage may also extend to personal items renters keep inside their vehicle. Additionally, renters insurance helps pay for covered damage or bodily injury to others caused by an accident that may occur at their residence."
Below are common renters insurance myths and truths:
Myth: A landlord's insurance policy will cover a renter's personal belongings in the event of fire or theft.
Truth: While a landlord's insurance policy will likely cover the dwelling and infrastructure of that dwelling, that coverage typically does not extend to the possessions owned by the renter.
Myth: Renters insurance is expensive.
Truth: On average, renters insurance costs less than $20 per month.
Myth: Renters insurance coverage is limited.
Truth: A renters insurance policy typically provides coverage for the loss or destruction of personal belongings in the event of a covered peril such as:
- Frozen plumbing system
Renters insurance may also provide coverage if:
A renter is forced to temporarily move out of their home due to a covered loss.
A person is injured in the renter's apartment or home and requires medical attention.
Items a renter keeps inside their vehicle are damaged or lost.
Based on Nationwide claims data, the following were the most common renters insurance claims submitted by its members in 2017:
- Theft (from dwelling or vehicle)
- Water damage (non-weather related)
- Fire and smoke damage
- Wind related
"Having to replace possessions such as clothing, furniture and electronics can be very expensive should they be suddenly lost due to a fire or other tragic event," said Riddle. "Renters insurance provides peace of mind allowing renters to keep their lives on track should a major setback occur."
Find out more at www.nationwide.com.