August is always an interesting time of year living in Greater Lafayette. There is the last minute push to finish all the road construction, traffic picks up more and more on what seems like a daily basis, and big box stores pull out the back to school merchandise all to prepare for the influx of college students returning to the Purdue University campus. With classes set to begin within a week, students are moving out of Mom and Dad’s house and into the many apartment communities scattered throughout West Lafayette. But before you unpack that moving truck it’s a good rule of thumb to make sure the thousands of dollars worth of stuff you’re hauling into that home away from home is protected. This means it’s time to purchase renters insurance.
The landlord and property management companies of those rented home and apartments complexes are not responsible to cover your stuff if there is a theft, fire, or damage to your property. Renters insurance protects your stuff; so if something happens you can get money to buy new clothes, furniture, electronics and books. Any renters insurance policy has three main components:
1. Property Coverage
2. Additional Living Expenses
3. Liability Protection
Property coverage is basically what it sounds like, coverage to protect your property. When selecting the best policy it’s important to make sure you have the right amount of coverage; enough to replace everything you own if there is a total loss. Also make sure you have replacement cost coverage. This means that if you do have a loss, the insurance company will give you money to replace what you just lost with new. That means you won’t have to scour EBay and Craigslist to replace your stuff.
Additional Living Expenses are what I like to call, your no couch policy. Meaning if there is a fire at your apartment you will not have to sleep on your friends couch until you can afford to buy new stuff or move into a new apartment. It ensures you have enough money to afford a hotel, money for meals, and increased gas mileage, until you can move into a new place.
The final portion of a renters insurance policy is the liability protection. I like to refer to this a lawsuit protection. If something happens at your apartment that you are legally responsible for, it’s money to cover legal fees and a settlement. For example, you accidently leave a candle burning in your apartment and a fire starts. Did you know your negligence could mean that you have to pay to fix the damage that is caused? Or if someone who has been drinking at your party gets into a car accident and someone gets hurt, you served the alcohol and could be held responsible for your part in the accident. Liability protection is the difference between having a bad day and a bad life.
At the end of the day, renters insurance is a product that is too affordable to pass up. A policy typically costs between just $10 and $15 a month. This small investment is something that needs to be considered before something unexpected happens.