Homeowners v renters

Home owning is experiencing a near 50-year low according to the U.S. Census Bureau. With more renters out there than ever before, here's everything you might need to know when shopping around for renters insurance:

​What is renters insurance?
Renters insurance provides coverage for a renter's personal belongings. You may think that because your landlord has a policy on the property that you're covered - but guess again! A landlord's insurance policy generally covers the shell, but the contents of that shell - the parts that make it home - are unprotected through most landlord's insurance plans.

"Typically, renters insurance covers your belongings from fire and even burglary."

An important differentiation between renters insurance and homeowners insurance is that homeowners insurance will generally cover the full package inside and out.

What does renters insurance cost?

Plans for apartments and even for large homes can be virtually inexpensive, typically between $10 and $25 per month. The bottom-line premium rate depends on a variety of factors, like your level of coverage, deductible, location and more. However, you can get tens of thousands of dollars in coverage and peace of mind, all well within a budget.

"We pay about $10 a month," Jacob Howe, a San Diego five-bedroom home renter told NBC San Diego. Howe's insurance policy covers his entire family's belongings, and comes as part of a discounted package through the same company when bundled with his auto insurance that ends up saving him even more in the end.

Renters insurance: as low as $10 per month.Renters insurance: as low as $10 per month.

Howe concluded that most people don't actually realize how much their belongings are worth. Even someone just starting out - a college student for instance - has accumulated enough possessions that it might be difficult or even impossible to have to buy them back all at one time.

What does a typical plan cover?
Most plans cover damage to personal property from fire, theft and more. However, it is common for most plans to exclude certain natural disasters like floods or earthquakes, which typically need an additional coverage policy. Another great point of coverage through typical polices is liability for your personal items. While many overlook this coverage or deem it unnecessary, bearing the full brunt of legal suits over your personal items can have extreme and costly consequences. Accidents happen. If someone gets injured in your apartment or home when covered, most plans will cover you and your belongings up to $100,000, according to Forbes. 

Who needs renters insurance?
Anyone and everyone leasing an apartment or house should seriously consider some form of renters insurance policy. Nearly all homeowners (about 95 percent in 2014) have homeowners insurance, compared with the far less popular renters insurance policy enrollment, coming in at around 37 percent last year, according to a survey from the Insurance Information Institute.

According to Fox News, people often do not realize how much money their belongings really add up to.

"The average person has about $12,000 worth of things," said Stacey Vogler, spokeswoman for Protect Your Bubble insurance told Fox. "[That's] if you're just looking at maybe four things per room."

Whether you're single and working, married with children, or even a college student just starting out - $12,000 give or take a few thousand dollars is a whole lot of money. Having to buy back all of the stuff you took for granted will hurt your bank account far more than you may think.

Covering the things that make your apartment or house a home is of course important, but saving money is even more important still. Make sure your home is protected with the best renters insurance plan for you. Compare renters insurance rates - and more - on CoverHound.com.

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