Renters insurance is one of the most affordable insurance products on the market, but is not as commonly purchased as it should be. Renters insurance may be a requirement for your apartment complex, and if it is, you should be prepared to find the best policy that meets your needs. This guide will hopefully answer some of your questions about renters insurance and set you up for success in finding a local plan that’s right for you.
What is renters insurance?
Renters insurance is an insurance policy that covers renters’ belongings while they’re in a rental unit. It works very similarly to homeowner’s insurance but specifically covers what the renter owns rather than the property. This includes personal property such as furniture and electronics and may cover things like lodging if the apartment is ever affected by a disaster such as flooding or fire.
Renters insurance also includes a liability policy in case someone else is injured or has property lost or stolen onsite. The landlord will also have liability insurance, but renters should carry their own policy in case of an accident with a friend or an onsite visitor such as a maintenance worker.
Your renters insurance should include all three coverages – personal property, liability, and loss of use coverage – in the premium. However, some policies will only cover certain belongings in a home inventory or certain “named perils” rather than all incidents within the unit. Knowing whether you’re getting a general or a “named perils” policy is essential, as this can affect your coverage and your premium.
Do I need renters insurance in North Carolina?
Renters insurance is not required by state law in North Carolina, but your landlord may require it. Many landlords require tenants to submit proof of renters insurance prior to signing a lease. There are several reasons why a landlord may require this, including
- To protect themselves from a high number of claims - Landlords are required to carry insurance for their units, but having renters carry their own insurance reduces the number of claims they have to file. This can reduce your landlord’s insurance premiums, keeping costs down.
- To protect you from circumstances not covered by their insurance - Your landlord’s insurance will cover damages and incidents that affect their property. Still, it won’t protect you from losing your assets. Landlords may require renter’s insurance to prevent lawsuits and to protect their renter’s from accidents that could put them in a terrible financial position.
- To narrow their candidate pool - In highly competitive rental markets like Charlotte and Raleigh, landlords may receive dozens of tenant applications for a single rental unit. Requiring renter’s insurance can narrow their selection to the most responsible tenant applicants.
Cost and providers of renters insurance in North Carolina
In North Carolina, renters insurance is relatively affordable for most renters. It averages $20 per month, which is on par with the national average. However, varying factors can influence the total cost of your insurance, including:
- The amount of coverage needed
- The value and condition of the rental home
- Previous rental history and previous claims
- Location (such as areas at risk of flood or storm surge)
- Pet ownership
- Military status
Most major insurance providers offer renters options, but pricing may vary depending on what they offer and what additional coverage you want (such as general vs. named perils policies). The most popular renters insurance providers in North Carolina include national brands such as State Farm, Geico, and Progressive. However, other local and affordable options in your area may offer better rates or customer service than national brands.
If you’re looking for a renters insurance policy, talk to a RentSpree representative about your options today. We have a national network of provider affiliates and can help match you to the right company for your specific needs.
Reasons to get renters insurance
Whether or not your landlord requires it, carrying renter’s insurance during your tenancy is an excellent idea for most renters. At RentSpree, we recommend every renter research their options because renter’s insurance can provide many benefits:
To protect your assets
As mentioned before, your landlord’s insurance doesn’t cover your personal assets in the event of property damage. If a fire, flood, or other disaster were to damage the property within your apartment, you would have to replace it without insurance. However, your assets are covered up to a certain dollar amount if you have a personal property coverage policy.
To avoid liability
If someone is injured at your apartment, you or your landlord will be held liable. While you may assume that your landlord will take the fall, this is not always the case, and many renters find themselves in a pinch if this happens and don’t have renters insurance. Adding this policy to your overall coverage protects yourself and your guests from onsite accidents.
To make yourself stand out as a tenant applicant
Some landlords require renter’s insurance simply to narrow down their candidate pool. Even if they don’t require it, having proof of renters insurance will make your application stand out from the rest. And with RentSpree’s Renter’s Insurance Tool, verifying this information with your landlord and expediting your application process is easy.
To prepare for the unexpected
If your apartment ever faces serious damage from a flood, fire, or another natural disaster, it may be deemed uninhabitable for a part of or the rest of your lease term. Without renter’s insurance, you’d have to find a new place to stay unexpectedly and foot the bill no matter how much it costs. With renters insurance, your lodging and additional living expenses are covered during these challenging times.