How-to Monday: Renter's insurance
Buy a house, and your lender will usually require you to get insurance. Rent one, and you’re free to choose as long as your landlord has no opinion on the matter.
So why bother, if you don’t own the place?
Because renter’s insurance is about your possessions, not the walls around them. It’s a lot cheaper than car insurance, if you’re smarting over that bill.
Premiums generally run between $200 and $250 a year, which works out to a monthly charge of $17 to $21, said Timothy M. Lipinski, a risk portfolio manager at Kirby Insurance Agency Inc., a brokerage headquartered in Baltimore. If you opt for the same insurer handling your auto policy, you could end up with a multiple-policy discount that covers that charge, he said.
"It’s very inexpensive," Lipinski said.
The main point is protection against fire, theft, vandalism and liability. (An example of the latter is if you throw a party and someone injures him- or herself.)
Policies at the pricier end of the range should include coverage against other sorts of damage, such as identity theft or water flooding from a backed-up toilet, Lipinski said.
The Maryland Insurance Administration recommends that renters "seriously consider" renter’s insurance but notes that you’ll want to read through any policy carefully to understand what it doesn’t include. If you have a roommate, for instance, the state says that your policy won’t cover the roommate’s belongings or vice versa.
Read more about the administration's thoughts on insurance HERE.
Have any advice about insurance? Chime in.