RENTER’S INSURANCE OFFERS A SAFETY NET FOR UNFORESEEN PROBLEMS
Most individuals look for ways to protect themselves in case something ever goes wrong. People buy life insurance in case they get sick, and the same goes for car insurance in view of the probability of getting into an accident. This is why many homeowners choose to purchase insurance for their homes, but it’s actually not that common for renters to purchase any insurance to protect themselves with. A 2016 poll conducted by ORC International found that while 95 of homeowners had home insurance, only 41 of renters actually had renter’s insurance. (1) This is not a good situation as having renter’s insurance provides quite a few benefits that can help one overcome unexpected adversity. This is why many apartment complexes, such as The Avenue at South Orange, New Jersey, are now requiring their tenants to procure a minimum level of renter’s insurance.
Many individuals seek to lease apartments at The Avenue at South Orange for several reasons. One such reason is the township’s proximity to New York City. People can work in the Big Apple but still enjoy a small town atmosphere due to the township’s population of only 16,198 people and the historic gas light street illumination. (2) The Avenue is also popular with those attending Seton Hall University as the educational institution lies less than 10 minutes away from the luxury apartment complex. (3) However, those living at the apartment complex face the same possible issues that any renter does, which is why having renter’s insurance is a necessity.
There are quite a few great reasons for why any renter, including those leasing apartments at The Avenue, should have renter’s insurance to help protect them. One of these reasons is providing a safety net in case of fire or water damage. The possibility of fire is always a real one, even if the overall chance is remote, and the causes of residential fires are actually quite varied. The US Fire Administration reports that the top four causes of residential fires are cooking (50.8), heating (10.8), electrical malfunction (6.4), and unintentional or careless behavior (6.4). (4) Even if one does nothing wrong within their apartment, there’s always the chance that a neighbor could become careless or have an accident. The same goes for water damage. A pipe may burst or an upstairs neighbor may accidentally leave the bath running, causing it to overflow. In the case of fire or water damage, one’s possessions are likely to be ruined. A comprehensive renter’s insurance policy will ensure that ruined or damaged personal items can be replaced at no cost to the policyholder. The best renter’s insurance plans will even pay for lodging if one is forced to vacate the apartment while repairs are being completed.
Renter’s insurance can also soften the harsh blow caused by theft. Having one’s possessions stolen is bad enough, but it’s adding insult to injury if one has to re-buy them out of their own pocket. Electronics is always a major target of any burglary, and it’s become increasingly common for people to have a laptop that they carry around with them that they use for work-related purposes. Having such a laptop stolen can inflict a huge financial hit upon a family or individual as now their ability to work has been severely curtailed. A good renter’s insurance plan will cover the loss of stolen items, and the best plans will even cover personal possessions that are even stolen from one’s car. While losing data is never a happy thing, the sting is reduced if one doesn’t have to empty out their bank account to purchase a new computer. Of course, residents of The Avenue at South Orange do enjoy a number of protections against theft, such as a secured lobby and lounge, secure garage access, and security camera monitoring for all entry points.
Protecting oneself against personal injury claims is a huge component of any renter’s insurance policy. If a person bangs their head or slips and falls in one’s apartment, then the renter could be held responsible for any medical bills that may arise. It can be surprising what can result in a bad situation for a renter, such as their dog biting someone. Dog bites are far more common that one would think. More than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs every year in the United States, and over 800,000 of those bitten require medical attention. (5) Having someone bitten in one’s apartment by their dog can be expensive. The average payout by an insurance company for a dog bite is $29,752. (6) Even if a person tells a visiting child to leave a dog alone and the child disobeys, the dog’s owner is still on the hook. In such an instance, the renter would be thanking their lucky stars for having renter’s insurance, especially as it costs less than a dollar per day. In 2014, the average renter’s insurance policy only cost $190 for the entire year. (7)
Vivian Penha of The Avenue at South Orange says, “It should be considered a given that any person leasing an apartment should have some form of renter’s insurance in order to protect themselves. A good policy will offer full replacement for personal possessions that are stolen or are damaged by fire or water. Probably the biggest security blanket that renter’s insurance provides for is against any claims of personal injury. Having such a policy in place helps protect the lessee in case of any accident that may occur within their home, from somebody hitting their head or getting nipped by an agitated dog. We require all our tenants to have renter’s insurance, and we have partnered with a leading insurance agency to provide renter’s insurance that automatically comes with $100,000 liability insurance. Our plan even covers dog bites with no breed restrictions attached. Personally, I find it very reassuring to have a policy that will keep me from suffering financial hardship in the event of something going drastically wrong.” (8)
Many apartment complexes, such as The Avenue at South Orange, recognize the wisdom of mandating renter’s insurance. Having such a policy provides a welcome safety net that will protect the policyholder against unforeseen circumstances. Overall, it makes perfect sense for a tenant to carry renter’s insurance as the yearly cost is far, far less than what they would pay for someone’s medical bills or for replacing a sorely needed laptop.
8) Quote from Vivian Penha of The Avenue at South Orange