The truth about renters insurance

Kimberlyn Vance General Manager at The Dillon

IDS: What is typically covered by renters insurance?

Vance: Obviously, depending on the policy, it will cover the resident from any fire damage, water damage, theft and things of that sort. 

IDS: Do you need renters insurance? Why or why not?

Vance: 100 percent, yes. Just based on just recently, we’ve had about four pipes burst on property due to the freezing temperatures that we’ve had, and it causes quite a bit of damage to the apartments. Obviously, there is damage to the drywall, there is damage to the pipes, and there can even be damage to some appliances due to it. So, there are a lot of things that can get damaged just from having a frozen pipe burst. And then there is also your personal property that can get damaged. So let’s say your laptop is sitting on your floor and the pipe bursts and there are two inches of water in your apartment. Obviously, if you don’t have renters insurance, then you’re out maybe $1,000 on your laptop and you have upwards of $1,500 of damages that you have to pay off. Renters insurance is typically very low cost — maybe $8-10 a month, $15 tops — and it can cover you for so much damage, so it is 100 percent worth it.

IDS: Does the decision sometimes depend on the situation? Are there ever certain cases when renters insurance would or would not be needed?

Vance: I think it should always be used. You wouldn’t get into your car without car insurance, so I don’t think that you should rent without renters insurance or own a home without homeowners insurance, because it is just there to really protect you. I just don’t think it would be a smart move not to have it. 

IDS: How often do students purchase renters insurance?

Vance: Our property specifically requires renters insurance, so all of our residents do have to have it. I have worked at properties in the past that it is an option, and when it is optional I’ve noticed that a lot of people will not get it unless their parents extend their homeowners policy to them. But I think it should be required, and that is why we require it because it is there when you need it. 

Allison Allen –  Bloomington State Farm Agent

IDS: What is typically covered by renters insurance?

Allen: Every company is different and every policy is different, so I can only speak for us. Ours covers your stuff and your personal property, being your electronics, your clothes, your furniture and all of that kind of stuff. If you took your apartment and you turned it upside down, anything that fell out that you owned that is what we would cover. It would also cover liability towards if you catch the place on fire or something, it is going to provide an amount to the building to build it back. 

IDS: Do you need renters insurance? Why or why not?

Allen: Absolutely, every time, because we see losses every day and we take losses every day. You don’t know what is going to happen, and you never think something is going to happen to you, but what if the building goes up in flames tomorrow, or what if somebody comes in and steals all of your stuff tonight? Let’s be honest, we all read the paper, and that happens all the time. If a tornado comes through or if there is water damage, can you go out and buy a new Macbook? Can you go out and replace all of the clothing that is in your closet? Can you replace your bed, your mattress, your sheets, your everything? I mean, that is a lot of stuff and you’re rebuying everything at replacement cost too.

IDS: How often do students purchase renters insurance?

Allen: Only when they are required to or actually understand what [renters insurance] is.

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