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This is an easy principle to forget (or blow off), but don’t. You may even believe that you don’t need
it, that your landlord’s building insurance covers everything. Wrong!
Your landlord’s insurance policy doesn’t cover any of your personal property. Thus, if the apartment
burns down or someone steals your stuff, then you get nothing back unless you’ve purchased renter’s
Worse yet, what happens if someone slips and is injured in the hallway and it’s found to be your
fault? What if water damage occurs and ruins all your stuff? All of these are unlikely scenarios, but
you still need to protect yourself.
Renter’s insurance protects you against damage to or loss of personal property. When purchasing
renter’s insurance (or homeowner’s insurance), you need to think of these four things:
▪ How much coverage do you need?—Think about all the personal property you have
and protect yourself against all loss.
▪ Deductible—My advice is always to get the highest deductible possible. It lowers your
insurance premium (cost) and protects you against catastrophic loss.
▪ Replacement cost—It costs a little more but provides for the actual replacement value
of the item with no deduction for depreciation.
▪ Inventory—Take an inventory of all the “stuff” you own. Videotaping all your
belongings will help in case you need to claim a loss.
The good news is that renter’s insurance is inexpensive. It shouldn’t cost you more than a couple
hundred dollars a year. My hope is that you will never have to use it. However, if something ever
happens to your personal property, you will be glad you remembered to buy it.

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