Moving to a large city can be a daunting prospect, especially if you're used to someplace smaller and less populated. Boston can be particularly intimidating, even if you've lived there awhile. If you rent an apartment in Boston, you might not think renters insurance is necessary -- it's not mandatory by law in Boston, and as a renter, you might not think you have anything to protect. But there are several reasons why you should strongly consider taking out renters insurance.
First, let's define renters insurance. Much like homeowners insurance, renters insurance covers against certain perils, making sure your personal belongings or liability needs are covered in case of mishap. It can also provide other forms of financial relief as well, which we'll get to down below.
Renters insurance is not the same as landlord's insurance. Landlord insurance covers the structure of the apartment building, but provides no coverage for you or any of your belongings -- in other words, it's of no help in an emergency situation.
One of the best reasons to invest in renters insurance: it's inexpensive. As shown by Kristine Lee at insurance comparison site The Zebra, renters insurance in Boston will cost you anywhere from $197 to $200 yearly. That's on par with the cost of your average streaming service, maybe even less, depending on where you live and what kind of coverage you choose.
If you think renters insurance only covers things like your TV and gaming consoles, think again. Your renters insurance can also help you with temporary housing should your rental unit become uninhabitable for whatever reason, and it also provides liability coverage, which will cover medical bills if you're sued for an injury or incident that happened while the other party was on the property.
While standard renters insurance will be plenty for most needs, you may need to purchase some additional coverage if you have particularly high-value items in your apartment, such as fine art, jewelry, heirlooms, or collectibles. Talk to your insurance company and ask if you need to add a special endorsement, also called a "rider," to cover these items specifically.
This is a slightly tricky one -- renters insurance can also cover damage or injury done by your pets, but not while on your property. Renters insurance provides coverage in case your pet escapes the property and does damage or injury to a neighbor. You should, however, make sure this is explicitly mentioned in your policy -- don't simply assume it's there.
Much in the same way you can bundle homeowners and auto insurance, you can also bundle your renters insurance and car insurance. Bundling both policies together often leads to significant discounts, which is great when you're trying to stay within your budget.
This is good to know regardless of what kind of insurance you have: the difference between actual cash value (ACV) and replacement cost value (RCV). ACV coverage considers any possible depreciation of your belongings, meaning you may be compensated less if the value of an insured item has dropped since it was first insured. RCV, on the other hand, offers the full value of the damaged or stolen item, regardless of any depreciation that may have occurred. As you might expect, RCV policies generally have higher premiums, as they provide more coverage. It's good financial sense to read your policy carefully and find out which type of coverage you have.
If you happen to share your space with one or more roommates, it's possible to split the costs of renters insurance with them. In many cases, you can add a roommate to your policy, which covers everyone in the unit while easing the financial burden. Again, however, make sure you talk this out with your insurance company and make sure this is explicitly covered in your policy.
Boston has a lot to recommend it as a city -- a plenitude of culture, events, and amazing attractions. But it's also nice to have some peace of mind when it comes to your belongings and your housing, and renters insurance can help provide that for a very reasonable price. Remember: landlords insurance will only cover your landlord in case of emergency, not you or anything inside your rental property. For a small premium, renters insurance can make sure your possessions are covered in case of damage or theft, provide liability protection should someone get hurt on your property, and even help secure temporary accommodations should your rental unit become unlivable.