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Renters Insurance: Why It Is Important to Keep Your Coverage in Uncertain Times


The COVID-19 pandemic is stretching longer than anyone ever anticipated, and with the economic downturn, many people are trying to save money any way they can, including with their insurance policies. Here is why it is important to keep as much of your coverage as possible while we navigate through these uncertain times:

Consider the Cost of Coverage

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the average renter’s insurance premium in Hawaii is $183 per year, or approximately $3.50 per week. Before you decide to change or cancel your policy, think about what could happen if your home was destroyed in a fire or burglarized. For the cost of a cup of coffee once a week, you can have peace of mind knowing that if anything were to happen, your possessions could be repaired or replaced up to your coverage limit.

In addition to covering your personal property both in and outside of your home, renters insurance also covers additional living expenses if your home suffers damage from a fire or other covered peril. This means you can stay in a hotel or other temporary housing while your home undergoes repairs. These costs can add up, especially in Hawaii where the average rate for a hotel room is $162 per night. Renters insurance also provides liability protection, which typically covers legal and medical expenses if a guest is injured in your home, for example, or if your dog bites someone.

Your Landlord’s Insurance Does Not Cover You

Your landlord needs insurance for the building, but this policy protects the landlord. It doesn’t protect you. For that, you need renters insurance.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, 51.7% of Hawaii residents spend more than 30% of their income on housing and utilities. When you factor in other monthly expenses, there isn’t much wiggle room to cover the unexpected when you are uninsured.

Make Sure You Have the Right Amount of Coverage

With many of us spending more time at home practicing social distancing, now is a great time to conduct a full and complete inventory of your personal belongings to ensure you have the right amount of coverage in your policy. You can download an app to help with this process, but if you choose another method, make sure you note the following:

  • A description of each item in your home, the date of purchase, where the item was purchased, and any serial numbers
  • Photos of each item and copies of the receipt (if you have it)
  • If you have any high-value items in your home, such as jewelry or a family heirloom, ask your agent about scheduled property coverage, which can provide additional protection for your high-value items beyond a traditional renters policy. This is important because some renters insurance policies typically have a dollar limit on how much they will pay for certain valuables.

This year has been full of twists and turns that have required all of us to make adjustments, but ensuring you have an adequate safety net in case of an unexpected loss is something you can control.

Want to find out how affordable renters insurance can be? Talk to an independent agent.