Whether you’re a college student in your first apartment, or a parent helping your student, you need renters insurance. A good property manager will strongly recommend it, and that’s what I’m doing. Yes, I hear the phrases “I won’t need insurance,” “it’s too expensive” or the untrue “my belongings aren’t worth anything” excuses daily. Here’s why just a few dollars a month could be a huge safety net.

Take a look around your home and look at all your belongings. Electronics and computers and their hefty price tags stand out, but add in your clothes and furniture (mattresses are expensive!) and you’ll be surprised at how much important “stuff” you have. Moreover, the cost of replacing all of these items out of pocket would be incredibly stressful.

It’s Not All About You

Also, it’s not just about your stuff either. Remember, you’re living in an apartment owned by someone else. While you might think your personal property isn’t worth much, renters insurance also covers your liability on your space. A tiny leaky frozen pipe in a cold apartment can create structural damage throughout an entire building. Your landlord won’t cover the repair expense if your actions (or inaction) caused the problem. And there could be other residents who need compensated too. (Also, yes, keep the heat on when you leave in the winter!)

Life Goes On

We’ve determined renters insurance covers your stuff, other people’s belongings, and repair work, should you need it. It will also cover the expenses of having to live somewhere else (like a hotel or temporary apartment) if your space isn’t inhabitable due to damage (whether it was your fault or not). School and work will go on regardless, right?

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Lastly, renters insurance covers guest damage or accidents. Accidents happen, and you can get help on paying for a broken window caused by that golf-crazy neighbor or if Grandma trips on the stairs and breaks her leg. You don’t want to have to pay for these accidents yourself if you can prevent it.

The Bottom Dollar

How much is it going to cost you, per month? About the cost of a decent burrito and drink, if you add in the extra guac. On average, a policy covering $10,000 in personal property and $100,000 of liability usually costs between $120 and $200 annually. You can also get a “bundled” deal depending on your insurance company. Your auto policy can be attached to rental insurance, or your parents could add rental insurance to their home insurance.

Finally, some landlords will require proof that you have an insurance policy, but some don’t. Don’t make that the deciding factor though! Hopefully you’ll never need it, but if you do, you’ll be relieved you decided your “not important” belongings were worth a few dollars a month.

Aaron bought the Pointe West Management Company in 2014 after being an employee for 16 years, and is now the principal owner. She is a native of Southwest Virginia and graduate of Radford University. She has more than two decades experience in real estate and property management and holds her Certified Property Manager designation as well as her Real Estate Broker License. Aaron is an active member of the New River Valley Association of Realtors, and in 2016, was recognized as the Emerging Leader Business Woman of the Year by the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce