607: Renter’s Insurance

A Thousand Things to Talk About
A Thousand Things to Talk About
607: Renter's Insurance

Do you or did you take out renter’s insurance?

Full episode script

When someone owns a home, it’s almost for certain that the owners have insurance on their homes. That insurance will cover not only damage to the home, but to the property within the home, and emergency expenses if emergencies happen.


But the statistics of home ownership in the United States have been changing. A lot.


According to the Pew Research Center’s analysis in 2017, quote:

[…] more U.S. households are headed by renters than at any point since at least 1965, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau housing data. The total number of households in the United States grew by 7.6 million between 2006 and 2016. But over the same period, the number of households headed by owners remained relatively flat, in part because of the lingering effects of the housing crisis. Meanwhile, the number of households renting their home increased significantly during that span, as did the share, which rose from 31.2% of households in 2006 to 36.6% in 2016. The current renting level exceeds the recent high of 36.2% set in 1986.


And those renters are not all nearly as protected as the homeowners, and not because they don’t own their home. A 2016 Insurance Information Institute survey found that, quote:

Among renters, only 41 percent said they had renters insurance. However, this proportion has been increasing since the first time the question was asked in 2011, when 29 percent of renters said they had renters insurance.


Why does this matter? Well, the short version is, a landlord’s insurance really doesn’t cover anything inside the structure of the actual home, or the financial impacts of damage to the renter’s property.


A pipe bursts? A hurricane hits? Someone drive their car through your front window? Cat burglars hit your home? No matter what the emergency is, most landlords choose to insure only the structure itself. Renter’s insurance covers that gap by providing insurance that covers things like hotel rooms, replacement of clothing, furniture, and the like.


On average, renter’s insurance costs less than $20 a month, and helps prevent the complete financial ruin that renters are often faced with in emergency situations. That doesn’t mean the cost is easy for all renters, though. But if you do rent, it may be worth considering.

This script may vary from the actual episode transcript.