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Do you rent your home? If so, you might be making a big mistake and not even know it. Renters insurance offers important protection, but the following 10 mistakes can leave you and your stuff vulnerable.

  1. Underestimating the value of your stuff. Apartment Hunters added up the value of the items in a typical two-bedroom apartment, and the total came close to $25,000. Although it might seem high at first, once you start adding up all the furniture, electronics, clothes, kitchenware, entertainment and other stuff, it’s pretty easy to come up with a number like that. If your stuff is stolen or destroyed, replacing it will be expensive without insurance.
  2. Not doing an inventory. Yes, you really should do an inventory of all your stuff. Otherwise, filing an accurate claim will be difficult to impossible. An inventory will also help you figure out exactly how much coverage you need. Apps like Sortly make this process less of a hassle.
  3. Not updating your inventory. You buy new stuff. You get rid of old stuff. Your home inventory changes. This means you need to update it every once in a while. Try doing this once a year – after the holidays (and the holiday shopping) – is a smart time.
  4. Thinking your landlord’s policy will cover you. Your landlord should have insurance, but it covers the building, not the personal stuff inside the building. That’s why renters insurance exists.
  5. Forgetting about liability. Renters insurance can cover the cost of replacing items that are stolen by a burglar or destroyed in a fire, for example, but it can also provide liability coverage – like if someone sues you after tripping in your living room or getting bitten by your dog.
  6. Assuming renters insurance is expensive. Renters insurance is actually one of the most affordable coverage types out there. Many people will only pay around $20 a month, and some will pay even less.
  7. Not reading the lease. Many landlords require their tenants to carry renters insurance. Read your lease to see if there’s a clause that makes coverage mandatory.
  8. Assuming you are covered by your roommate’s policy. This may be possible, but you’ll need to talk to the insurer to make sure you’re officially covered. You may be better off with your own policy.
  9. Not maintaining your coverage. A year goes by without any claims, and you start wondering whether your policy is really worth the cost. You let it lapse. Then something happens, and you wish you still had coverage. It’s always great if you don’t need to make a claim, but it’s smart to keep coverage in case you do.
  10. Not getting renters insurance in the first place. Getting coverage is easy. Get a quick quote today or learn more about why you need renters insurance.