Should we have renters insurance?

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cbr shadow
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Should we have renters insurance?

Post by cbr shadow » Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:20 pm

My wife and I live in a rental house in the San Francisco Bay Area. Combined we gross ~$280k / year, net worth of ~$750k, roughly 50% savings rate, both are 35 Y.O., have (2) medium sized dogs.

I'm wondering if we should get renters insurance or not. Up to this point I've thought we're "self insured" since we don't have a ton of material goods and have a fair amount of disposable income which we currently invest.

Large items that we own are:
- (3) bicycles, total combined value = $10,000
- (2) Laptops, total combined value = $600
- (2) Small amount of furniture: combined value = ~$2,500 maybe?
- (2) Rings, jewelry, total combined Value = $7,000

Should we have renters insurance? We do have the cash to repurchase those things if they were all stolen or if the house caught fire. Is that reason not to have renters insurance?

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ResearchMed
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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by ResearchMed » Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:23 pm

cbr shadow wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:20 pm
My wife and I live in a rental house in the San Francisco Bay Area. Combined we gross ~$280k / year, net worth of ~$750k, roughly 50% savings rate, both are 35 Y.O., have (2) medium sized dogs.

I'm wondering if we should get renters insurance or not. Up to this point I've thought we're "self insured" since we don't have a ton of material goods and have a fair amount of disposable income which we currently invest.

Large items that we own are:
- (3) bicycles, total combined value = $10,000
- (2) Laptops, total combined value = $600
- (2) Small amount of furniture: combined value = ~$2,500 maybe?
- (2) Rings, jewelry, total combined Value = $7,000

Should we have renters insurance? We do have the cash to repurchase those things if they were all stolen or if the house caught fire. Is that reason not to have renters insurance?
It's all about the liability coverage, especially with dogS.

Someone trips on the rug as they walk into your apartment...??
One of the dogs gets spooked by a child (and probably regardless of whether the child, er, instigated it)...??

And do you already have umbrella insurance with your auto insurance?
You should have that for both auto and home. It's not expensive.

RM
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cbr shadow
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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by cbr shadow » Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:27 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:23 pm
cbr shadow wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:20 pm
My wife and I live in a rental house in the San Francisco Bay Area. Combined we gross ~$280k / year, net worth of ~$750k, roughly 50% savings rate, both are 35 Y.O., have (2) medium sized dogs.

I'm wondering if we should get renters insurance or not. Up to this point I've thought we're "self insured" since we don't have a ton of material goods and have a fair amount of disposable income which we currently invest.

Large items that we own are:
- (3) bicycles, total combined value = $10,000
- (2) Laptops, total combined value = $600
- (2) Small amount of furniture: combined value = ~$2,500 maybe?
- (2) Rings, jewelry, total combined Value = $7,000

Should we have renters insurance? We do have the cash to repurchase those things if they were all stolen or if the house caught fire. Is that reason not to have renters insurance?
It's all about the liability coverage, especially with dogS.

Someone trips on the rug as they walk into your apartment...??
One of the dogs gets spooked by a child (and probably regardless of whether the child, er, instigated it)...??

And do you already have umbrella insurance with your auto insurance?
You should have that for both auto and home. It's not expensive.

RM
No we do not have umbrella insurance yet. I thought I read on this site that you shouldn't worry about umbrella until you have a NW of $1MM as a general rule of thumb. Do you disagree with that? If we get umbrella insurance I assume this covers the liability that you describe above - this is separate from renter's insurance?

Trader Joe
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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by Trader Joe » Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:30 pm

cbr shadow wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:20 pm
My wife and I live in a rental house in the San Francisco Bay Area. Combined we gross ~$280k / year, net worth of ~$750k, roughly 50% savings rate, both are 35 Y.O., have (2) medium sized dogs.

I'm wondering if we should get renters insurance or not. Up to this point I've thought we're "self insured" since we don't have a ton of material goods and have a fair amount of disposable income which we currently invest.

Large items that we own are:
- (3) bicycles, total combined value = $10,000
- (2) Laptops, total combined value = $600
- (2) Small amount of furniture: combined value = ~$2,500 maybe?
- (2) Rings, jewelry, total combined Value = $7,000

Should we have renters insurance? We do have the cash to repurchase those things if they were all stolen or if the house caught fire. Is that reason not to have renters insurance?
No. Renters insurance is a total waste of money. In my lifetime I have known a lot of renters. Few had renters insurance. Not one of those that had it ever made a claim.

mrc
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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by mrc » Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:32 pm

cbr shadow wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:27 pm

No we do not have umbrella insurance yet. I thought I read on this site that you shouldn't worry about umbrella until you have a NW of $1MM as a general rule of thumb. Do you disagree with that? If we get umbrella insurance I assume this covers the liability that you describe above - this is separate from renter's insurance?
You need to protect future earnings as well. You have deep pockets to protect with the umbrella.

Renters insurance covers the contents of your rental, liability, and sometime loss of use if the structure burns etc.
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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by drawpoker » Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:33 pm

Renters insurance, unlike H.O. , is cheap.

Why not have that peace of mind?

jucor
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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by jucor » Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:34 pm

Renter's insurance is usually very inexpensive. The liability portion is what you really need -- and an umbrella will require an underlying policy.

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willthrill81
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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by willthrill81 » Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:35 pm

Renter's insurance, as well as umbrella insurance, is dirt cheap and worth every penny. OP, you do not need renter's insurance to protect the contents of the dwelling; you need the associated liability protection. I would wholeheartedly recommend that you shop around and get both.
Trader Joe wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:30 pm
Renters insurance is a total waste of money. In my lifetime I have known a lot of renters. Few had renters insurance. Not one of those that had it ever made a claim.
The fact that few claims are filed is why it's so inexpensive, combined with the fact that a dwelling's contents are nearly always worth far less than the dwelling itself.

I wouldn't doubt that if you've only known a few people to have renter's insurance that none of them ever made a claim. You could just as easily not know anyone in their 30s who died and whose beneficiary had to make a life insurance claim. Neither of those mean that the insurance is a "total waste of money."
Last edited by willthrill81 on Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Katietsu
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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by Katietsu » Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:52 pm

Yes. It is cheap. And it is about the liability. I believe it will also cover you if you cause injury or damage while riding your bike. Not all that uncommon.

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leeks
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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by leeks » Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:56 pm

Yes, of course!

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RickBoglehead
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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by RickBoglehead » Tue Mar 19, 2019 4:02 pm

Trader Joe wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:30 pm
cbr shadow wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:20 pm
My wife and I live in a rental house in the San Francisco Bay Area. Combined we gross ~$280k / year, net worth of ~$750k, roughly 50% savings rate, both are 35 Y.O., have (2) medium sized dogs.

I'm wondering if we should get renters insurance or not. Up to this point I've thought we're "self insured" since we don't have a ton of material goods and have a fair amount of disposable income which we currently invest.

Large items that we own are:
- (3) bicycles, total combined value = $10,000
- (2) Laptops, total combined value = $600
- (2) Small amount of furniture: combined value = ~$2,500 maybe?
- (2) Rings, jewelry, total combined Value = $7,000

Should we have renters insurance? We do have the cash to repurchase those things if they were all stolen or if the house caught fire. Is that reason not to have renters insurance?
No. Renters insurance is a total waste of money. In my lifetime I have known a lot of renters. Few had renters insurance. Not one of those that had it ever made a claim.
Given liability claim potential with dogs, and claims on future earnings, can't disagree more with this.
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hayhayday
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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by hayhayday » Tue Mar 19, 2019 4:06 pm

USAA will issue a liability only "renters policy" for cheap IME ~$55 year but obviously varies if you want to self insure the property portion. Many other carriers have $100-150 bare bones renters policies which often will be "free" if you have auto insurance due to multi policy savings on the auto

cherijoh
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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by cherijoh » Tue Mar 19, 2019 4:12 pm

cbr shadow wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:20 pm
My wife and I live in a rental house in the San Francisco Bay Area. Combined we gross ~$280k / year, net worth of ~$750k, roughly 50% savings rate, both are 35 Y.O., have (2) medium sized dogs.

I'm wondering if we should get renters insurance or not. Up to this point I've thought we're "self insured" since we don't have a ton of material goods and have a fair amount of disposable income which we currently invest.

Large items that we own are:
- (3) bicycles, total combined value = $10,000
- (2) Laptops, total combined value = $600
- (2) Small amount of furniture: combined value = ~$2,500 maybe?
- (2) Rings, jewelry, total combined Value = $7,000

Should we have renters insurance? We do have the cash to repurchase those things if they were all stolen or if the house caught fire. Is that reason not to have renters insurance?
I would definitely get a renter's insurance policy. If you want to minimize the cost, go for a high deductible. Then you know the true financial risk and associated costs (the deductible + the premium). Inexpensive peace of mind plus you avoid the tail risk of being uninsured and having a rare but expensive event occur.

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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by DesertDiva » Tue Mar 19, 2019 4:44 pm

mrc wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:32 pm
cbr shadow wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:27 pm

No we do not have umbrella insurance yet. I thought I read on this site that you shouldn't worry about umbrella until you have a NW of $1MM as a general rule of thumb. Do you disagree with that? If we get umbrella insurance I assume this covers the liability that you describe above - this is separate from renter's insurance?
You need to protect future earnings as well. You have deep pockets to protect with the umbrella.

Renters insurance covers the contents of your rental, liability, and sometime loss of use if the structure burns etc.
+1 This is your "why"

Geologist
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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by Geologist » Tue Mar 19, 2019 7:45 pm

What about your clothes? They cost money so that is another item to add to the list that renters insurance covers.

In fact, you just list large items, but small items can sum to an amount worth insuring too.

Geologist
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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by Geologist » Tue Mar 19, 2019 7:50 pm

Trader Joe wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:30 pm

No. Renters insurance is a total waste of money. In my lifetime I have known a lot of renters. Few had renters insurance. Not one of those that had it ever made a claim.
My father had large amounts of life insurance when his children (which obviously included me) were young, and he failed to die. Did that mean he wasted the money on the insurance? Certainly not. He had protection for his family when it was needed.

Similarly, renters insurance provides protection. That has value whether you ever make a claim or not.

miles monroe
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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by miles monroe » Tue Mar 19, 2019 7:54 pm

don't listen to me, listen to clark howard...and clark says you need renters insurance.

J295
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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by J295 » Tue Mar 19, 2019 8:03 pm

Yes ..

Glockenspiel
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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by Glockenspiel » Tue Mar 19, 2019 8:16 pm

Renters insurance is cheap. Just this week, a few of my co-workers filed claims because their apartments flooded and ruined some of their belongings. Yes you absolutely should get renter’s insurance.

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willthrill81
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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by willthrill81 » Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:01 pm

Glockenspiel wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 8:16 pm
Renters insurance is cheap. Just this week, a few of my co-workers filed claims because their apartments flooded and ruined some of their belongings. Yes you absolutely should get renter’s insurance.
In this case, the value of renter's insurance isn't protection for his belongings, which he could easily replace without a real strain. But liability coverage is another matter entirely. That's why a lot of folks who could easily afford the loss of their home maintain homeowner's insurance.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

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TheAccountant
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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by TheAccountant » Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:16 pm

I pay $ 12 per month for renter's insurance, which covers $ 50,000 worth of my stuff and $ 1,000,000 in liability.

You can't afford NOT to have renter's insurance.
Making cents out of every dollar.

pannkake
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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by pannkake » Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:44 pm

Late last year my apartment was flooded by a broken pipe in the unit above. My renters insurance paid to clean, pack, and store my stuff while my unit is being renovated. It also has covered 10 weeks in a hotel (so far).

So, yeah, get the insurance.

NewInvestor328
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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by NewInvestor328 » Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:02 pm

Just want to provide another quick anecdote in favor of renters insurance. I believed renters insurance was unnecessary because the likelihood of a claim was so small. My dad made me get it, a $30,000 personal loss policy cost about $150 for the year. I had a major fire in my apartment and lost everything. I have that renters insurance policy (and my much wiser father) to thank for being able to get back on my feet quickly and have the funds to start anew. It paid for hotels, reasonable meals, and reimbursed me for up to my policy limit. As mentioned by others, renters insurance is cheap and I personally wouldn’t rent a place without it.

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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by JGoneRiding » Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:24 pm

cbr shadow wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:27 pm
ResearchMed wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:23 pm
cbr shadow wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:20 pm
My wife and I live in a rental house in the San Francisco Bay Area. Combined we gross ~$280k / year, net worth of ~$750k, roughly 50% savings rate, both are 35 Y.O., have (2) medium sized dogs.

I'm wondering if we should get renters insurance or not. Up to this point I've thought we're "self insured" since we don't have a ton of material goods and have a fair amount of disposable income which we currently invest.

Large items that we own are:
- (3) bicycles, total combined value = $10,000
- (2) Laptops, total combined value = $600
- (2) Small amount of furniture: combined value = ~$2,500 maybe?
- (2) Rings, jewelry, total combined Value = $7,000

Should we have renters insurance? We do have the cash to repurchase those things if they were all stolen or if the house caught fire. Is that reason not to have renters insurance?
It's all about the liability coverage, especially with dogS.

Someone trips on the rug as they walk into your apartment...??
One of the dogs gets spooked by a child (and probably regardless of whether the child, er, instigated it)...??

And do you already have umbrella insurance with your auto insurance?
You should have that for both auto and home. It's not expensive.

RM
No we do not have umbrella insurance yet. I thought I read on this site that you shouldn't worry about umbrella until you have a NW of $1MM as a general rule of thumb. Do you disagree with that? If we get umbrella insurance I assume this covers the liability that you describe above - this is separate from renter's insurance?
Both rentes ins and umbrella are CHEAP! I would buy them tomorrow!

I only make about 75 to 100k and consider myself at risk for lawsuits so you totally are. A lawyer will be more concerned about your current and future incone then nw.

You will need a baseline level for both home and auto before you get umbrella. I rec that you always carry 2x nw and or a min of 1 mil

carolinaman
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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by carolinaman » Wed Mar 20, 2019 6:09 am

Does renter's insurance cover apartment damage caused by renter? You could be liable for apartment damage (kitchen fire, sewer backup caused by something you put in the line, etc.). I believe the liability coverage would be the main reason for you to have coverage as your liability exposure is much greater than your assets.

fishnhunt
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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by fishnhunt » Wed Mar 20, 2019 6:41 am

Add up what clothes/ shoes/ boots, furniture, kitchen items, and other odds and ends cost. It is easy to get in the tens of thousands of dollars if you had to go out and replace all of this at once.

After seeing our neighbors house burn down last year the wife and I were sure glad we had renters insurance. I actually called the next day to see how much it would be to increase our coverage.

criticalmass
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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by criticalmass » Wed Mar 20, 2019 7:25 am

Trader Joe wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:30 pm
cbr shadow wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:20 pm
My wife and I live in a rental house in the San Francisco Bay Area. Combined we gross ~$280k / year, net worth of ~$750k, roughly 50% savings rate, both are 35 Y.O., have (2) medium sized dogs.

I'm wondering if we should get renters insurance or not. Up to this point I've thought we're "self insured" since we don't have a ton of material goods and have a fair amount of disposable income which we currently invest.

Large items that we own are:
- (3) bicycles, total combined value = $10,000
- (2) Laptops, total combined value = $600
- (2) Small amount of furniture: combined value = ~$2,500 maybe?
- (2) Rings, jewelry, total combined Value = $7,000

Should we have renters insurance? We do have the cash to repurchase those things if they were all stolen or if the house caught fire. Is that reason not to have renters insurance?
No. Renters insurance is a total waste of money. In my lifetime I have known a lot of renters. Few had renters insurance. Not one of those that had it ever made a claim.
Interesting analysis showing rental insurance to be a "total waste of money," Trader Joe.

A family member had their apartment effectively destroyed when a pipe broke at the joint and flooded everything. Much of their possessions were destroyed and their home was gone. Insurance paid for replacing everything damaged, temporary housing for months and moving expenses. Policy cost with $1000 deductible was $90, plus it reduced their auto insurance price. So how was that a "total waste of money?"

Don't disregard protection and coverage of stolen items, even in a car either.

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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by MikeG62 » Wed Mar 20, 2019 7:36 am

jucor wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:34 pm
Renter's insurance is usually very inexpensive. The liability portion is what you really need -- and an umbrella will require an underlying policy.
^This.

Both are cheap. You'd be well advised to get the Umbrella.
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BogleMelon
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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by BogleMelon » Wed Mar 20, 2019 7:49 am

Trader Joe wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:30 pm
cbr shadow wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:20 pm
My wife and I live in a rental house in the San Francisco Bay Area. Combined we gross ~$280k / year, net worth of ~$750k, roughly 50% savings rate, both are 35 Y.O., have (2) medium sized dogs.

I'm wondering if we should get renters insurance or not. Up to this point I've thought we're "self insured" since we don't have a ton of material goods and have a fair amount of disposable income which we currently invest.

Large items that we own are:
- (3) bicycles, total combined value = $10,000
- (2) Laptops, total combined value = $600
- (2) Small amount of furniture: combined value = ~$2,500 maybe?
- (2) Rings, jewelry, total combined Value = $7,000

Should we have renters insurance? We do have the cash to repurchase those things if they were all stolen or if the house caught fire. Is that reason not to have renters insurance?
No. Renters insurance is a total waste of money. In my lifetime I have known a lot of renters. Few had renters insurance. Not one of those that had it ever made a claim.
Insurance, in general, is a waste of money, until you need it.
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BarbBrooklyn
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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by BarbBrooklyn » Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:09 am

I would urge a policy for the fact that it will pay for a place to live if you are displaced due to a covered event.

Many many years ago, there was a plumbing issue in our NYC apt that our landlord couldn't seem to fix. It rendered the single bathroom unusable in the am hours when we needed to get ready for work.

We called the insurance company. They inspected. They sent us to a budget hotel in midtown and THEY called the landlord and told him HE would be on the hook for our living expenses if they didn't fix the leak over the weekend.

It got fixed.
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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by Peculiar_Investor » Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:33 am

pannkake wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:44 pm
Late last year my apartment was flooded by a broken pipe in the unit above. My renters insurance paid to clean, pack, and store my stuff while my unit is being renovated. It also has covered 10 weeks in a hotel (so far).

So, yeah, get the insurance.
My son had a similar experience due to the sprinkler system in a neighbouring condo unit inadvertently activating and triggering flooding of a number of other units. Fortunately for him there is very minor damage to his unit, but the unit where it happened and those underneath suffered significant water damage.

So, yeah, get the insurance for peace of mind and protection of the unlikely events.
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miamivice
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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by miamivice » Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:53 am

I am not necessarily a huge fan of renters insurance.

Yes, it's cheap. In large part, that is because it doesn't pay out much. If it did pay out much, it wouldn't be cheap.

For the value of your posssessions, you clearly don't "need" renters insurance. You might want renters insurance should your items get stolen - a burglary is a very personal event and having insurance to quickly and guilt free replace your belongings is nice.

The liability aspect is overstated (generally). Most liability is borne by the owner of the building, not the renter who is living there. I don't believe that a cheap renters insurance would protect you if you inadvertently damaged the building (kitchen fire, as mentioned above). I believe that expense would be borne by the building owner and their insurance policy.

Not sure about dogs and renters insurance.

Glockenspiel
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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by Glockenspiel » Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:04 am

TheAccountant wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:16 pm
I pay $ 12 per month for renter's insurance, which covers $ 50,000 worth of my stuff and $ 1,000,000 in liability.

You can't afford NOT to have renter's insurance.
This! I also remember renter's insurance was something around $10/month, around 10 years ago. It's probably the cheapest insurance you can buy!

marty18
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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by marty18 » Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:13 am

cbr shadow wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:20 pm
My wife and I live in a rental house in the San Francisco Bay Area. Combined we gross ~$280k / year, net worth of ~$750k, roughly 50% savings rate, both are 35 Y.O., have (2) medium sized dogs.

I'm wondering if we should get renters insurance or not. Up to this point I've thought we're "self insured" since we don't have a ton of material goods and have a fair amount of disposable income which we currently invest.

Large items that we own are:
- (3) bicycles, total combined value = $10,000
- (2) Laptops, total combined value = $600
- (2) Small amount of furniture: combined value = ~$2,500 maybe?
- (2) Rings, jewelry, total combined Value = $7,000

Should we have renters insurance? We do have the cash to repurchase those things if they were all stolen or if the house caught fire. Is that reason not to have renters insurance?
As others have said, I think you're failing to account for many items that you own that would need to be replaced if you lost everything. The $2,500 estimate for furniture seems understated. Does this include a mattress, dining table and chairs, couch, coffee table, lamps, dresser, etc.? How about the kitchen? Would you have to replace a blender, toaster, coffee machine, pots and pans, dinnerware, etc.? If you lost all your clothes, would you need outerwear, shoes, undergarments? I think it would add up a bit quicker than you'd think.

HomeStretch
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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by HomeStretch » Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:30 am

Renter’s insurance is worthwhile in my experience for liability and loss-of-use coverage.

I rented for 3 years and had 1 claim for property due to burglary. Almost had a 2nd claim for liability when someone walked through a patio door screen during a party but luckily it turned out to be a minor injury/no claim.

My son scoffed when I suggested renter’s insurance $214/year). Three months ago he learned the value of insurance when a toilet supply hose burst in his apartment causing some flooding and an insurance-paid hotel stay while the landlord remediated.

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willthrill81
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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by willthrill81 » Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:49 am

Glockenspiel wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:04 am
TheAccountant wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:16 pm
I pay $ 12 per month for renter's insurance, which covers $ 50,000 worth of my stuff and $ 1,000,000 in liability.

You can't afford NOT to have renter's insurance.
This! I also remember renter's insurance was something around $10/month, around 10 years ago. It's probably the cheapest insurance you can buy!
A policy we have on my wife's wedding ring (we don't need it, but she wanted it for peace of mind; happy wife, happy life :wink:) runs about $4/month. But renter's is certainly one of the least expensive policies out there.
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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by ddurrett896 » Wed Mar 20, 2019 12:16 pm

Trader Joe wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:30 pm
No. Renters insurance is a total waste of money. In my lifetime I have known a lot of renters. Few had renters insurance. Not one of those that had it ever made a claim.
I have a friend who paid like $5/month for his renters insurance. Apartment burned to the ground. They paid for everything brand new, even though most furniture was on its 3rd owner and put him in a high end hotel close by for like 2 months.

Money well spent.

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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by mnnice » Wed Mar 20, 2019 12:38 pm

fishnhunt wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 6:41 am
Add up what clothes/ shoes/ boots, furniture, kitchen items, and other odds and ends cost. It is easy to get in the tens of thousands of dollars if you had to go out and replace all of this at once.

After seeing our neighbors house burn down last year the wife and I were sure glad we had renters insurance. I actually called the next day to see how much it would be to increase our coverage.
Yep you would be surprised how much it costs to replace your OTC meds, toiletries, spices, pet food and supplies. If you have $10k in bikes you have related helmets, shoes, clothes. While you may very well be self-insured for possessions it doesn’t necessarily make it the most logical choice. If your apartment is unlivable do you have money to pay for alternative housing for months?

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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by miamivice » Wed Mar 20, 2019 12:46 pm

mnnice wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 12:38 pm
fishnhunt wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 6:41 am
Add up what clothes/ shoes/ boots, furniture, kitchen items, and other odds and ends cost. It is easy to get in the tens of thousands of dollars if you had to go out and replace all of this at once.

After seeing our neighbors house burn down last year the wife and I were sure glad we had renters insurance. I actually called the next day to see how much it would be to increase our coverage.
Yep you would be surprised how much it costs to replace your OTC meds, toiletries, spices, pet food and supplies. If you have $10k in bikes you have related helmets, shoes, clothes. While you may very well be self-insured for possessions it doesn’t necessarily make it the most logical choice. If your apartment is unlivable do you have money to pay for alternative housing for months?
You dont need to pay on your apartment if it is unlivable. You just stop paying there and rent a new place. This is different than a mortgage which you have to pay regardless.

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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by ResearchMed » Wed Mar 20, 2019 1:01 pm

miamivice wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 12:46 pm
mnnice wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 12:38 pm
fishnhunt wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 6:41 am
Add up what clothes/ shoes/ boots, furniture, kitchen items, and other odds and ends cost. It is easy to get in the tens of thousands of dollars if you had to go out and replace all of this at once.

After seeing our neighbors house burn down last year the wife and I were sure glad we had renters insurance. I actually called the next day to see how much it would be to increase our coverage.
Yep you would be surprised how much it costs to replace your OTC meds, toiletries, spices, pet food and supplies. If you have $10k in bikes you have related helmets, shoes, clothes. While you may very well be self-insured for possessions it doesn’t necessarily make it the most logical choice. If your apartment is unlivable do you have money to pay for alternative housing for months?
You dont need to pay on your apartment if it is unlivable. You just stop paying there and rent a new place. This is different than a mortgage which you have to pay regardless.
But one doesn't necessarily immediately "today" find a fully furnished apartment that is suitable (size, location, etc.).

As others noted above, one is likely to have the insurance put you up in a hotel, or perhaps when convenient, find something on a longer term rate, etc.
All of that is likely a LOT more expensive than the regular rent was.

And then one needs to replace things (maybe everything) at "buy it all NOW" prices.
You can't wait for sales for some of that stuff... clothing, sundries, etc.
And especially for those who have "full replacement value", those costs would be covered, yes, fully.

RM
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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by criticalmass » Wed Mar 20, 2019 1:57 pm

miamivice wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 12:46 pm
mnnice wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 12:38 pm
fishnhunt wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 6:41 am
Add up what clothes/ shoes/ boots, furniture, kitchen items, and other odds and ends cost. It is easy to get in the tens of thousands of dollars if you had to go out and replace all of this at once.

After seeing our neighbors house burn down last year the wife and I were sure glad we had renters insurance. I actually called the next day to see how much it would be to increase our coverage.
Yep you would be surprised how much it costs to replace your OTC meds, toiletries, spices, pet food and supplies. If you have $10k in bikes you have related helmets, shoes, clothes. While you may very well be self-insured for possessions it doesn’t necessarily make it the most logical choice. If your apartment is unlivable do you have money to pay for alternative housing for months?
You dont need to pay on your apartment if it is unlivable. You just stop paying there and rent a new place. This is different than a mortgage which you have to pay regardless.
Have you tried that strategy in the real world? Disasters usually don't have an early warning notification. If your apartment suddenly becomes unlivable tonight, you can't just knock on another landlord's door and move in. Likely there will be some time to find a new apartment at the location you need and the price you can afford. In the meantime, renter's insurance will pay for your hotel needs or a short term apartment, plus they will reimburse you the cost of replacing everything damaged in your apartment.

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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by criticalmass » Wed Mar 20, 2019 1:59 pm

miamivice wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:53 am
I am not necessarily a huge fan of renters insurance.

Yes, it's cheap. In large part, that is because it doesn't pay out much. If it did pay out much, it wouldn't be cheap.

For the value of your posssessions, you clearly don't "need" renters insurance. You might want renters insurance should your items get stolen - a burglary is a very personal event and having insurance to quickly and guilt free replace your belongings is nice.

The liability aspect is overstated (generally). Most liability is borne by the owner of the building, not the renter who is living there. I don't believe that a cheap renters insurance would protect you if you inadvertently damaged the building (kitchen fire, as mentioned above). I believe that expense would be borne by the building owner and their insurance policy.
Not true. Liability is determined by courts and who has the ability to pay. If you are depending on the landlord's "liability" to protect YOU if there is a tort or other legal issue, that strategy may not work out so well for you. And how will the liability borne by the landlord protect you when the landlord decides to come after you? Renter's insurance protects the renter. You wouldn't rely on a rental car's insurance that protects the owner to protect YOU, and you shouldn't rely on a third party/landlord to protect you either.

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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by 123 » Wed Mar 20, 2019 2:08 pm

The real value of the liability insurance usually included with renter's insurance is providing for a legal defense against claims. If you have liability coverage with a renter's or homeowner's policy you usually turn the matter over to your insurance company. If you don't have such an option what will you do? How much do you have set aside for payment of attorney fees?
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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by miamivice » Wed Mar 20, 2019 2:09 pm

criticalmass wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 1:59 pm
miamivice wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:53 am
I am not necessarily a huge fan of renters insurance.

Yes, it's cheap. In large part, that is because it doesn't pay out much. If it did pay out much, it wouldn't be cheap.

For the value of your posssessions, you clearly don't "need" renters insurance. You might want renters insurance should your items get stolen - a burglary is a very personal event and having insurance to quickly and guilt free replace your belongings is nice.

The liability aspect is overstated (generally). Most liability is borne by the owner of the building, not the renter who is living there. I don't believe that a cheap renters insurance would protect you if you inadvertently damaged the building (kitchen fire, as mentioned above). I believe that expense would be borne by the building owner and their insurance policy.
Not true. Liability is determined by courts and who has the ability to pay. If you are depending on the landlord's "liability" to protect YOU if there is a tort or other legal issue, that strategy may not work out so well for you. And how will the liability borne by the landlord protect you when the landlord decides to come after you? Renter's insurance protects the renter. You wouldn't rely on a rental car's insurance that protects the owner to protect YOU, and you shouldn't rely on a third party/landlord to protect you either.
Please show me case law where renters and not building owners were determined to be liable for something that took place in a rental apartment.

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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by ResearchMed » Wed Mar 20, 2019 2:15 pm

miamivice wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 2:09 pm
criticalmass wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 1:59 pm
miamivice wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:53 am
I am not necessarily a huge fan of renters insurance.

Yes, it's cheap. In large part, that is because it doesn't pay out much. If it did pay out much, it wouldn't be cheap.

For the value of your posssessions, you clearly don't "need" renters insurance. You might want renters insurance should your items get stolen - a burglary is a very personal event and having insurance to quickly and guilt free replace your belongings is nice.

The liability aspect is overstated (generally). Most liability is borne by the owner of the building, not the renter who is living there. I don't believe that a cheap renters insurance would protect you if you inadvertently damaged the building (kitchen fire, as mentioned above). I believe that expense would be borne by the building owner and their insurance policy.
Not true. Liability is determined by courts and who has the ability to pay. If you are depending on the landlord's "liability" to protect YOU if there is a tort or other legal issue, that strategy may not work out so well for you. And how will the liability borne by the landlord protect you when the landlord decides to come after you? Renter's insurance protects the renter. You wouldn't rely on a rental car's insurance that protects the owner to protect YOU, and you shouldn't rely on a third party/landlord to protect you either.
Please show me case law where renters and not building owners were determined to be liable for something that took place in a rental apartment.
I don't have an actual case, but do you *really* think that if someone trips over a rug or power cord in someone's apartment (rented unfurnished), and, say, cracks their head badly... the building *owner* is going to be liable, and not the possibly careless renter?

RM
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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by miamivice » Wed Mar 20, 2019 2:19 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 2:15 pm
miamivice wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 2:09 pm
criticalmass wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 1:59 pm
miamivice wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:53 am
I am not necessarily a huge fan of renters insurance.

Yes, it's cheap. In large part, that is because it doesn't pay out much. If it did pay out much, it wouldn't be cheap.

For the value of your posssessions, you clearly don't "need" renters insurance. You might want renters insurance should your items get stolen - a burglary is a very personal event and having insurance to quickly and guilt free replace your belongings is nice.

The liability aspect is overstated (generally). Most liability is borne by the owner of the building, not the renter who is living there. I don't believe that a cheap renters insurance would protect you if you inadvertently damaged the building (kitchen fire, as mentioned above). I believe that expense would be borne by the building owner and their insurance policy.
Not true. Liability is determined by courts and who has the ability to pay. If you are depending on the landlord's "liability" to protect YOU if there is a tort or other legal issue, that strategy may not work out so well for you. And how will the liability borne by the landlord protect you when the landlord decides to come after you? Renter's insurance protects the renter. You wouldn't rely on a rental car's insurance that protects the owner to protect YOU, and you shouldn't rely on a third party/landlord to protect you either.
Please show me case law where renters and not building owners were determined to be liable for something that took place in a rental apartment.
I don't have an actual case, but do you *really* think that if someone trips over a rug or power cord in someone's apartment (rented unfurnished), and, say, cracks their head badly... the building *owner* is going to be liable, and not the possibly careless renter?

RM
I think that an invited guest tripping over a power cord would be a open and obvious hazard and thus not a liability of the renter. There are normally trip hazards present in homes like power cords and one does not have a legal obligation to ensure there are no trip hazards before inviting a friend over.

If the person was a member of the public such as a client, the standards would be higher. However, renters liability insurance would not cover this because it doesn't cover business uses.

Nonobvious hazards, such as a rotten stair that gives out while a guest is climbing, is a higher level for liability. Rotten stairs would not be the issue of the renter, so renters liability wouldn't cover.

The reason why renters insurance is cheap is because they don't pay out a lot of claims.

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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by ResearchMed » Wed Mar 20, 2019 2:30 pm

miamivice wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 2:19 pm
ResearchMed wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 2:15 pm
miamivice wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 2:09 pm
criticalmass wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 1:59 pm
miamivice wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:53 am
I am not necessarily a huge fan of renters insurance.

Yes, it's cheap. In large part, that is because it doesn't pay out much. If it did pay out much, it wouldn't be cheap.

For the value of your posssessions, you clearly don't "need" renters insurance. You might want renters insurance should your items get stolen - a burglary is a very personal event and having insurance to quickly and guilt free replace your belongings is nice.

The liability aspect is overstated (generally). Most liability is borne by the owner of the building, not the renter who is living there. I don't believe that a cheap renters insurance would protect you if you inadvertently damaged the building (kitchen fire, as mentioned above). I believe that expense would be borne by the building owner and their insurance policy.
Not true. Liability is determined by courts and who has the ability to pay. If you are depending on the landlord's "liability" to protect YOU if there is a tort or other legal issue, that strategy may not work out so well for you. And how will the liability borne by the landlord protect you when the landlord decides to come after you? Renter's insurance protects the renter. You wouldn't rely on a rental car's insurance that protects the owner to protect YOU, and you shouldn't rely on a third party/landlord to protect you either.
Please show me case law where renters and not building owners were determined to be liable for something that took place in a rental apartment.
I don't have an actual case, but do you *really* think that if someone trips over a rug or power cord in someone's apartment (rented unfurnished), and, say, cracks their head badly... the building *owner* is going to be liable, and not the possibly careless renter?

RM
I think that an invited guest tripping over a power cord would be a open and obvious hazard and thus not a liability of the renter. There are normally trip hazards present in homes like power cords and one does not have a legal obligation to ensure there are no trip hazards before inviting a friend over.

If the person was a member of the public such as a client, the standards would be higher. However, renters liability insurance would not cover this because it doesn't cover business uses.

Nonobvious hazards, such as a rotten stair that gives out while a guest is climbing, is a higher level for liability. Rotten stairs would not be the issue of the renter, so renters liability wouldn't cover.

The reason why renters insurance is cheap is because they don't pay out a lot of claims.
I'll disagree about the lawsuit prospects, so how about... the chair collapses, and the guest breaks their back?
Turns out the chairs were somewhat rickety, too, and this should have been obvious to renter (or say, another chair had collapsed last week, and renter did nothing)?
Of course, apartment is rented unfurnished...

But yes of course, that's why it's cheap.
Doesn't mean it doesn't have it place - especially the liability part, which can be very, very high in some cases.
That's the best "use" of pooling for insurance, not for a small potential claim.

RM
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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by willthrill81 » Wed Mar 20, 2019 2:37 pm

miamivice wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 2:19 pm
ResearchMed wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 2:15 pm
miamivice wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 2:09 pm
criticalmass wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 1:59 pm
miamivice wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:53 am
I am not necessarily a huge fan of renters insurance.

Yes, it's cheap. In large part, that is because it doesn't pay out much. If it did pay out much, it wouldn't be cheap.

For the value of your posssessions, you clearly don't "need" renters insurance. You might want renters insurance should your items get stolen - a burglary is a very personal event and having insurance to quickly and guilt free replace your belongings is nice.

The liability aspect is overstated (generally). Most liability is borne by the owner of the building, not the renter who is living there. I don't believe that a cheap renters insurance would protect you if you inadvertently damaged the building (kitchen fire, as mentioned above). I believe that expense would be borne by the building owner and their insurance policy.
Not true. Liability is determined by courts and who has the ability to pay. If you are depending on the landlord's "liability" to protect YOU if there is a tort or other legal issue, that strategy may not work out so well for you. And how will the liability borne by the landlord protect you when the landlord decides to come after you? Renter's insurance protects the renter. You wouldn't rely on a rental car's insurance that protects the owner to protect YOU, and you shouldn't rely on a third party/landlord to protect you either.
Please show me case law where renters and not building owners were determined to be liable for something that took place in a rental apartment.
I don't have an actual case, but do you *really* think that if someone trips over a rug or power cord in someone's apartment (rented unfurnished), and, say, cracks their head badly... the building *owner* is going to be liable, and not the possibly careless renter?

RM
I think that an invited guest tripping over a power cord would be a open and obvious hazard and thus not a liability of the renter. There are normally trip hazards present in homes like power cords and one does not have a legal obligation to ensure there are no trip hazards before inviting a friend over.
I wouldn't bet on any injury that occurred on my property not being labeled my fault in court. I was just listening to an episode of "Lehto's Law" yesterday where he was recounting a case involving a business he was defending that required customers to sign a release that freed the business from all liability from injury. But sure enough, after signing the release, one of the customers was injured and found a seasoned attorney that would pursue the case. Mr. Lehto filed for summary judgment in favor of the defendant, and the judge agreed to it in addition to awarding legal expenses to the defendant, but it could just as easily have gone the other way. The plaintiff's attorney should have realized that he had no case, but this didn't stop the litigation.

Years ago, I read that roughly 20% of Americans are counting on a lawsuit to enable them to retire. Even if that's off by a factor of 10, it means that there are a lot of people out there looking for any excuse to get money from someone else.
Last edited by willthrill81 on Wed Mar 20, 2019 2:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by miamivice » Wed Mar 20, 2019 2:38 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 2:30 pm
miamivice wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 2:19 pm
ResearchMed wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 2:15 pm
miamivice wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 2:09 pm
criticalmass wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 1:59 pm

Not true. Liability is determined by courts and who has the ability to pay. If you are depending on the landlord's "liability" to protect YOU if there is a tort or other legal issue, that strategy may not work out so well for you. And how will the liability borne by the landlord protect you when the landlord decides to come after you? Renter's insurance protects the renter. You wouldn't rely on a rental car's insurance that protects the owner to protect YOU, and you shouldn't rely on a third party/landlord to protect you either.
Please show me case law where renters and not building owners were determined to be liable for something that took place in a rental apartment.
I don't have an actual case, but do you *really* think that if someone trips over a rug or power cord in someone's apartment (rented unfurnished), and, say, cracks their head badly... the building *owner* is going to be liable, and not the possibly careless renter?

RM
I think that an invited guest tripping over a power cord would be a open and obvious hazard and thus not a liability of the renter. There are normally trip hazards present in homes like power cords and one does not have a legal obligation to ensure there are no trip hazards before inviting a friend over.

If the person was a member of the public such as a client, the standards would be higher. However, renters liability insurance would not cover this because it doesn't cover business uses.

Nonobvious hazards, such as a rotten stair that gives out while a guest is climbing, is a higher level for liability. Rotten stairs would not be the issue of the renter, so renters liability wouldn't cover.

The reason why renters insurance is cheap is because they don't pay out a lot of claims.
I'll disagree about the lawsuit prospects, so how about... the chair collapses, and the guest breaks their back?
Turns out the chairs were somewhat rickety, too, and this should have been obvious to renter (or say, another chair had collapsed last week, and renter did nothing)?
Of course, apartment is rented unfurnished...

But yes of course, that's why it's cheap.
Doesn't mean it doesn't have it place - especially the liability part, which can be very, very high in some cases.
That's the best "use" of pooling for insurance, not for a small potential claim.

RM
A rickety chair would be a poorly designed chair, and thus, the lawsuit would be filed against the chair manufacturer for designing and manufacturing a defective product. It would be highly unlikely that you would sue the renter who purchased the chair, and even if you did, it would be hard to prove that they had tort responsibility (duty, breach of duty, breach of duty caused the incident, and injury). Proving duty and breach of the duty are the most difficult against a renter.

In particular, renters are hard to sue because generally folks think they don't have a lot of money, and because it is hard to prove that a renter has a duty to care as well as breached that duty in the course of their rentership. That's the big thing in my opinion - it is very hard to pin duty to care on a renter as they do not own the building and most folks would not go into an apartment expecting furniture etc to be in perfect/pristine condition. I am pretty sure juries would tend to be sympathetic to a renter.

I'm not saying it that successful lawsuits never happen, but my mental model is they are uncommon.
Last edited by miamivice on Wed Mar 20, 2019 2:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by miamivice » Wed Mar 20, 2019 2:40 pm

Everyone has their personal opinion on insurance.

I expressed mine, you have your reasons to do that you feel is right. I have been a renter for about 12-15 years of my life and did not carry renters insurance during those years. I felt my liability was low enough that the liability portion wasn't important, and was willing to take the risk of replacing stuff if/when it got stolen.

I would advise the same to my kids. The biggest caution I would give to them is whether they are willing to replace their stuff if it gets stolen.

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