Should we have renters insurance?

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rterickson
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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by rterickson » Wed Mar 20, 2019 3:22 pm

The building owner's liability insurance is not going to pay if one of your dogs maims a child or knocks an old lady down or causes a bicyclist to crash into a car.

mnnice
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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by mnnice » Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:56 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.
The OP is in San Francisco what if the apartment is rent controlled or other below market situation? My renter’s insurance paid for the difference between my previous rent and the new houses rent for a year as loss of use.

rooms222
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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by rooms222 » Wed Mar 20, 2019 6:01 pm

Since Bruce Williams recently passed away, and I don't think I would be here if I didn't listen to him on the radio back in the day, I will channel his advice, that with your net worth and income you should have both renter's insurance and an umbrella policy, because you have some deep pockets financially. Even if the building's insurance pays initially, if you have a kitchen fire that harms others, they will come after you for reimbursement for both their expenses and the damage to the building. If someone is seriously injured and you are partially negligent, you will pay something.

My friend had an at fault kitchen fire, and her renter's insurance put her in a hotel for a month, and paid the complex for the damage. They came out and treated all her belongings, and replaced all the damaged onew. At the very least, you should get a renters policy now.

Dyloot
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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by Dyloot » Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:34 pm

I lost my home in the Northern California Tubbs Fire in October 2017. Renters without renter’s insurance were absolutely screwed.

Lost their home, their stuff, and had to find a new place to live.

Sure, the chance of it happening to you is likely very small. Until it does happen to you. I’d recommend protecting yourself from disaster if at all possible. I’d get the insurance and sleep better at night.

buhlaxtus
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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by buhlaxtus » Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:14 pm

My renter's insurance story - many years ago, I had renter's insurance just because you were "supposed to". Some drunk guy walked out in front of me while I was riding my bike, and later sued me for knocking out his teeth and injuring his shoulder. My renter's insurance dealt with the whole mess. He lost the suit and had to pay the court costs. I will never go without again, especially now that I have actual assets.

michaeljc70
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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by michaeljc70 » Thu Mar 21, 2019 11:01 am

I would have it. There is the liability issue as others have raised. But you say you will self insure. Fine if a bicycle is stolen or something. But what if the whole place floods (from unit above) or there is an earthquake or a fire and everything is lost?

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spdoublebass
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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by spdoublebass » Thu Mar 21, 2019 2:26 pm

I didn’t read all of this thread, sorry if this is a repeat.

I decided to get renters insurance because I was paying $10 a month for insurance on my cell phone and it had a $200 deductible.

I got renters insurance for $13 a month with a $50 deductible. It covers all my phones (wife’s and mine) and our computers etc.

For that reason alone it’s worth it.
I'm trying to think, but nothing happens

smackboy1
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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by smackboy1 » Fri Mar 22, 2019 1:52 pm

IMHO a tenant should always buy renter's insurance if they can afford it. For one, it may be required under the terms of the lease. I have been a tenant and landlord, both residential and commercial. I've also written leases. When I write a a lease I always require the tenant to carry their own insurance and name the landlord as the additional insured party. Landlord has written proof and is notified if the policy changes. I also include a hold harmless and indemnification clause. I have never seen a landlord agree to waive those terms.

Lay people have an unrealistic concept of how the legal system works. They believe that if defendants have really great facts or legal theory on their side, they will win the lawsuit and all will be good. The reality is that great facts or law don't really come into play until they go before the judge or jury. By that time there may be thousands of dollars of lawyers fees on both sides. Another thing is that the vast majority of lawsuits settle without determination of blame. If both parties agree that it's worth it to settle a $1MM potential claim with a $100K settlement, it doesn't matter who is really at fault.

While it's nice to hear anecdotes from people without insurance and never had a claim, that's survivor biased data. I want to hear from all the tenants without insurance who were sued and hear their recommendations.

Another thing, read your lease carefully. What happens if the entire building is damaged by fire or hurricane but only 10% of your living space is affected. You might not want to live there, but it may not be "uninhabitable" under the lease. Do you want to be paying 90% rent for a place you do not want to live in?
Disclaimer: nothing written here should be taken as legal advice, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

mrc
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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by mrc » Fri Mar 22, 2019 2:22 pm

smackboy1 wrote:
Fri Mar 22, 2019 1:52 pm
IMHO a tenant should always buy renter's insurance if they can afford it. For one, it may be required under the terms of the lease.
That is a great point—many leases require tenants to carry renters insurance. That was one of the terms of my mother's lease that stood out to me. Heaven help a tenant that causes damage (fire, water) that doesn't carry insurance and violates the lease terms on top of the event.
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Winston19
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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by Winston19 » Fri Mar 22, 2019 2:23 pm

When I had renters insurance, it had basically no net cost because the cost of the policy was about the same as the multiple line discount I got for having renters and auto insurance with the same company.

Minty
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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by Minty » Sat Mar 23, 2019 1:48 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.
Happy to help:

The established law in Illinois is that in the absence of an express agreement to the contrary, a tenant is liable for damages to the leased premises resulting from his failure to exercise due care. (Ford v. Jennings (1979), 70 Ill.App.3d 219, 26 Ill.Dec. 295, 387 N.E.2d 1125.) This general rule has been applied in cases in which a tenant's negligent acts caused a fire which damaged the demised premises. (E.g., First National Bank v. G.M.P., Inc. (1986), 148 Ill.App.3d 826, 102 Ill.Dec. 259, 499 N.E.2d 1039.) Courts in numerous other jurisdictions have also held that a tenant is liable for injury to the leased premises resulting from a fire due to the tenant's negligence. (Annotation,Liability of Tenant for Damage to the Leased Property Due to his Acts or Neglect, 10 A.L.R.2d 1012, 1023-25 (1950 & Supp.1985).)

Fire Ins. Exch. v. Geekie, 179 Ill. App. 3d 679, 682, 534 N.E.2d 1061, 1062 (1989).

I had a colleague, a lawyer, who failed to have renters insurance and accidentally burned down a rented residence after a mishap with a candle. The financial consequences were catastrophic. You don't have to have auto liability insurance (in most states you can post a bond or otherwise self-insure), homeowner's insurance, or renter's insurance. But the considerations are identical, and I would never go without.
Core Four with nominal bonds and TIPS.

DrGoogle2017
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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Sat Mar 23, 2019 3:45 pm

My property management requires some sort of renters insurance, they purchase the insurance and the tenant reimburses them monthly.

Momus
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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by Momus » Sat Mar 23, 2019 4:26 pm

I never have renter's insurance, my valuable is less than 2-3k total. Who cares if it gets stolen... Plus I don't have a pet.

michaeljc70
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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by michaeljc70 » Sat Mar 23, 2019 5:54 pm

Minty wrote:
Sat Mar 23, 2019 1:48 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.
Happy to help:

The established law in Illinois is that in the absence of an express agreement to the contrary, a tenant is liable for damages to the leased premises resulting from his failure to exercise due care. (Ford v. Jennings (1979), 70 Ill.App.3d 219, 26 Ill.Dec. 295, 387 N.E.2d 1125.) This general rule has been applied in cases in which a tenant's negligent acts caused a fire which damaged the demised premises. (E.g., First National Bank v. G.M.P., Inc. (1986), 148 Ill.App.3d 826, 102 Ill.Dec. 259, 499 N.E.2d 1039.) Courts in numerous other jurisdictions have also held that a tenant is liable for injury to the leased premises resulting from a fire due to the tenant's negligence. (Annotation,Liability of Tenant for Damage to the Leased Property Due to his Acts or Neglect, 10 A.L.R.2d 1012, 1023-25 (1950 & Supp.1985).)

Fire Ins. Exch. v. Geekie, 179 Ill. App. 3d 679, 682, 534 N.E.2d 1061, 1062 (1989).

I had a colleague, a lawyer, who failed to have renters insurance and accidentally burned down a rented residence after a mishap with a candle. The financial consequences were catastrophic. You don't have to have auto liability insurance (in most states you can post a bond or otherwise self-insure), homeowner's insurance, or renter's insurance. But the considerations are identical, and I would never go without.
Thanks for the case law. On a simpler note, say a tenant's dog bites someone in the apartment. Are they going to sue the landlord and win? Unlikely. They will sue the tenant. You could say you don't have a dog, but it could similarly be a piece your personal property in your apartment that falls on someone or someone trips on, etc.

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beyou
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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by beyou » Sat Mar 23, 2019 7:09 pm

I would read your lease carefully. Sometimes they have a clause that your must have protection against fire damage to your landlord’s property. And of course there is always slip and fall, liability if a guest or neighbor sues you. People sue for frivolous and legit reasons all the time.

pdavi21
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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by pdavi21 » Sat Mar 23, 2019 7:14 pm

Probably not. If you feel you need liability insurance, you can buy that cheaper separately...but really, who are you going to invite over that is going to sue you and garnish your wages? Don't invite them over, probably.
"We spend a great deal of time studying history, which, let's face it, is mostly the history of stupidity." -Stephen Hawking

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willthrill81
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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by willthrill81 » Sat Mar 23, 2019 7:17 pm

Momus wrote:
Sat Mar 23, 2019 4:26 pm
I never have renter's insurance, my valuable is less than 2-3k total. Who cares if it gets stolen... Plus I don't have a pet.
If you read through the thread, you'd see that the primary reason that many care renter's insurance is for liability coverage, which can be more expensive and/or difficult to obtain otherwise.
“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

Minty
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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by Minty » Sun Mar 24, 2019 11:30 pm

beyou wrote:
Sat Mar 23, 2019 7:09 pm
I would read your lease carefully. Sometimes they have a clause that your must have protection against fire damage to your landlord’s property. And of course there is always slip and fall, liability if a guest or neighbor sues you. People sue for frivolous and legit reasons all the time.
Reading the lease carefully is sound advice. There are other clauses to look out for, including an agreement to maintain the property, to return it in its original condition at the conclusion of the tenancy, and to indemnify the landlord against all losses caused by the tenant or by a breach of any term of the lease. Sometimes these clauses have exceptions, in the lease itself, by statute, or by caselaw. But to the extent they are enforceable, they turn the tenant into an insurer. Renters insurance helps manage that potentially unlimited personal liability.
Core Four with nominal bonds and TIPS.

Minty
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Re: Should we have renters insurance?

Post by Minty » Sun Mar 24, 2019 11:30 pm

beyou wrote:
Sat Mar 23, 2019 7:09 pm
I would read your lease carefully. Sometimes they have a clause that your must have protection against fire damage to your landlord’s property. And of course there is always slip and fall, liability if a guest or neighbor sues you. People sue for frivolous and legit reasons all the time.
Reading the lease carefully is sound advice. There are other clauses to look out for, including an agreement to maintain the property, to return it in its original condition at the conclusion of the tenancy, and to indemnify the landlord against all losses caused by the tenant or by a breach of any term of the lease. Sometimes these clauses have exceptions, in the lease itself, by statute, or by caselaw. But to the extent they are enforceable, they turn the tenant into an insurer. Renters insurance helps manage that potentially unlimited personal liability.
Core Four with nominal bonds and TIPS.

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