Today I stared at a to do list item that has been on my list for many years, but has never before been checked off. That item is: Get Renters Insurance. And believe it or not, you guys, after all these years, I am now the proud owner of a year-long renters insurance policy!
Here’s why this achievement is important to me: this is the first time I’ve had a full apartment to call my own. I now live in a studio in queens. It’s nothing fancy, but I’m super happy with it and I love it very much. If something were to happen to it such as a fire or burglary, I’d be extremely upset. But I’d be even more upset if I then went into crazy bankrupting debt re-buying all my possessions, such as my bed and my couch and my desk and my computer and my clothing. I have more stuff than I think I have- a lesson I always learn again each time I move.
Getting renters insurance was both easier and harder than I thought. The hard part was that I had no idea where to start. I didn’t have a clue what company to go with, or even what companies were out there. I had no idea how much I should be paying per month nor how much I should be insured for nor what my deductible should be.
So I did what I always do when I’m not sure which direction to go: I googled. At first I just googled ‘get renters insurance’ but I just came up with a list of insurance companies touting how great they are, so I moved on to adding my favorite (mostly financial) bloggers to the keywords to see if they had any articles on the best of renters insurance, such as ‘best renters insurance ramit sethi’ or best renters insurance paula pant.’ Finally I tried ‘best renters insurance NYC’ and that brought up some good articles from websites I knew such as The Simple Dollar and Nerdwallet.
From these articles I got an idea of how much renters insurance should cost a month – IT’S USUALLY ONLY $12-$15 DOLLARS A MONTH! Not bad at all
I also got an idea of about how much I should be insured for – around $25,000. That may sound high, but when you tally everything you own (bed, couch, desk, dresser, other furniture, tv, kitchen items, clothing, electronics, etc) plus possible cost of moving (yep, there’s all types of insurance and some even cover temporary stays if something happens to your permanent home), $25,000 is the recommended amount on average.
Then I got an idea of how high my deducible should be to keep my premiums low- the recommended amount is $500-$1000. I picked $1000.
Then I found a few websites that listed the best companies of 2016 for renters insurance- they all recommended different ones, but I looked up the companies that kept repeating on various websites: Allstate, State Farm, and Nationwide. I also checked Gotham Brokerage, specific to NYC.
Then I went to all four of those companies’ websites, and got quotes from all of them. I ultimately picked State Farm, which gives me the most coverage with the lowest premium, and I paid for it then and there- a grand total of $11 a month for $25,000 worth of coverage. This is not an advertisement for state farm though, or any of the above companies- I think rates and coverage are different for everybody.
But a major item on my to do list that has hung over my head for years was accomplished in about 40 minutes, including all the research and quotes and payment. Now imagine if I’d put renters insurance off longer and something had happened? I would’ve been pretty angry at myself.
So if you’re putting off getting renters insurance, I’d highly recommend going for it! It won’t take long and it’s cheap and will put your mind at ease. Here are some sites to get you started: