More Stuff I Wish I'd Known Yesterday

Do you know what I’m struggling with today? I’m struggling with the concept of tough love. I feel really bad for all of the tenants who have had horrible things happen to their rental buildings lately, but I also think that this is (in a phrase I never would have used before working here!) a “teachable moment.” How can you avoid being the tenant on the TV who has lost everything? Get tenant insurance. Just go out and get it. It doesn’t cost that much (you can even spread the cost over the year by paying in installments), and your lease probably requires you to have it in the first place.

Why do you need it? So that if your apartment burns down, falls down, is broken into, or gets up and walks away, you will be able to buy new stuff. One of the most common things I hear from tenants is that “my stuff isn’t that nice anyway, so it’s not worth it for me to spend the money on insurance.” Wrong, wrong, wrong! Let’s break it down: let’s say you pay $200.00 for one year of content insurance. Let’s say that your place is destroyed, and all of your stuff is lost. If you spent the $200.00, then you pay the deductible, and replace your crappy stuff with brand new stuff. How great is that? If you don’t buy the insurance? Well, hello, free couch in the back alley that may or may not be crawling with bed bugs.  Hello, internet café, where no one washes their hands before they touch the keyboards. Get it? You will have nothing: no couch, no laptop, no TV, nothing.

The other common thing I hear from tenants is “if the place burns down, the landlord has to buy me all new stuff because it’s his fault.” Really? Does anybody actually believe this? Guess what would happen if you went to court to try to force your landlord to pay for all new stuff for you? The first question would be “Were you required to have tenant insurance under your lease?” You’d have to say yes, and then your case would be thrown out and you’d still be left with nothing. Well, actually, worse than nothing, because you’d probably have to end up paying your landlord’s court costs.

Use your head, and go buy insurance.

Until next time, make sure you think ahead and take the spoon out of the sink before you turn on the water or you’re going to have a big ol’ mess on your hands…

You can find out more about insurance and renting here.

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