A recent study conducted by ORC International found that renters forgot to lock their doors multiple times in the past year.

4 reasons why it pays to have renters insurance

There’s some good news to report on the apartment renting front: There are more places to choose from.

Based on the most recent monthly statistics available, vacancies increase in October, resulting in a more modest rise in rental rates at 4.5% year-over-year, down from 5.3% in September, according to real estate information agency Zillow.

That money saved can result in some extra spending cash, but if you really want to make the most of it, you might want to consider investing in a renters insurance policy, something that a surprisingly small percentage of Americans have.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, more than 90% of homeowners in the U.S. have a home insurance policy. However, among renters, only 37% are covered – despite the fact that renters insurance is extremely affordable and provides for almost all of the things that a homeowner’s policy has.

Many people who don’t have coverage say it’s mainly due to their belief that it’s not really necessary, assuming that they will never need to make a claim, so why bother purchasing a policy?

However, there are lots of “freaking” occurrences that renters insurance provides for that happen more often than some might believe. Take the following as case examples:

Stolen items

Though the Federal Bureau of Investigation has reported that property crimes – specifically household burglaries – have fallen in recent years, what still holds true is that renters are more likely to be victimized by theft than homeowners, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

A break-in is a terrifying experience that can leave those affected feeling vulnerable – even if the only things criminals were after happen to be merchandise. However, renters insurance can help protect renters because the proceeds will pay for the items that were stolen, up to the limits of the policy.

Fire

Renters will often mistakenly believe that their landlord’s insurance policy provides for any losses they experience if there’s a fire. In reality, the landlord’s insurance only pays for damages caused to the structure of the building, not to renters’ belongings. Renters insurance, on the other hand, will replace what’s been damaged.

Winter is the peak season for residential fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Most stem from cooking accidents in the kitchen, like leaving a burner unattended.

Vandalism

Sometimes, the unexpected happens. Vandals often have a way of ruining things for people, whether it be physical property or belongings. From lobbing eggs at windows on Halloween, to snapping furniture legs as if they were twigs, there’s no rhyme or reason to their shenanigans. Fortunately, renters insurance will repair or replace defaced belongings.

Lightning

Being “struck by lightning” is a term often invoked when describing something that’s exceedingly rare. To be hit by a lightning bolt may be unusual, but tell that to the tens of thousands of people who have filed claims after their property was destroyed by Mother Nature’s wrath. Last year, for instance, insurers responded to nearly 100,000 lightning claims, according to the Insurance Information Institute. If a lightning strike hits your place – and your electronics are fried as a result – renters insurance will pay for what’s damaged.

In addition to protecting you and your belongings, renters insurance is quite affordable and can save you money down the road.  For more information on why it’s important to have renters insurance, and how you can save with it, check out Elephant’s bundling insurance page.