Presented by Armed Forces Insurance

Why Every Home-Renting Family Needs Renter insurance

A couple moving into new home

Disclosure: This post is sponsored as part of a campaign with Armed Forces Insurance through SoFluential. All opinions are my own. Thank you to the companies who support Becoming Bailey!

My husband and I experienced our first PCS move together this summer when we relocated from Kentucky to Iowa. We decided quickly that we would once again rent a home for a variety of reasons, one of which was to save money. In an effort to cut costs in our budget, we gathered quotes from various insurance companies to compare prices and reviewed our policies to make sure we had everything we needed and weren’t paying for anything we didn’t need. One thing we did keep was our renter insurance.

Many people mistakenly believe that only homeowners need insurance and any damages that occur in a rental home are automatically covered. Unfortunately, as many people discover when they need to file a claim, most landlords’ homeowner insurance only covers damage to the home itself. In other words: should something happen to your rental home that damages your belongings, you are responsible for recuperating the costs entirely by yourself.

Although renter insurance is not legally required like auto or health insurance, some landlords require their tenants to purchase renter insurance and provide proof of said insurance as part of their lease. When we lived on base, I heard many military families say they didn’t have renter insurance because they (incorrectly) assumed military housing would take care of any damages. Renter insurance is no longer covered in on-base housing costs, so it’s up to each military family to purchase their own.

My husband and I have had renter insurance since the day we moved into base housing, shortly after our wedding and honeymoon. Our budget was tight back then, but we knew that skimping on renter insurance would cost us more in the long-run. The very small amount we paid in rental insurance was well-worth the peace of mind it gave us. And when I’m talking about a small amount of money for renter insurance, I mean it—our current monthly renter insurance rate is the cost of an inexpensive dinner for date night. Not only are we protecting our belongings, we’re also not fattening our waistlines with another restaurant meal that we didn’t really need—win-win!

Since we did a DITY (do-it-yourself) move this summer, we knew that if anything happened to our belongings in route we wouldn’t have a moving company against which to file a claim. I confirmed with our insurance company that we could file a claim if someone stole our belongings out of the moving truck, which gave me more peace of mind about choosing a DITY move. If you’re moving and thinking of canceling your renter insurance until you are already settled into your new house, don’t do it for this reason alone.

Another good thing about having renter insurance is that you can get add-on policies called “scheduled item policy” for more expensive belongings, like guns and jewelry. Last summer I almost had to use my rider policy for my engagement ring and wedding band, because I lost them the day after I took out the policy (We managed to find them both after an hour of searching, but the panic from that day still reminds me how important it is to have renter insurance and a rider’s policy for your valuables).

Related: When we were hunting for our renter (and auto) insurance, we were looking specifically for an insurer who understands military life. I was thrilled to learn about Armed Forces Insurance (AFI). AFI was formed in 1887, and is still led by former military leaders with the goal of protecting those who protect the nation. They provide homeowner insurance, renter insurance, auto insurance and much more to military members and their families. Click here to learn more about AFI and request a quote here.

Do you rent or own your home? If you rent, do you have renter insurance?

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