Renter Insurance... Is it worth it?

Friday, October 31, 2014

I moved into my post-college apartment almost a year ago in December. I was eager, nervous, and excited because this was going to be the first time I had an apartment all to myself. Having some interesting roommate situations, I thought it was best to take the chance and skip the Craigslist stranger. The day I was supposed to move into my apartment my whole family and I headed to my storage unit to begin the moving process. We park the moving van, climbed out and headed to my storage unit. With pure excitement I rustled through my bag to find my keys and am ready to unlock my lock but the storage unit that I thought was mine, didn't have my lock on it. So I tried a few more locks just in case I was crazy and was at the wrong unit. Still didn't work. I headed to the management and said there is another lock on my unit. I sat there antsy, signing papers to authorize someone to cut the deadbolt. Asking why there is another lock on my unit. This man with bolt cutters escorted me back to my unit where he proceeded to chomp away at the lock. He took off the lock and I rolled up the door and my heart stopped beating. Everything was gone. Absolutely everything. I, of course, immediately burst into tears and ran to the office. I shouted that everything was gone, and asking a million questions. Did you foreclose my unit? I've been on auto-payment. Wouldn't you have contacted me? Everything was stolen and I wasn't getting it back. This extremely nice police women informed me that are "professionals" (more like horrible people) who do this for a living. They steal from others because they think they deserve what I worked extremely hard for. I was heartbroken and felt absolutely violated.

 I never understood why I had rental insurance until later that day. I have an amazing mom who always thinks, plans ahead and is very organized. Turned out my mom never cancelled my renters insurance and it covered the loss of items in a storage unit. I was able to replace almost everything that I has accumulated over the years in college. The $500+ a year I was paying for renters insurance covered $10,000 worth of the stolen property. I was able to purchase the necessities, like a bed, table, kitchen supplies to get me on my feet, but unfortunately some personal items like pictures etc were lost.

Here are some tips to protect yourself in the future when storing items;
1. Buy Renters Insurance - I know this is obvious - worth the money ten-fold.
2. State the Replacement Value - When buying insurance and you are asked what the value of your items are, be sure to say the replacement value! Not the depreciated value. - For example, if you bought a bed for $800 5 years ago, say it is worth $800 even though if you were to sell it you would only get $200  because to get the same bed it would cost you $800.
3. Document prized possessions  - I never thought taking pictures of my cat would be so beneficial. Most people rarely take pictures of their couches, dressers, tables etc. When trying to document what was stolen, I searched though all of my pictures and because of that stinking cute cat I had pictures of my bed, my dresser, my desk, my bookshelves, my table, my expensive upholstered chairs etc. Also, thanks to instagramming photos of my food, I was able to document my dinner plates! After you get settled into a new place, or currently living somewhere. Take date stamped photos of your possessions, and make a list of documented items, and save them to a cloud. This can come in handy if there are any disasters or theft.
4. Keep prized possessions close - Growing up with 2 sisters, I was very territorial about my stuff since it seemed to disappear and re-appear on them two weeks later. When I was packing up my room before storing it at the storage unit, I actually thought "what if my stuff gets stolen" (I always watch Storage Wars and often play worst case scenarios in my head). I packed up all of my electronics, most personal mementos, and all jewelry or anything extremely expensive.
5. Take a Photo of what is in your storage unit.
6. Minimize the clutter and items you would store
7. Pay a friend to store your items (up to 6 months seems appropriate).

To this day, I believe renters insurance was and is a great investment. After this eye opening experience, I am happy I had myself covered.

Do you have renters or homeowners insurance?


image via


  1. I think it'd definitely important to have. You never know what can happen.