Renters Insurance Is A Must-Have – Here Is Why

Dated: July 16 2020

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The current crop of home buyers – mostly millennials – prefer renting homes than owning them. And considering the current economic realities, it is understandable why people are not interested in spending that much money on a property. The real issue here, however, is that the millennial renters are not buying renters insurance. Although the real reason for this development is largely unknown, it is not unconnected to the fact that most do not know why it is necessary. Renters insurance is one of the best things a renter can do for themselves.

Apart from protecting their personal belongings in the rented apartment, it is a saving grace during emergencies that cause the rental property inhabitable for a while. Renters insurance is also cheap, and that is, perhaps, the biggest advantage. It also comes through for the renter if they have medical expenses (of another person) to settle. Moving on, let’s take a proper look at what renter insurance offers and why a renter should get one for themselves.

What do renters get from Renters Insurance?

There are various renters insurance coverages, depending on the needs and preferences of the renter. For instance, some coverages only include valuables and electronics, while others include only personal items. Then, we have some that cover everything. Another reason to sign up for renter insurance is the security it offers against circumstances like natural disasters, theft, and rowdy houseguests. For instance, renters can worry less about visitors damaging your household items. Even if these items are damaged outside the home, perhaps when you took them on a trip, the insurance covers them. As mentioned earlier, renters insurance is great for unplanned expenses; for instance, a pipe burst or a detached roof. Lastly, renters insurance comes handy in cases where the renter is financially liable to another person.

What do renters not get from Renters Insurance?

Let’s take a look at some of the things renters should not expect their renters insurance to cover. The belongings of a roommate or a neighbor are not protected, except the owner (the roommate) is included as a party to the insurance. Likewise, the renters insurance does not cover the landlord’s responsibilities. For example, a faulty heating or water system cannot be fixed by the insurance company. These fall under the landlord’s plan. How do you get insured as a renter? Contrary to popular opinion, it is easy to buy a renters insurance. These plans are available online, and you can sign up from your home. It takes a short time, and you need only basic information. While at it, ensure that you go for a plan that fits your needs and budget.

This is why you should identify what needs to be insured before shopping for a plan. Fortunately, you can always adjust the plan to include more items or expand as necessary. So, drawing a scale of preference for all your belongings. Most basic coverages will cover the common items, although you may need special coverages for the more valuable items. If possible, take the pictures of the items you want to insure for future reference. After identifying what needs to be insured, proceed to generate your quote. The rates are usually dependent on the area and plan you have picked. That said, the rates are always affordable and worth the investment in the end.

Basically, any property loan having higher principal compared to its free-market value is regarded as an underwater mortgage. The issue of an underwater mortgage usually arises when there is a decline in the property’s value. When this happens, you may experience insufficient equity for credit. An underwater mortgage is usually triggered when the real estate investor decides to pay a relatively small down payment while purchasing a rental property. Unless the mortgage lenders can easily access funds or cover up for the loss, they usually have to refinance or sell the property when the issue of underwater property surfaces. Nevertheless, with some tips, you can preserve the value of your properties as well as alleviate the risks of an underwater mortgage.

The tips are as follows:

1. Buy the Right Property

The first tip to avoid purchasing an underwater investment property is to purchase a property below its intrinsic value. Search for properties in locations which are known for their strong history of capital growth. During the high seasons, you may gain financially by owning a rental property which performs better than the regular property. Consequently, you will likely get a consistently high rate of appreciation over time. Also, ensure that your rental property is located in a diversified economy to protect it against a real estate market crash. Keep off neighborhood having a sole economic driver like Detroit – famously known for its extensive auto industry. Most likely, you will experience a higher vacancy rate if your property is positioned in a specific industry-dependent region.

2. Focus on Positive Cash Flowing Properties

So far your investment property keeps generating higher rental income compared to its rental property costs, i.e., positive cash flow, then whatever happens in the housing market is of little significance. You can only be affected by a sudden price drop if you choose to sell your investment property.

3. Adhere to the “1% Rule”

By placing your focus on the properties which can be leased for 1% of the purchase price monthly, you stand a better chance of avoiding the underwater property. For instance, a rental property worth $100,000 but yielding a mortgage payment of $1000 per month is likely to generate positive cash flow.

4. Consider C-Class investment or higher

When you invest in A-class, it means you have invested in properties located in a great neighborhood with a diverse economy. In this way, the issue of underwater mortgage can be avoided, as well as the negative impacts of a market crash. On the contrary, D-class properties are those positioned in areas with high rates of vacancy and criminal activities.

5. Appraise the Investment Property Annually

A routine assessment of your property is crucial for two significant reasons; first, it helps ascertain accurate property taxes, and second, it helps track value losses and gains. With this process, you can derive your property’s end-value from recent sales of similar properties within the same region, national market trends, and the amenities within the property.

6. Do some routine renovations

To safeguard the value of your investment property, you are advised to check for damages and indicators of dangers on a routine basis. Failure to address a rotting backyard deck may result in an injury on the tenants. Consequently, you may have to pay charges or get sued. That aside, the value of your property will decrease as more hazards affect the safety of the occupants.

7. Get ready for the worst

Sometimes, things don’t just go as planned. Therefore, ensure that you have a financial buffer in place. With it, you will be protected against soaring interest rates. In the case of an underwater mortgage, one of the reliable means of alleviating the amount of interest which applies to your loan is to create a line of credit. Alternatively, you can link an offset account to your loan.


Rental property investment should be treated as a business to avoid the risks and consequences of underwater mortgage, most notably considering the present volatile economy. You can mitigate the risks and unforeseeable changes in the value of properties by establishing good risk management practices and adhering to the tips listed herein.

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