The Importance of Renters Insurance

Published JANUARY 23, 2015

Earlier this month, Huntsville Fire and Rescue responded to more than a dozen structure fires in a two-week period.

Many of the victims of those fires didn’t have renter’s insurance.

“Honestly, most folks forget it about,” said Bo Cochran.

Cochran has worked in insurance for nearly a decade and currently owns Bo Cochran Agency, LLC in Huntsville.

He said some landlords in the Huntsville area require proof of renters insurance before signing a lease, but many don’t.

“The cost is pretty minimal, alone by itself, you’re looking at maybe twenty dollars a month for the coverage.”

Many people may still need to budget for it, but the monthly cost of renters insurance is still a far cheaper price tag than replacing everything you own.

He also added that most insurance companies will provide discounts if you choose to bundle your renter’s insurance with your auto coverage.

Though Alabama has an alarmingly high rate of fire fatalities, including seven already in 2015, fires aren’t the only threat.

Cochran said renter’s insurance proved to be invaluable after the tornadoes in April 2011.

It did more than just cover damaged belongings. When the power went for a week, he said renters with coverage were able to recover the money lost from damage to food in their refrigerators.

Renter’s insurance won’t protect you from disaster, but it will provide a major boost to help those affected bounce back.

“Most people will say ‘I don’t have enough stuff to insure it’ and I hear that more than anything,” said Cochran. “Truthfully people don’t realize how much it costs to replace all their stuff.”

He also said many may not even realize that they need to have renters insurance.

If you are living with a friend, who owns a home, unless the owner adds you to his or her policy, you need to get your own coverage.

“If you don’t own the home, you need a policy to cover your stuff,” he said.

Cochran also pointed out that students away at college, even in other states, can add renter’s insurance to their parents’ auto policy.

Regardless of your situation or your budget, every renter should at least call an insurance agent and learn about their options.

Cochran said in the wake of the string of fires to start his year, his office received an influx of call asking about renter’s insurance.

“They see the news and they see all the devastation, especially here, now it’s local, now it’s close to home.”