Why Military Members Should Get Renters Insurance

Posted by Lauren Schneider on Tuesday, December 14th, 2021 at 7:43am.

Why Military Members Need Renters InsuranceIf you're a military member living in on-base housing, it may seem like you don't need renters' insurance. Since a PCS could arise so suddenly, it might feel like there's no sense in adding another monthly fee to your budget. Regardless of whether you choose to rent or buy as a military member, insurance is vital for everyone, including military members. Renters' insurance protects military members if personal belongings are damaged in a natural disaster, they're the victims of theft, or if they experience other property damaging accidents. Keep reading to learn why military members need renters' insurance.

For informational purposes only. Always consult with an attorney, tax, or financial advisor before proceeding with any real estate transaction.

Who Pays for Damaged Property?

Mortgage companies force homeowners to carry insurance, but it's not always required for renters. Therefore, some service members conclude it's unnecessary. That's not the case.

If a home and its belongings are damaged or stolen, the landlord is covered by their insurance, but it doesn't cover the renter. The military doesn't need insurance on government housing because it has the resources to pay for losses as they occur. Neither landlord nor government will completely replace a resident's personal belongings.

From the entertainment center to the jewelry box to the underwear drawer, even a two-bedroom home can have $20,000 or more of possessions. Renters insurance costs as little as $12 to $20 a month. It's worth having.

What Does Renters Insurance Cover?

Renters insurance for military members covers loss of belongings and more.

  • Off-base rental housing. If a renter's house burns down, rental insurance will pay to replace everything from the TV to the toothbrush up to the coverage limit.
  • Government housing. In some cases, the military will replace some possessions, but the value of the resident's belongings often exceeds the government coverage limit.
  • Barracks. Unfortunately, on-base housing isn't immune to theft. Military renters' insurance replaces personal belongings if stolen in the barracks.
  • Moving. Most renters' policies cover a person during a move. If goods are damaged while being shipped, or if somebody swipes a bag containing a camera and laptop from the airport luggage conveyor, the insurer may honor a claim.
  • Liability. If a visitor slips in the kitchen and suffers an injury from home safety hazards, the renter may be liable for medical bills. If a small appliance stays plugged in when it shouldn't be and starts a fire, the renter might be accountable for damage to the building. Most insurance companies will cover these situations up to the policy limits. They might even pay legal fees.
  • Other. Many policies cover additional miscellaneous losses. For example, if something is stolen from a car. When goods are damaged in a storage unit, hundreds of dollars worth of meat spoil in a freezer even when the power goes out.

How To Choose Renters Insurance

As with anything a person buys, not all policies are equal, and some are better deals than others. It pays to shop for multiple quotes.

There are different levels of coverage when it comes to military members' renters' insurance. Some policies are "cash value," which means they will pay whatever the items are worth now. Others are "replacement value," and they'll pay the total cost of buying new at current prices. Suppose there's one item that's worth more than the standard coverage limit, such as an expensive piece of jewelry or a valuable musical instrument. In that case, companies offer a "floater" specifically for that item.

An excellent place to find renters insurance for base housing is with the service member's auto insurance company. Most companies extend a discount to customers who "bundle" and hold multiple policies with them. Also, many insurers offer a military discount.

Those who plan to remain in uniform for a while should look for a policy without territorial limits. These offer coverage almost anywhere in the world.

Small Payments Guard Against Big Consequences

Recovering from a loss is no fun. There's paperwork to deal with, replacement items to buy, and the unpleasant stress of recuperating. However, if there's insurance, the burden becomes much more manageable. From military home inspections to renters' insurance, military members should always take full precautions to protect their assets.

For informational purposes only. Always consult with an attorney, tax, or financial advisor before proceeding with any real estate transaction.

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