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More U.S. households are renting now than at any point in the last 50 years. However, only 37% of renters have renters insurance.

Common misconceptions like, "My landlord's policy will cover me" and "I don't have that much stuff or anything worth that much" may factor into the low percentage. But if something were to happen to your home, it could be financially devastating even if you're renting. Regardless of the value of your possessions, there are many other instances where renters insurance is key to helping you stay financially sound.

Take a look at the top reasons you need renters insurance. Then, give your agent a call to see what kind of coverage is best for your situation.

1. Protect your personal possessions.

If something were to happen to your apartment, your landlord's insurance policy would cover the structure, as well as all cabinets, appliances and other property that they own. However, your personal property — such as your TV, furniture or laptop — is not covered under your landlord's policy. Renters insurance can help cover costs to replace your belongings after covered events, such as a fire or robbery.

Tip: Know if your policy covers the Actual Cash Value or Replacement Cost of your belongings.

Replacement Cost covers the full amount to repair or replace the item. Actual Cash Value will reimburse you for how much the item is worth in its current condition, accounting for wear and tear over the years.

2. Create a safety net for liability costs.

It's easy to dismiss the need for liability coverage by thinking, "My guests won't sue me." But what if your dog bites a neighbor? Or you leave the oven on and cause damage to other units in the complex?

If you are negligent or at-fault for damage to your landlord, fellow tenants, guests or their property, the liability coverage in renters insurance can help cover litigation expenses and any other costs for which you are held accountable.

3. Know you can afford a temporary home away from home.

If there's a disaster that makes your apartment uninhabitable, renters insurance may cover additional living expenses tied to relocation. For instance, if you normally pay $800 in rent per month, and your temporary relocation costs total $1,000 per month, renters insurance that offers additional living expenses would cover the difference.

4. Keep your possessions covered anywhere in the world.

On vacation and your laptop gets stolen? Renters insurance covers your belongings even when they're not in your home. However, your possessions won't be covered to the extent that they would if a loss were to occur while the item is in your residence. There is often a limit on how much you can be reimbursed, so check with your agent to review the exact details of your policy.

And now that you know how important it is to have renters insurance, be sure to ask your TCU Insurance agent how you can save money when purchasing a policy. Many providers will offer a discount if you purchase your renters and auto insurance with the same company. You can get discounts for other things too, such as not having any prior losses or renting an apartment with a central station fire or burglar alarm.

(Article courtesy: Chubb)

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