First Hand Experience: The Importance Of Rental Insurance

I originally published this post in the early days of the blog before any real traffic. My in-laws have recently been dealing with a very similar insurance issue of their own so I decided to re-publish in hopes of educating (more) people about the potential hazards of not having rental insurance. Please don’t get caught without it!

Before the Hubs and I bought our house we had a sweet little one bedroom apartment we called home for two years. Quickly growing out of it and longing for a ‘space of our own’ we bought our current home but not before making good use of our rental insurance.

Hot Water Heating

Hubby came home for lunch one day only to grab something for work. I was at work and not to be home for a few hours. While he was walking down our hallway he noticed the floor outside our neighbors door was wet…so was the floor in front of ours…water was pouring out from under our door. Hubby’s first thought was that he’d left a tap on, but when he opened the door he was greeted with a face full of steam, we had a hot water pipe break in the bedroom, underneath the exterior window.

The water had most likely been pouring out for hours. There was thousands of dollars worth of damage both to the apartment itself and our possessions. I am so thankful we had rental insurance. A quick phone call to our insurance company brought an adjuster to assess the damage.

Did I mention it was 2 weeks before Christmas? Yeah, it was great fun.

Dealing With The Mess

Our apartment was unlivable. They had to tear out walls, floors and dehumidify the place for days.

Most of the damage was in the bedroom where the pipe was located. Almost everything was ruined. The bed, all our bedding, TV, furniture, clothing and storage under bed all had water damage and black silt all over it. Thankfully our landlords were very accommodating and put us in another (furnished) unit while stuff was getting sorted out.

Upon inspection, the welder said that the pipe broke due to a weak solder joint where the pipe had bent around a corner. The landlords seemed to agree and nothing else was ever said to us.

We were back in our apartment two days before Christmas, sleeping in our new bed! It was nice.

The Threats 

The threats didn’t start until after the holiday season.

The landlords approached us on behalf of the property owners sometime in January looking for damages.

Ummm WTF?! Damages?!

Apparently, the property owners decided it was our fault the pipe broke because, apparently, we left the window open (in -10 degree Celsius weather) and, apparently, we didn’t turn the heat on enough to move the water properly through the pipes?! Ummm, Yeah. Ok.

They were after us for over $3000.00 in damages to pay for the flooring and dehumidification of the apartment (which, by the way was run out of our unit so was therefore added to our power bill).

We said NO. It wasn’t our fault your pipe was a piece of crap and broke when we weren’t home, had a window open? Or didn’t turn the heat on?!

They didn’t care. The property management called us personally and told us ”Your credit rating will be affected if you don’t pay us because we will have to SUE you, and court settlements ruin your credit rating”. I’m not kidding. I’m thankful we had even half a brain to realize these are empty threats and completely untrue.

Had we ended up in court, given our financial situation at the time, we would of had to look at financing options like an online loan site to help us while going through the legal process. Thankfully we didn’t end up down that road though!

Lesson Learned

The point of my story is that a week before the flood happened I suggested to hubby we cancel our rental insurance and save the $18.00/month. I am so thankful my husband said no.

Our insurance reimbursed us for everything and then some (gave us monetary replacement value for stuff we considered to be crap). More than that, they dealt with the property management company after we called them to tell them about the threats we had received. Truthfully I don’t know what the end result ever was. We moved in August of the same year and although they kept our damage deposit (for ‘damages’, and after saying we were getting it back) I didn’t ask what ever came about with the situation. I wanted to remove myself as much as I could and let the big boys deal with it.

The $360.00 we spent in renters insurance over the 20 months we lived there was probably the best $360.00 we’ve ever spent. It paid for itself 10x over in terms of item replacement and a million times over for dealing with the a-hole management company.

Moral of the story: Get rental insurance if you don’t already have it, it could be some of the best invested money ever spent should you require it.

Have you ever made a claim on rental insurance?

Enjoy Plunged in Debt?

Pid

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Comments

  1. Rental insurance is a must have! I bet when the property management company and the owner of your apartment realized that you had insurance they decided to have your insurance pay for damages instead of their insurance company. Nasty of them, but good thing you didn’t fall for their threats and handed it over to the insurance company. We are currently renting a house and we have a million dollars in liability damage should we cause any problems. I think it is standard in rental insurance so you might have had it as well in your policy. It is hard to keep up with all the stuff that is in insurance policies.

    On the bright side, you got all new stuff. That is cool!!

    • mrsplungedindebt says:

      It’s true, they totally took advantage of the insurance aspect. The insurance company even said that. They said that claims under 5k they always try and get something for (over 5k is court settlement I guess). It makes me mad because a lot of people would have just given the money not knowing any better! I hate when people try and take advantage of others.

  2. I am totally with you! Rental insurance is so important. I actually know two people who didn’t get insurance for their rental, and one person’s place flooded (several thousand dollars in damages), and another person’s burned down!

    • mrsplungedindebt says:

      Scary stuff! It’s so cheap too! I don’t know what I was thinking when suggested we give it up, one of the dumbest things to come out of my mouth. Most places around here require it before they will rent to you.

  3. By reading this post… i got that rental insurance is very important…. i got quality knowledge form this … i like this post… 🙂

  4. I had a rental house I was living in get broken into twice in 15 days. First time my policy was not in effect and the second time it was. I lost about $10K worth of stuff (I had no idea I had that much stuff!). My roomates did not have an insurance at all. The good news for them was we sued our landlord in small claims court and won because he more or less refused to let us nail the door shut that had been broken into and didn’t fix the problem in a reasonable time frame (the lease said he had to fix dangerous living condition incidents within 48 hours). My favorite part was when the landlord tried to say our friend’s stole our stuff because we liked to throw parties…. The judge pretty much call the landlord a slumlord.

    • Oh I forgot to mention I had paid a grand total of $20 in premiums and they didn’t even flinch at cutting me that check nor did they raise my rates when I moved into a new house.

    • Catherine says:

      That is insane!! Glad you were able to get a court settlement.

  5. I agree, rental insurance is a must! When we rented we were able to get it for about $10 per month. In the grand scheme of things that really is not that much and can really help out if you need to make a claim. So glad you still had your coverage.
    John S @ Frugal Rules recently posted..Taking the Plunge: How to Build a Client Base For Your Small BusinessMy Profile

  6. Rental insurance is soooo inexpensive. I cannot think of one good reason not to buy it!
    Holly@ClubThrifty recently posted..8 (Surprisingly) Cheap and Beautiful Travel DestinationsMy Profile

  7. I never used to have renter’s insurance because I didn’t really even know about it. Obviously we don’t it in our home, but I think it is a must have and wish I would have done it when I was in college. You never know when you might need it and it is cheap.
    Grayson @ Debt Roundup recently posted..Straight Talk Review Update – Not Truly UnlimitedMy Profile

    • Catherine says:

      A lot of places around here, especially around the universities mandate that you have it before signing a lease.

  8. Wow, that’s nut. We never had to deal with a landlord like that. It’s tough on the landlord too. That’s a lot of damages, but they should have had good equipment to begin with.
    Midlife Finance recently posted..Ten Ways To Get Cash….FAST!My Profile

  9. In 2006 we were renting the upstairs of a bungalow and the house was hit by lightening. The result was that it fried basically every electronic item that was plugged in at the time … tvs, my computer, air conditioner, DVD, satellite receivers, cordless phones, etc. etc … My tenant’s insurance policy paid to replace everything! I was glad we decided to get it.

  10. I’m glad everything worked out okay in the end and your insurance company dealt with the property owners. I hate it when people try to take advantage of others. Thankfully, it didn’t work in your case! I know some people boo-hoo renter’s insurance, but it can be a lifesaver when needed. More and more apartments seem to require renter’s insurance before they’ll lease an apartment.
    Shannon @ The Heavy Purse recently posted..Meet Shannon Ryan: Financial Literacy AdvocateMy Profile

  11. I can’t believe they went after you guys, expecting you to pay for something that was their fault!! People are so ridiculous…

    Renter’s insurance is definitely a must!
    Mackenzie recently posted..Link Love: Hello March Edition!My Profile

  12. ziggypiggy says:

    If you live in a condo or apartment and have a locker, make sure that your policy covers any belongings that are stored in there. You would be surprised at how many people in condos think that the corporation’s insurance covers the personal stuff that is stored in the lockers.

  13. Yikes, what a crazy story! I’m glad you didn’t have to pay those people any money.

    I was just talking to my BF about upping my homeowners insurance and him taking out a renters policy now that we’re living together. I can’t imagine the amount of money it would cost to replace all the stuff in our place!!
    The Happy Homeowner recently posted..Increased Productivity = More Money in My PocketMy Profile

  14. Strangely, I never thought we needed renters insurance until I had a medical issue and had a bad experience with my health insurance (I was in grad school at the time). It made me realize if I had a rental emergency and didn’t have insurance I’d go broke trying to replace all my stuff. I’m not sure why or how I connected the two, but once I did I signed up for the insurance right away. I never had to use it thankfully, but just knowing I had it made me feel better.
    KK @ Student Debt Survivor recently posted..I’m Dating a Financial Stud!My Profile

  15. That was really lucky your husband said no, imagine how poor you would have been coming up to Christmas – yikes!
    Glen @ Monster Piggy Bank recently posted..Forex Currency Trading Basics For Beginners – Part 1My Profile

  16. I have renter’s insurance because the area where I live, most of the apartment or condo rentals require it. But it’s cheap and if anything like that happens to us, it’ll be a life saver. Thanks for the reminder how it is not just an expense, but it really has a great value in it in case of emergency like yours.
    Michelle’s Finance Journal recently posted..Progress ReportMy Profile

  17. I just moved out of an apartment into my new home. The apartment that I rented required a renters policy, I’m not sure if there are apartments where I live that would let you rent without it.
    Paul @ The Frugal Toad recently posted..Budgeting Tips: How to Stop Spending Money on Things You Don’t NeedMy Profile

  18. I’m glad you reposted this article. I wish all renters knew to get this insurance. How awful that the owners tried to put the onus on you. It sounds like they didn’t have insurance!
    Kay Lynn recently posted..Do You Know the Facts About Gum Disease?My Profile

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  1. […] at no cost because their bed had a 10 year warranty. Hubby and I have had some issues with our (very-expensive-paid-for-by-insurance-post-flood-bed) but I figured we’ve had it for almost 3 years we’d have to wait and save money for a […]

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First Hand Experience: The Importance Of Rental Insurance

I originally published this post in the early days of the blog before any real traffic. My in-laws have recently been dealing with a very similar insurance issue of their own so I decided to re-publish in hopes of educating (more) people about the potential hazards of not having rental insurance. Please don’t get caught without it!

Before the Hubs and I bought our house we had a sweet little one bedroom apartment we called home for two years. Quickly growing out of it and longing for a ‘space of our own’ we bought our current home but not before making good use of our rental insurance.

Hot Water Heating

Hubby came home for lunch one day only to grab something for work. I was at work and not to be home for a few hours. While he was walking down our hallway he noticed the floor outside our neighbors door was wet…so was the floor in front of ours…water was pouring out from under our door. Hubby’s first thought was that he’d left a tap on, but when he opened the door he was greeted with a face full of steam, we had a hot water pipe break in the bedroom, underneath the exterior window.

The water had most likely been pouring out for hours. There was thousands of dollars worth of damage both to the apartment itself and our possessions. I am so thankful we had rental insurance. A quick phone call to our insurance company brought an adjuster to assess the damage.

Did I mention it was 2 weeks before Christmas? Yeah, it was great fun.

Dealing With The Mess

Our apartment was unlivable. They had to tear out walls, floors and dehumidify the place for days.

Most of the damage was in the bedroom where the pipe was located. Almost everything was ruined. The bed, all our bedding, TV, furniture, clothing and storage under bed all had water damage and black silt all over it. Thankfully our landlords were very accommodating and put us in another (furnished) unit while stuff was getting sorted out.

Upon inspection, the welder said that the pipe broke due to a weak solder joint where the pipe had bent around a corner. The landlords seemed to agree and nothing else was ever said to us.

We were back in our apartment two days before Christmas, sleeping in our new bed! It was nice.

The Threats 

The threats didn’t start until after the holiday season.

The landlords approached us on behalf of the property owners sometime in January looking for damages.

Ummm WTF?! Damages?!

Apparently, the property owners decided it was our fault the pipe broke because, apparently, we left the window open (in -10 degree Celsius weather) and, apparently, we didn’t turn the heat on enough to move the water properly through the pipes?! Ummm, Yeah. Ok.

They were after us for over $3000.00 in damages to pay for the flooring and dehumidification of the apartment (which, by the way was run out of our unit so was therefore added to our power bill).

We said NO. It wasn’t our fault your pipe was a piece of crap and broke when we weren’t home, had a window open? Or didn’t turn the heat on?!

They didn’t care. The property management called us personally and told us ”Your credit rating will be affected if you don’t pay us because we will have to SUE you, and court settlements ruin your credit rating”. I’m not kidding. I’m thankful we had even half a brain to realize these are empty threats and completely untrue.

Had we ended up in court, given our financial situation at the time, we would of had to look at financing options like an online loan site to help us while going through the legal process. Thankfully we didn’t end up down that road though!

Lesson Learned

The point of my story is that a week before the flood happened I suggested to hubby we cancel our rental insurance and save the $18.00/month. I am so thankful my husband said no.

Our insurance reimbursed us for everything and then some (gave us monetary replacement value for stuff we considered to be crap). More than that, they dealt with the property management company after we called them to tell them about the threats we had received. Truthfully I don’t know what the end result ever was. We moved in August of the same year and although they kept our damage deposit (for ‘damages’, and after saying we were getting it back) I didn’t ask what ever came about with the situation. I wanted to remove myself as much as I could and let the big boys deal with it.

The $360.00 we spent in renters insurance over the 20 months we lived there was probably the best $360.00 we’ve ever spent. It paid for itself 10x over in terms of item replacement and a million times over for dealing with the a-hole management company.

Moral of the story: Get rental insurance if you don’t already have it, it could be some of the best invested money ever spent should you require it.

Have you ever made a claim on rental insurance?

Enjoy Plunged in Debt?

Pid

Subscribe to get our latest content by email.

Powered by ConvertKit

  1. Rental insurance is a must have! I bet when the property management company and the owner of your apartment realized that you had insurance they decided to have your insurance pay for damages instead of their insurance company. Nasty of them, but good thing you didn’t fall for their threats and handed it over to the insurance company. We are currently renting a house and we have a million dollars in liability damage should we cause any problems. I think it is standard in rental insurance so you might have had it as well in your policy. It is hard to keep up with all the stuff that is in insurance policies.

    On the bright side, you got all new stuff. That is cool!!

    1. mrsplungedindebt says:

      It’s true, they totally took advantage of the insurance aspect. The insurance company even said that. They said that claims under 5k they always try and get something for (over 5k is court settlement I guess). It makes me mad because a lot of people would have just given the money not knowing any better! I hate when people try and take advantage of others.

  2. I am totally with you! Rental insurance is so important. I actually know two people who didn’t get insurance for their rental, and one person’s place flooded (several thousand dollars in damages), and another person’s burned down!

    1. mrsplungedindebt says:

      Scary stuff! It’s so cheap too! I don’t know what I was thinking when suggested we give it up, one of the dumbest things to come out of my mouth. Most places around here require it before they will rent to you.

  3. Linda says:

    By reading this post… i got that rental insurance is very important…. i got quality knowledge form this … i like this post… 🙂

    1. Catherine says:

      Good! It is so important!!

  4. Brian says:

    I had a rental house I was living in get broken into twice in 15 days. First time my policy was not in effect and the second time it was. I lost about $10K worth of stuff (I had no idea I had that much stuff!). My roomates did not have an insurance at all. The good news for them was we sued our landlord in small claims court and won because he more or less refused to let us nail the door shut that had been broken into and didn’t fix the problem in a reasonable time frame (the lease said he had to fix dangerous living condition incidents within 48 hours). My favorite part was when the landlord tried to say our friend’s stole our stuff because we liked to throw parties…. The judge pretty much call the landlord a slumlord.

    1. Brian says:

      Oh I forgot to mention I had paid a grand total of $20 in premiums and they didn’t even flinch at cutting me that check nor did they raise my rates when I moved into a new house.

    2. Catherine says:

      That is insane!! Glad you were able to get a court settlement.

  5. I agree, rental insurance is a must! When we rented we were able to get it for about $10 per month. In the grand scheme of things that really is not that much and can really help out if you need to make a claim. So glad you still had your coverage.
    John S @ Frugal Rules recently posted..Taking the Plunge: How to Build a Client Base For Your Small BusinessMy Profile

    1. Catherine says:

      Me too! I can’t believe I suggested cancelling it…

  6. Rental insurance is soooo inexpensive. I cannot think of one good reason not to buy it!
    Holly@ClubThrifty recently posted..8 (Surprisingly) Cheap and Beautiful Travel DestinationsMy Profile

    1. Catherine says:

      Totally agree! I don’t know of anyone paying more than $20/month.

  7. I never used to have renter’s insurance because I didn’t really even know about it. Obviously we don’t it in our home, but I think it is a must have and wish I would have done it when I was in college. You never know when you might need it and it is cheap.
    Grayson @ Debt Roundup recently posted..Straight Talk Review Update – Not Truly UnlimitedMy Profile

    1. Catherine says:

      A lot of places around here, especially around the universities mandate that you have it before signing a lease.

  8. Wow, that’s nut. We never had to deal with a landlord like that. It’s tough on the landlord too. That’s a lot of damages, but they should have had good equipment to begin with.
    Midlife Finance recently posted..Ten Ways To Get Cash….FAST!My Profile

  9. Dayle says:

    In 2006 we were renting the upstairs of a bungalow and the house was hit by lightening. The result was that it fried basically every electronic item that was plugged in at the time … tvs, my computer, air conditioner, DVD, satellite receivers, cordless phones, etc. etc … My tenant’s insurance policy paid to replace everything! I was glad we decided to get it.

    1. Catherine says:

      That would be terrifying! Were you home?

  10. I’m glad everything worked out okay in the end and your insurance company dealt with the property owners. I hate it when people try to take advantage of others. Thankfully, it didn’t work in your case! I know some people boo-hoo renter’s insurance, but it can be a lifesaver when needed. More and more apartments seem to require renter’s insurance before they’ll lease an apartment.
    Shannon @ The Heavy Purse recently posted..Meet Shannon Ryan: Financial Literacy AdvocateMy Profile

  11. Mackenzie says:

    I can’t believe they went after you guys, expecting you to pay for something that was their fault!! People are so ridiculous…

    Renter’s insurance is definitely a must!
    Mackenzie recently posted..Link Love: Hello March Edition!My Profile

    1. Catherine says:

      haha I know!

  12. ziggypiggy says:

    If you live in a condo or apartment and have a locker, make sure that your policy covers any belongings that are stored in there. You would be surprised at how many people in condos think that the corporation’s insurance covers the personal stuff that is stored in the lockers.

  13. Yikes, what a crazy story! I’m glad you didn’t have to pay those people any money.

    I was just talking to my BF about upping my homeowners insurance and him taking out a renters policy now that we’re living together. I can’t imagine the amount of money it would cost to replace all the stuff in our place!!
    The Happy Homeowner recently posted..Increased Productivity = More Money in My PocketMy Profile

  14. Strangely, I never thought we needed renters insurance until I had a medical issue and had a bad experience with my health insurance (I was in grad school at the time). It made me realize if I had a rental emergency and didn’t have insurance I’d go broke trying to replace all my stuff. I’m not sure why or how I connected the two, but once I did I signed up for the insurance right away. I never had to use it thankfully, but just knowing I had it made me feel better.
    KK @ Student Debt Survivor recently posted..I’m Dating a Financial Stud!My Profile

  15. That was really lucky your husband said no, imagine how poor you would have been coming up to Christmas – yikes!
    Glen @ Monster Piggy Bank recently posted..Forex Currency Trading Basics For Beginners – Part 1My Profile

  16. I have renter’s insurance because the area where I live, most of the apartment or condo rentals require it. But it’s cheap and if anything like that happens to us, it’ll be a life saver. Thanks for the reminder how it is not just an expense, but it really has a great value in it in case of emergency like yours.
    Michelle’s Finance Journal recently posted..Progress ReportMy Profile

  17. I just moved out of an apartment into my new home. The apartment that I rented required a renters policy, I’m not sure if there are apartments where I live that would let you rent without it.
    Paul @ The Frugal Toad recently posted..Budgeting Tips: How to Stop Spending Money on Things You Don’t NeedMy Profile

  18. Kay Lynn says:

    I’m glad you reposted this article. I wish all renters knew to get this insurance. How awful that the owners tried to put the onus on you. It sounds like they didn’t have insurance!
    Kay Lynn recently posted..Do You Know the Facts About Gum Disease?My Profile

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