July 6, 2018 • By Dennis Beaver
Returning to her apartment from a night out with friends, Chicago reader, “Joan,” opened the door and walked straight into a nightmare, discovering “The curtains were open when I left, but now were all closed. The back door was wide open. There was also the smell of marijuana, and I am not a user.”
Not taking one step further, our reader called the police. When asked by the officers to come in, “It was to a scene I will never forget. The place had been burglarized, cleaned out, my new furniture, television, music system, computer, almost everything was gone.”
Ironically, among those items which remained was a copy of Joan’s rental agreement. She faxed us a copy, phoned, and tearfully said, “I thought that management was insured for things like this, but they told me it is not their responsibility, that I should have had Renters Insurance. Is that right? You mean they are not responsible?”
The majority of young renters do not have renters insurance
If you rent a house or apartment and do not have Renters Insurance, “Then you are in the majority of tenants who lack this extremely important insurance coverage, placing your belongings at risk,” New York-based Patrick Briggs, VP of Growth for Jetty Renters Insurance told You and the Law.
“The numbers are staggering,” Briggs points out, adding, “There are close to 44 million renters in the United States and almost 60 percent of them do not have this valuable protection. Offered by several carriers, it is the best insurance bargain you’ll ever find. Yet, surveys show that 75 percent of those without renters insurance don’t realize they can get monthly coverage for as little as the cost of two movie tickets.”
If you’ve never heard of Jetty Renters Insurance, neither did we until receiving an email from this new entry into the world of insurance whose website is truly a must-read for anyone renting or who will become a renter.
And, as you will see in a moment, Jetty does much more than simply provide renters insurance.
Why is renters insurance so important?
As Briggs explained, “Your reader discovered a harsh reality; landlords have insurance that covers damage to the actual structure, not the things that you own. So, the only way to protect your belongings in case of fire, theft, or certain other types of damage, is to have renters insurance.”
Just like homeowners insurance, “Renters insurance provides liability coverage for damage caused by you doing something which accidentally harms others.
• Accidentally causing a fire
• Your tub overflows, flooding the downstairs of the apartment building;
• Someone trips on your throw rug, lands in the hospital and you are sued. Renters insurance would cover the costs of defending the suit and paying damages.
If it’s such a good deal, why are tenants skipping this coverage?
In 2016 the Insurance Institute of America found, “Across the United States, 95 percent of homeowners have homeowners insurance but among renters, only 41 percent say they have renters insurance.”
Briggs notes that “Studies show that homeowners understand the risks involved in home ownership – of someone getting hurt, theft or damage to the property. But renters often don’t consider the scope of risk they face when renting an apartment. It’s almost as if they assume that nothing bad could ever happen.”
Is cost a factor in not having the coverage?
“Typical coverage costs less than $10 a month. When you consider what it offers, it is an amazing bargain. So, for $120 a year, you protect yourself from potential financial ruin,” he stressed.
The Jetty Deposit – Relief from all security deposits
For readers who need a money tree to come up with a security deposit and first month’s rent, a fairly new product is on the market–Security Deposit Replacement–offered by several companies and which makes renting so much easier.
The folks at Jetty call it the Jetty Deposit, and, as Briggs explained, “Let’s you keep most of the money that would normally go to a traditional security deposit.”
With the Jetty product, a tenant agrees to pay a flat percentage of the required deposit, and a surety bond is put in place between Jetty, the landlord, and tenant to cover the amount of the full deposit.
“This makes it easier to move into a new apartment by reducing costs, but if the tenant damages the rental unit we will still seek repayment from the responsible party,” Briggs explained.
We at You and the Law recommend spending time on Jetty.com. The website is entertaining, maintains your interest, explaining not only the Jetty products but answering many questions about how Renters Insurance works.
Dennis Beaver practices law in Bakersfield and enjoys hearing from his readers. Contact Dennis Beaver.