As the pandemic drags into its seventh month, you may be growing real tired of your surroundings. Working from home is officially not fun anymore. You’re agitated, and probably asking yourself, “Why am I even paying for renters insurance? It’s not like I’m going anywhere, so I’m not at risk of coming back at 5 p.m. and finding my apartment in ruins a la the Baudelaire kids from A Series of Unfortunate Events.”



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© Jade Schulz for Money
DS61_Rent_Insurance

Unfortunately, experts say, that’s not how renters insurance works.

“Everyone’s typical schedule has been thrown for a lurch, but renters insurance doesn’t really change based on whether you’re having guests over or are out on the town,” according to Yael Wissner-Levy, VP of communications at Lemonade.

What gives?

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Wissner-Levy says both homeowners and renters insurance are contracts that cover your property and belongings in case of disaster. Theft, fire, vandalism — basically, if you have nightmares about it, they’ll reimburse you for it.

The major difference between renters and homeowners insurance is that the latter includes the structure of your house. The former, meanwhile, mainly involves personal property: your air conditioning unit, your TV, your laptop, et cetera.

“If you flipped your apartment upside down, everything that would fall out is considered your contents, and therefore your responsibility,” Wissner-Levy says.

Like with health care, insurance companies typically make customers pay a deductible before their benefits kick in. They may also have you choose a limit, so you should have a general idea of the total value of your belongings before you apply for insurance, according to Mike Gulla, the director of underwriting at Hippo. The firm may only pay up to $2,000 or $5,000, for example, in the event that everything is destroyed. (Policies can also cover liability,