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Chicago is home to thousands and thousands of renters. But many of them don’t carry renters insurance. Renters insurance helps protect you and your belongings should a peril hit your apartment or rental space. Without renters insurance, you will be on the line for damages and replacement costs should anything happen within your space. To protect your financial status, renters insurance providers you with valuable coverage. Coverage is crucial for renters living in a city like Chicago, as the urban area can be unpredictable in the worst ways.

What is Renters Insurance?

Renters insurance, also sometimes referred to as tenant insurance, is an insurance policy that offers coverage for the personal belongings in your apartment, condo, or home after an unexpected event like theft, a fire, or vandalism. Renters insurance will pay to help replace or repair your personal property. It also comes with liability coverage meaning that if someone is injured in your apartment or you damage someone else’s belongings, your policy will help cover expenses.

Do You Need Renters Insurance in Chicago?

Legally, no, renters insurance is not required. There is no law on the books in the city of Chicago regarding renters carrying renters insurance. However, that does not mean it isn’t a very valuable piece of coverage to have, especially when renting in Chicago. Renters insurance can help protect your belongings should anything happen within your apartment or rental home. Living in Chicago can be a hectic experience, but renters insurance coverage is your best bet at easing those overwhelming times. This is very important coverage to consider for your home when you rent in Chicago.

Can Chicago Landlords Require Renters Insurance?

Yes. In Chicago, landlords can require renters to purchase renters insurance prior to moving into their building. This is mainly because while landlords have landlord insurance, it only provides coverage for the structure of the building. Everything inside the rented space can only be covered by renters insurance, which each tenant should have. Combining renters insurance and landlords insurance helps to protect the building fully. Whether you will need renters insurance or not in Chicago should be outlined by either your landlord or in the rental’s lease. If you are unsure, contact your landlord to make sure you fully understand what is expected of you as a tenant. Even if your landlord does not require renters insurance, it is still best to consider purchasing a policy.

What Does Your Renters Insurance Policy Cover?

Renters insurance offers protection to you and your assets after an unexpected peril strikes your apartment, home, or condo. While you may not always be able to prevent tragedies while living in Chicago, you can make some effort to protect yourself and your personal property. Renters insurance does this in a big way by providing coverage for the following:

  • Personal property – If your personal property is damaged after an event like a fire or vandalism, renters insurance will help pay to replace your items. This can include coverage for clothing, furniture, and electronics. Be mindful of your coverage limits when it comes to expensive personal belongings.
  • Liability coverage – The liability coverage portion of your renters’ insurance policy will pay for damages you accidentally cause to someone else’s belongings. Liability coverage also pays for medical expenses should someone get injured in your apartment.
  • Additional living expenses (ALE) – This part of your renters’ policy pays for expenses you acquire after being displaced. It reimburses you for costs of things like hotel stays and buying food.

How Much Insurance Coverage Should Renters Have?

When you are shopping for a renters insurance policy, you may have the option of how much coverage you would like. Typically, your options will be between $25,000 and $50,000 for personal property coverage limits, but some renters insurance providers may offer higher or even unlimited coverage. Since renters insurance heavily centers on the protection of the contents of your rental, it’s best to take inventory of all your belongings to estimate how much coverage you need. You should note the value of your items, including how much they cost at the time of purchase and what they may be going for now. Once the cost and value are calculated, you need to decide what kind of policy you would like. You will generally have the option between an actual cash value policy and replacement cost coverage. The difference between each insurance policy is how much they will pay in the event of a claim. The actual cash value policy pays out based on the depreciation of your belongings, while a replacement cost policy will pay the value of items.

When it comes to renters insurance, you should also consider how much liability coverage you would need should something happen in your apartment or if you cause damage elsewhere. The average liability coverage offered through renters insurance is $100,000, but many insurance providers will let you extend this coverage. To determine how much liability coverage you require, calculate your assets, including income and savings. Liability coverage is meant to help protect your financial standing if you must pay out after an accident or are sued. Without the proper coverage and policy, you leave your personal assets at risk.

How Much Does Chicago Renters Insurance Cost?

Renters insurance is fairly cheap coverage. This is largely because it focuses on protecting your personal belongings, not the structure of your rental home. In Chicago, the average cost for renters insurance is around $200 per year. However, renters insurance premiums are personalized, meaning what you actually pay for coverage in Chicago can easily be higher or lower than the average. Insurance companies will consider factors like how much renters insurance coverage you need and where you live in Chicago. Naturally, having fewer belongings will lead to you needing less coverage. That will lower your coverage costs. Living in an area with somewhat lower crime rates can also help your policy rates, but this can be tricky to achieve in a city like Chicago. To get a good idea of what you will be paying for coverage in Chicago, we recommend shopping around for a policy and getting quotes from a wide variety of renters’ insurance providers. Look at both local Illinois insurance providers and national companies. Taking time to research renters insurance companies will help you analyze policies and compare coverage rates in Chicago.

Renters Insurance Discounts in Chicago

While renters insurance is one of the cheapest insurance policies on the market, it still can be pricey for renters in Chicago trying to budget. Plus, no one ever wants to spend more than they have to, especially when it comes to insurance coverage. Luckily, there are some renters insurance discounts available for renters in Chicago.

  • Bundling discount – If you already have car insurance, see if your insurance provider offers renters insurance. By purchasing multiple policies from one insurer, they will often give you a break on your rates.
  • Safety discounts – Installing security features like alarms can give you a break on your renters’ insurance premiums. Security systems help deter thieves, which makes your apartment safer and leads to fewer insurance claims.
  • Claims-free discount – Staying claims-free can get you some discount on your renters’ insurance premiums. As a thank you for not making an insurance claim, your provider may reward you with a discount of up to 20%, depending on their discount policy.