Why gay renters need renters insurance?
Despite legal protections, LGBTQ folks still face myriad risks in housing. One way to mitigate risks is with the right protections. Here’s why all gay renters need renters insurance, and here’s the easiest way to get it.
LGBTQ renter’s rights / LGBTQ renter’s discrimination
Most landlords simply want you to pay your rent in full and on time and to treat the place you’re renting from them as your own.
Some landlords are jerks.
Those latter landlords want to be all up in your business as if they’re the morality police. For this reason, an article on gay renters would be incomplete if we didn’t address this concern.
As of September 2021, only 28 states and the District of Columbia prohibit housing discrimination based on one’s sexual orientation and/or gender identity. And, in all reality, housing discrimination against LGBTQ people in those 28 states and DC likely still happen. Discrimination in these locations is just more elusive.
For LGBTQ folks who live or are moving to one of those other 28 states, we’ll need to do our homework to find out if there are any localized protections for LGBTQ renters. Many of the more metropolitan cities offer, at least, some protections. The more rural areas typically don’t. Many of the state, city and local laws change frequently, so we need to do our homework quite regularly.
If you’re living in or moving to a state, city or local area that offers LGBTQ housing protections and are clearly discriminated against, you can pursue legal recourse – contact an attorney. If you live in a state, city or local area that doesn’t offer LGBTQ housing protections, there’s not much you can do.
If you’re currently renting in a state, city or local area that doesn’t offer LGBTQ housing protections and your lease doesn’t expressly prohibit LGBTQ people and/or anti-sodomy or fornication clauses and you haven’t violated another clause in your lease, your landlord can’t just break your lease. If you’re currently renting month-to-month in a state, city or local area that doesn’t offer LGBTQ housing protections, you’re at the greatest risk. Your landlord can break your tenancy at any time without reason but with due notice, which is 30 days in most states. Month-to-month rentals offer flexibility but also have risks, as many renters learned during the pandemic and weren’t covered by the eviction moratorium.
The Fair and Equal Housing Act that would provide broad housing protections, including mortgage and housing assistance, for LGBTQ people in all 50 states was introduced to the House of Representatives in June 2021. It hasn’t yet been reintroduced in the Senate. Call your state representative and Sentator(s) to expedite this.
Now, back to treating your rental like it’s your own, you’d have all the insurance coverage you’d need on your own house or condo. But many renters make the mistake that they don’t need similar protections when they’re renting because they assume everything’s the landlord’s responsibility.
It’s not, and here’s why.
Why we’re calling attention to gay renters?
Renters insurance is one of those adulting things we know we should get, but it’s so adulty it gets put on the back burner (behind our homemade potpourri and sangria). Fifty-one percent of LGBTQ people are renters, according to the most recent Freddie Mac survey in 2018. That’s compared to and considerably higher than the nearly 36% of non-LGBTQ people who rent.
There could be many reasons for this disparity. Many of us rent because we don’t want the responsibility of owning a home, but that doesn’t mean we have no responsibilities. Many of us rent because we can’t yet afford to own a home, and not being adequately protected could prevent us from ever being able to afford a home.
Only between 41% and 45% of renters have renters insurance while upwards of 85% to 90% of homeowners have homeowner’s insurance. Your financial security, your financial protection, as a gay renter matters as much as any homeowner.
If you’re a gay renter and wondering if you need renters insurance, the answer is “yes!” For our dreams and our security, here’s why all gay renters need renters insurance and we recommend getting your renters insurance here at Lemonade.
6 reasons queer or gay renters need renter’s insurance
You could be forgiven for thinking that your landlord or property management company’s insurance coverage covers your personal property. But to be clear, they don’t.
Your landlord is responsible for insuring the structure of the property, meaning from the paint and into the walls, including the pipes, skeleton, roof and foundation. Everything from the paint out is your responsibility – basically, everything that’ll go in your U-Haul when you move.
1. Buying renter’s insurance is more affordable than you think
We totally get that you don’t want to assume more expenses than you (think you) need, and that renters insurance can seem silly because renting a home versus owning a home is just . . . well . . . different.
And you may be thinking that your furniture and other belongings just aren’t worth paying insurance for, at least not as nice as when you own your dream home.
But here’s the thing, renters insurance is surprisingly cheap – especially considering what all it protects you from (which we’ll get to below).
Renters insurance starts as low as $5 a month. That’s one less cuppa over-priced Joe a month.
The average cost of renters insurance, according to a 2020 NerdWallet study, is $15 a month or $180 a year. That’s less than the price of Netflix Premium, and we’re all wondering right now why we still have Netflix.
Put another way, it’s likely that you’re paying way more on subscription services than you think. According to a Louisiana Federal Credit Union study, most Americans are off by 197% or $158.26 a month. That means if you trim the fat and get an appropriate amount of renter’s insurance, you’d likely still come out ahead.
2. It covers the loss of your personal property (at home and away)
Whether you think your personal property’s worth protecting or not, do you really want to have to replace all your things at one time? Whether your personal property’s valuable or not, combined replacing everything will be expensive.
Needing to protect your things from damage caused by aircraft seems unthinkable now, but that’s also what folks in Broomfield Colorado thought until February 2021. Getting protection from riots and other civil unrest may seem ridiculous, but that’s what many people from Portland to Miami and Minneapolis to Nashville all thought until Summer 2020.
More likely scenarios for needing renters insurance are fire, theft, smoke, vandalism, ice, snow, wind and hail and more.
To be clear, standard renters coverage is different based on geographic regions. An additional rider or additional riders may be required if you live in a flood plain or hurricane alley, for example.
Finding out what coverage you need based on where you live and how much that coverage will cost you is easy to calculate when you click this link here for Lemonade.
3. Your renter’s insurance protects your fur babies
You love Fido. We love Fido. All-in-all, Fido’s the best, but they can get a little jumpy once in a while. That’s another time when your renters insurance will help you.
If Fido the dog happens to nip someone out of excitement or Luna the kitty gets a little too excited by that ball of string and scratches a guest, your renter’s insurance can kick in and cover your friend’s medical costs and any potential liability.
What’s more, your renters insurance covers you, Fido and Luna when you’re not under your roof. So, like, when you’re at the dog park.
4. It has both liability and medical coverage
The affordability of renters insurance and protection of your fur babies aside, the downstream savings of renters insurance are incalculable. This is the pièce de resistance for having renters insurance.
It covers possible court judgments and legal expenses if someone is injured while they’re in your home or someone else under the policy happens to accidentally injure someone who’s in your home. Plus, medical expenses, typically up to about $5,000, incurred by the person injured in your home will also be covered.
If the person injured under your roof happens to sue you for negligence, first, why did you let them in your home, second, this is when your liability coverage will kick in. Personal liability coverage typically goes up to about $100,000.
5. Renter’s insurance may cover excess living expenses
Ever wonder where all those people who lose their homes in tornados or fires sleep the night after their accident? Well, they possibly sleep at a friend or family member’s house.
But if that’s not possible, they go to a hotel or someplace similar and any expenses over what they’d normally pay should be – could be – covered by renters insurance. This is covered by what’s called “loss of use,” and loss of use can sometimes even cover your grocery budget, or any additional costs associated with your commute if the hotel you get is further from your job than your home.
Loss of use is a type of insurance that kicks in to cover temporary living expenses when your home is (hopefully) temporarily uninhabitable.
6. Renter’s insurance covers your personal property all. the. time.
Renters insurance covers personal property even when you or your personal property’s not at home.
So, say someone swipes your laptop when you quickly run to the bathroom while you’re working at the coffee shop (you’re mobile and millennial), your renters insurance may help replace your laptop though not what you saved on your hard drive. For that, use the cloud.
Renters insurance does typically have what’s called an ‘Electronics Limit of Liability’ that caps the coverage of portable electronics (phones, tablets, laptops) up to $1,500. Because Lemonade gets that it’s 2021 and we all always have our phones and laptops on our person, they let you increase your portable electronic coverage up to $6,000.
Either way, double-check your personal property coverage to make sure you have enough coverage.
Likewise, you can get insurance coverage for anything valuable to you. Confirm what your renters insurance covers, then get any additional coverage you need to cover the things you love.
3 reasons why gay renters who should get renter’s insurance don’t
So, you’ve read this amazing article on renters insurance for gay renters and you’re wondering, “Why the hell isn’t every gay renter buying renters insurance?” That’s a logical question after reading such a well-written and smartly researched article.
Here are the three most basic reasons gay renters and otherwise don’t get renters insurance and the intelligent reasons why they should.
1. They don’t think their stuff is worth anything
So many of us think “oh, that old thing,” with most of our stuff, but our stuff is worth bucks even if we’ve had it for a while. It likely won’t happen, but if you have a flood in your building caused by busted water pipes and all your belongings washed away, how would you replace all that?
We once lived on the 12th floor of a high-rise in Denver Colorado and returned from a beach vacation after the pipes that fed the rooftop pool busted and flooded only the stack of units in which we lived. It sucked. Things were ruined, but we could pay to replace our lost items because of insurance.
At the very least, your things are worth money to you and that’s worth something.
2. They don’t know how much their stuff is worth
Don’t know how much your stuff is worth and think it’s too hard to calculate? Think again. Here are three simple steps you can take this afternoon to solve this equation:
- Set your phone to ‘Video’ and walk around your whole apartment and record all your things. All. Your. Things.
- On a Google Doc, list all the items you see in your video and note any details you can. So, Column A = My Stuff, Column B = Est. Cost of My Stuff and Column C = Stuff about My Stuff. For high-end items and electronics, note the make and model on your Google Doc.
- Total Column B, add 10% and that’s potentially how much renter’s insurance coverage you should consider getting.
Note that there are “sub-limits” on renters insurance, meaning that there are caps on expensive items with basic renters insurance. Don’t fret if either you or your stuff isn’t basic. In this case, you’ll need to “schedule” your items the same as you do when you schedule a driver to take you to In-N-Out.
Same as above, price these ‘spensive items and get enough “extra coverage” to have enough renters insurance to provide all the coverage you need on all the things that make you extra.
3. They don’t think they need renter’s insurance
Are you renting a house, condo, apartment, tiny home, trailer, cardboard box or any space anywhere to keep your stuff and rest your head? Then, you need renters insurance.
These are just six of the best reasons to get renters insurance and the three basic reasons why gay renters don’t get renters insurance. Don’t be basic. There are zero reasons to not get renters insurance.
To get specs on how much coverage you need and what it’ll cost you, visit our friends at Lemonade here for a free quote.