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One more monthly bill could save renters plenty

By Brittany Weiner
Published On: Sep 04 2012 09:15:53 PM CDT

Renting a house or apartment can be expensive -- in some areas of the country the average rent is now $1,700 a month. Due to the high prices, many renters have been steering away from extra costs, including renters insurance.NewsChannel 21's Brittany Weiner explains why the extra expense could save you thousands in the long run.

BEND, Ore. -

Renting a house or apartment can be expensive -- in some areas of the country the average rent is now $1,700 a month. Due to the high prices, many renters have been steering away from extra costs, including renters insurance.

"I'm a single mom with kids, and I'm definitely trying to cut my costs down," said Renee Thach, who has been renting a home in Redmond for almost five years. "Renters insurance just didn’t seem like it was a economical decision at the time."

Two years ago, Thach rental experience turned into a nightmare after a problem with her water pipes ended up damaging her rental home, and costing her hundreds.

"Water was coming in through my kitchen, through my garage, because my bathroom sits above those two areas," said Thach. "I have water damage in the bathroom, the garage and the kitchen."

Thach did not have renters insurance, like many renters across the country. She will now have to replace all of the damage in her rental home with her own money.

"It's one of those things that everyone thinks they should have but just don't want to pay for," said Cascade Insurance Center Manager Tim Bangert.

The average cost of renters insurance is between $120 to $200 a year, depending on the amount of liability and personal property coverage. Insurance agents say it's a small price to pay for a sense of security.

"One thing I tell clients is, to cover your phone, like an iPhone through your cellular company, it's $10 a month. Well, you can cover all the stuff in your house for $10 a month," said Bangert.

Bangert said once you have insurance, you should take pictures or videos around the apartment or home you are renting, in case there is a theft or fire. He said you should also make note of all the serial numbers on expensive items in your home.

If you do take a video, it is recommended that you narrate it with brands of items and when you bought them. You should keep any videos or pictures you take of your home at a family or friend's house, or in a safety deposit box.

Like any insurance, make sure you shop around before you choose an insurance plan.

Bangert said bundling renters insurance with your car insurance is usually the best option, because you will get a discount on most monthly payments.

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