A warm climate, plenty of recreational opportunities and no state income tax make Las Vegas an attractive retirement destination for many fleeing colder climates and searching for more affordable housing. According to Zillow’s online market trends comparison tool, housing is cheaper in Nevada than in neighboring California.
Additionally, the number of foreclosures in recent years have reduced rental prices, according to some real estate experts. The average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Vegas runs just $886 per month, according to rentbits.com. That’s in contrast to the average two-bedroom rental in another retirement hot spot, Miami, which is up to $1,796 a month on rentbits.com.
Clearly, there are many reasons why Las Vegas is a hot destination for retirees. But if you’ve chosen to rent here in retirement, you may be doing so for the first time in decades.
“Many Baby Boomers who turn to renting have accumulated belongings and valuables they’ll want to protect. Renters insurance can be a smart option for retirees who want the peace of mind that comes with personal property coverage,” says Misty Chadwick, an Allstate agent in Las Vegas.
Here are some things about renters insurance to consider as you plan your retirement.
Coverage for Your Personal Property
Even if you sell your home and think, “I don’t need homeowners’ insurance anymore,” you should consider that, in the event of a fire or natural disaster, your landlord’s insurance policy would only cover the cost of the structural damage to your rental property, not your belongings. Renters insurance can help protect your possessions.
You may have lived in a home with a burglar alarm or a gated community in the past; perhaps you even had a large dog that helped to protect your property. When living in a rental home, however, you should be aware of your neighbors in the building and the guests they’ll bring into the complex.
If you purchase renters insurance, don’t forget to check your policy’s personal property coverage limits. Like many homeowners insurance policies, a renters insurance policy typically limits the coverage amount on certain categories of property, or even individual items. For example, your policy may limit coverage for a single piece of jewelry, like a watch, to $1,000, and there are typically minimum, standard coverage limits for the jewelry category overall.
With a rental policy, you can add on something called Scheduled Personal Property coverage to increase your limits and better protect more valuable pieces.
Though you may have downsized, you’ll likely still want to entertain friends and family in your apartment. You may invite your golf buddies for cocktails, host a bridge game, or have a scrapbooking session with a hobby group. However, if a guest is injured in your home or your golf ball breaks a window, you may want the protection of liability coverage that’s typically found in a renters insurance policy. Again, review the limits of your liability coverage carefully; higher limits may be available usually at an additional cost. You may even be eligible to purchase an umbrella policy, which provides broad coverage and higher limits for unique liability exposures like boats and all-terrain vehicles.
Additional Living Expenses Add Up Fast
Many retirees enjoy the idea of renting because it doesn’t come with many of the responsibilities of home ownership. If something breaks, all you have to do is call a landlord. But consider this: If your rental unit became unlivable due to a fire or water damage, where would you live? A renters insurance policy typically provides additional living expenses that may help you until your place is ready to move back into.
The Insurance Information Institute reminds us that fewer than 50 percent of renters purchase this important coverage, yet rental policies cost only a few dollars per month. As you plan your Vegas retirement, housing and recreation opportunities abound. If you decide to rent, don’t forget to add renters insurance to your to-do list.
Allstate Agent Misty Chadwick is based in Las Vegas. Address: 2620 Regatta Drive, Ste. 122, Las Vegas, NV 89128. Phone: (702) 451-4409