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When you're living in privatized military housing, your BAH covers the cost of your rent and your utilities. What it doesn't cover is renter's insurance.
But do you need it, and is it that important?
In 2015, the DoD removed the renter's insurance component of BAH, leaving many service members and their families unprotected. Since 2015, Lincoln Military Housing has continued to offer up to $10,000 in personal property contents coverage at no additional cost to your family. However, both the DoD and Lincoln Military Housing recommend that all residents purchase a proper renter's insurance policies.
While 95% of homeowners have a homeowner's insurance policy, only 41% of rents have a renter's insurance policy, according to the 2016 Insurance Information Institute poll conducted by ORC International.
Why do so many families decide against renter's insurance?
Often renters incorrectly assume their landlord's policy covers them. While Lincoln Military Housing does offer $10,000 in Personal Property Contents Coverage for our families at no additional charge. That might seem like a lot of coverage, but experts recommend you carry more coverage than that. If an unexpected catastrophic event, chances are $10,000 would not cover personal items if an unexpected incident happened or cover liability? Don't underestimate the value of your personal items. The cost to replace them can add up quickly. Just think about the value of just your clothing and electronics - it probably won't take long to reach $10,000.
Another thing to consider is the amount of liability coverage you carry. If someone is injured in your home, they can sue you. Liability coverage is typically included in standard insurance policies and protects if someone is injured in your home or if you accidentally cause injury to someone.
If you don't have renter's insurance, USAA has been a trusted partner for military personnel since 1922, and below are details of what is covered in their renter's policy, which includes liability coverage.
The USAA Renters Insurance policy provides the member coverage for their personal belongings worldwide (they can PCS with you!). The best part is they have plans for as low as $12 per month!
- Theft (limitations apply to jewelry, silverware, firearms)
- Fire and Lightning
- Windstorm or Hail
- Vandalism & Malicious Mischief; Riot and Civil Commotion
- Smoke Damage
- Collapse; Falling Objects; Explosion
- Aircraft and vehicles
- Moving and Storage – Personal belongings are covered while in transit or storage.
- Food Spoilage
- Loss of Use
- No deductible
- Replacement Cost
Military Uniform & Equipment Coverage:
For active duty and active duty reserve | Covers loss for military uniforms or personally owned military equipment such as clothing, headsets, insignia
Be sure to understand your plan and what is covered in your policy, and ask your agent about available discounts, deductibles, and coverage limits.