You leave your car unsupervised for a few minutes and return to find your suitcases and vacation gear stolen. You come home to find your apartment full of water from a burst pipe. Your friends come over for a football party and one of them trips and breaks an ankle. These scenarios could be financially devastating—without renters insurance. If you’re one of the nearly 42 percent of Americans who rent rather than own, you need renters insurance. Here are five things that might surprise you about it.

1. It’s surprisingly affordable.

Renters insurance is much cheaper than homeowners insurance. That’s because you’re insuring the cost of the stuff inside the building, not the building itself. A renters policy that protects against theft, fire and other disasters can cost between $150 and $300 a year—or about $12–$25 per month. You may be able to save even more by bundling renters insurance with existing policies, such as your car insurance.

2. It covers your belongings no matter where they are.

Debating whether to keep renting or a buy your next home? Ask yourself these questions first.

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Many policies don’t limit protection to home-based situations, so your things are covered from loss due to theft whether it happens at your home, in your car or while you travel. So, if someone swipes your new smartphone from your bag at the gym, you’re covered. Or, if you drive out of town for the holidays and someone breaks into your car and steals all the presents, you can be reimbursed for the loss. Auto insurance covers bodily injury and often protects the car itself, but renters insurance can cover valuables inside the car.

3. It can cover medical payments if someone is injured at your place.

If your friends get together for game night and one of them slips on a slick floor and injures their back, relax. Your renters insurance includes liability coverage, which likely will cover any medical payments if you’re held responsible.

4. You’re covered if your furry friends get out of hand.

If your beloved Boston terrier bites your neighbor or your skittish cat scratches your niece, the liability coverage in renters insurance will likely cover the cost of the injured person’s medical bills, if you’re held responsible. Do keep in mind that pet breeds considered to be aggressive may not be covered or may require a higher premium.

5. Your landlord’s insurance policy doesn’t cover your belongings.

Their policies typically cover structural damage to the building and the grounds—but not your belongings. Renters insurance is the only way to protect your property.

Are You Covered?

See how renters insurance through AAA can protect your belongings from life’s surprises.

Insurance underwritten by one of the following companies: Auto Club Insurance Association, MemberSelect Insurance Company, Auto Club Group Insurance Company, Auto Club Property-Casualty Insurance Company, Auto Club South Insurance Company, Auto Club Insurance Company of Florida, or non-affiliated insurance companies.