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Comedian George Carlin once did a skit about "stuff" -- we all have stuff. Some of us have more stuff than others. But we all need a place for our stuff. Even young people who stash all their stuff into tiny dorm rooms have lots of stuff. And this stuff would cost a lot to replace. That's where renter's insurance comes in.

Renter's insurance policies cover loss of property at the renter's apartment or house in cases of fire, theft and water-pipe breaks, among other events.

They may also cover living expenses if you need to move out temporarily if your place becomes unlivable. Most also provide protection against liability if a friend or worker is hurt inside your residence.

Typically, renter's insurance provides up to $20,000 worth of coverage, after you pay a $500 deductible. That means you pay $500 to replace things before your insurance kicks in.

So, does renter's insurance make sense for you? Let's say you have only about $2,000 worth of belongings. It may not make sense to spend (for example) $150 on insurance each year. If your property is harmed, you'll be out $650 before the insurance begins to pay.

Make sure any policy reimburses you the replacement cost of the damaged property, not its current value. Most things, such as laptop computers, lose value so quickly that the replacement cost is the only way to go.