If it’s not required by the landlord, many renters choose to forgo renters insurance assuming that they don’t have much of worth and they don’t need one more bill each month. However, renters experience apartment theft 50% more than homeowners, according to an apartments.com national survey. Here are some common do’s and don’ts when it comes to renters insurance to keep all renters on the right track:

Renters InsuranceDo Protect Yourself.

Regardless of the area of town you rent in or the floor you live on, a simple security system can go a long way in protecting yourself while renting. Security systems can be purchased at all home improvement stores and are easy to install. They come in a variety of styles, systems and packages, but they will all go the extra mile to divert crimes against you. Many of these security systems can be uninstalled very easily so you can take them from place to place with you, without having to repurchase security each time you move. If the cost of a security system is too much, invest in inexpensive timers for floor lamps and apartment lighting so your lamps and lights will automatically turn on and off when you’re not home, creating the illusion that someone is there.

Do Read Your Lease.

It is important to read and understand your lease. Understand what is required of you and what can be expected of your landlord. This may indicate whether you’re required to purchase renter’s insurance. If you are required, be sure you understand what clauses must be included in the policy. If you read something you do not agree with, try to reach a compromise with your landlord. If changes are made, get them in writing.

Do Make Friends.

If possible, get to know the people that live around you. Your apartment is much less likely to get vandalized if you’re friends with those in your building. Camaraderie among tenants creates a better sense of community. On the other hand, you have no control over who you live by, so consider visiting the tenants in nearby apartments before you move in, and be sure your policy covers your property even if the damage was instigated by another tenant.

Don’t Overlook the Inspection.

Be sure you have the property fully inspected before moving in. Have a professional inspector come to look for any potential damages or issues with the property. Have your landlord sign off on any preexisting damages so that if something happens, you (and your insurance company) will not be held liable.

Don’t Ignore Squeeks.

While each property comes with its own unique sounds, don’t ignore seemingly common damages like a jammed door, plumbing issues, or sprinkler repairs. Especially problems that involve water can mean big damages. Report all quirks or questions to your landlord as soon as possible. To protect yourself adequately, you need to take care of all problems immediately, before the small problems turn into big problems.

Don’t Go Without:

Get a Policy. Regardless of whether it’s required, get a renter’s insurance policy. Be sure the policy covers you adequately; don’t just get the cheapest plan available. Many renters think they can do without renters insurance to save money, but if an emergency arises and you aren’t covered, you will be losing money, a lot of money. Renters insurance typically covers furniture, appliances, televisions and clothing from damaged due to fire, smoke or water damage. However, tenants should also be sure that their policy provides coverage for vandalism, malicious mischief and falling objects. The policy should also include personal liability, to protect yourself from being held liable if anyone is hurt in or around your apartment.