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NEWS | Dec. 5, 2017

Why Renter’s Insurance?

By SrA Katie Cooper JB Charleston Legal Office

In 2015, the Department of Defense announced a major change affecting Basic Allowance for Housing. The Fiscal Year 2015 National Defense Authorization Act eliminated renter’s insurance as a component of BAH.


Although the change was announced in 2015, some privatized housing communities, including those at Joint Base Charleston, continued to provide full renter’s insurance (including personal property coverage) to target tenants. That coverage will be provided through January 31, 2018, at which time coverage will end. Any future changes to renter’s insurance coverage will be in accordance with the resident lease.

The following link ( details how the U.S. Navy implemented the change.


Renter’s insurance is an insurance policy purchased by tenants to insure the contents of their rental units.

Prices for renter’s insurance varies based on the individual policy, the amount insured and the provider’s business. However, it is generally inexpensive and highly recommended. The average policy in South Carolina costs approximately $15.00 a month for $10,000 of personal property and $100,000 of liability coverage. Just like those residing off base, members who elect to live on base will need to get their own renter’s insurance or decide to live with the risk of loss to their personal property in the event of theft, fire or other event or natural disaster

Some important things to consider when choosing a policy are: how much coverage you need (based on the estimated value of your personal property, to include home furnishings, jewelry, clothing, etc.), what exactly does the policy cover and who does the policy cover. 

While renter’s insurance is not mandatory, it can provide peace of mind for a relatively low cost.