You Need Renters Insurance When Living In The Barracks

Renters insurance is a critical piece of insurance coverage that every renter needs to have. It is cheap and easy to obtain. But, many young members of the military do not think about having renters insurance while they live in the barracks. Even if you are single and the federal government provides you with a free place to live and food from the dining facility, you still need to purchase renters insurance to cover your personal property and possessions.

The Military Does Not Cover Personal Property

Like many large corporations, the military is self-insured against losses. If a government building burns down, the United States military has enough capital reserve to simply rebuild it at a later date. This of course is not the same thing for a Soldier, Sailor, Airman, or Marine.

It would devastate most members of the military to lose everything in a fire. Like renting from a landlord, the military’s good graces and insurance policies only cover the building’s structure. It does not cover any of your personal possessions inside the building. So, if there is a fire, tornado, or other natural disaster which destroys the building and its contents, your personal property will not be covered unless you have renters insurance. This goes for those living in any kind of military housing, including on or off base housing, the barracks or dorms, or transitional housing such as billeting.

renters insurance military barracks

You need renters insurance, even in the military barracks.

Theft Rates Are High In The Barracks

Like living in a college dorm room, the likelihood of being the victim of theft in the barracks is higher than you would experience simply if you were living in an apartment. There is also a higher chance of theft in the barracks than if you owned your own home. There are far too many instances whether theft can occur such as roommates you barely know, doors that are all too often left unlocked or open, field exercises where thieves know your away, and the list goes on and on. You need renters insurance to cover your possessions.

Renters Insurance Covers You While You Move

Many members of the military do not realize that renters insurance also protects your possessions while you are en route to your next duty assignment. Should you have a theft or a fire while traveling, you will be covered with renters insurance. You may think that you do not need renters insurance because you can file a claim against the moving company, but renters insurance will also help you fill in the gaps that the moving company manages to wiggle out of paying. Inevitably, your claim for damage will not cover all of your losses, and renters insurance can help fill in the gap.

The beauty of renters insurance is that it is one of the cheapest types of property insurance available. For as little as $20 or less, you can have insurance that covers tens of thousands of dollars worth of your property in the barracks. It is a very small price to pay for a lot of peace of mind. Do not get caught with the incorrect assumption that you do not need renters insurance while living on post in the barracks. That may be a time where you need it more than ever, and you do not want to be caught short without it.

Get a Free Renter’s Insurance Quote at USAA.

Photo By: Lance Cpl. Andrew D. Thorburn

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Date published: November 13, 2012. Last updated: March 17, 2015.

Article by

Hank Coleman is a Major in the U.S. Army and a writer who focuses on personal finance, investing, and retirement. Hank holds a Master’s Degree in Finance and is currently studying to take the Certified Financial Planner exam. He runs the site Money Q&A and his writing has been featured on sites such as The Motley Fool,, and many others. You can follow him on Twitter at @HankColeman.

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