Renters Insurance Coverage 101: What You Need to Know

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While landlord insurance coverage covers damage resulting from perils like hail, wind, or fire, it only covers the cost of fixing the rental unit and replacing any property that belongs to the landlord, such as the furniture in a furnished apartment. In other words, the policy typically excludes the tenant’s personal possessions as well as personal liability.

Suppose a sewer backs up in your apartment, damaging the floor and your personal items like furniture. If your landlord’s insurance has sewage backup coverage, the policy will cover the costs of repairing the floor. However, it won’t cover the cost of replacing your personal items like furniture.

Why You Need More Than Your Landlord’s Insurance

Landlord insurance coverage is designed to protect the property owner and their property. The policy also provides liability coverage to the landlord. However, the landlord’s policy doesn’t protect the tenant’s personal property or cover the renters’ personal liability. Therefore, as a renter, you need to carry a separate policy- renters insurance.

If you don’t carry a renter’s policy, you’ll need to pay for damage to your property as well as liabilities out of pocket. Your landlord’s policy won’t protect you.

Renters Insurance Has Three Main Components:

  • Property Damage Coverage: The main feature of a renter’s policy is coverage that protects your personal property from common perils. Personal property comprises almost every item you own and store inside or outside your rental house. Usually, the covered perils include electrical and plumbing malfunctions, vandalism, theft, certain weather-related damage, and other risks. The most common risks that are not covered include earthquakes and floods.
  • Personal Liability: Helps pay for legal and other associated costs emanating from personal injuries and property damage resulting from your unintentional actions. For instance, if a visitor is injured after slipping on your wet floor, they can sue you for their medical expenses. You may also face a lawsuit if, say, your dog bites a visitor. If they are unable to work for a while, they can sue you to pay for their expenses. If you carry personal liability coverage, you may have to pay for legal expenses as well as awards and settlements. On average, dog bite claims cost about $50,000.
  • Additional Living Expenses: If the rented apartment becomes unliveable, your renter’s policy will cover the increased living expenses. ALE kicks in only if your house becomes unliveable due to a covered peril.

If your apartment burns down, the cost of living in a hotel can be high, especially if you live in an expensive area. Besides, eating out can increase your expenses even further. If you have a renter’s policy, it will cover these costs up to your policy’s limits. If you reside in an expensive area, you should consider increasing the limits of your additional living expenses coverage.

Is Renters Insurance Affordable?

Yes, renter’s insurance is quite affordable. However, your rates will hinge on where you live, your coverage limits, your claims history, and more. Speak to your insurance agent to get a quote. Even if you’ve just gotten your place, you should consider purchasing renter’s insurance coverage. You may think that you don’t have much value, but you probably own more stuff than you can comfortably replace in case of fire damage or burglary.

Renter’s insurance is an easy-to-obtain and affordable insurance policy that protects your property and covers your personal liabilities. Contact us, at Hoffman Brown Company, for a renter’s insurance policy that suits your needs.