If you rent a home, condo, or apartment, you should have a renter’s insurance policy even if your landlord doesn’t require it. While you may think you don’t own much of value, but if a pipe burst and damaged all of your personal belongings, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to replace those right away? After all, the burst pipe wasn’t your fault. It wasn’t anyone’s fault, but the landlord’s insurance policy won’t cover replacing your items. Their policy is to cover the structure, not its contents.
Where will you live while your space is being cleaned up? Your landlord is not responsible for paying for a hotel for you during this time, but your renter’s insurance policy will take care of that.
What is covered by a renters insurance policy?
Whether you own or rent, all home insurance policies have the same two sections.
PART I: PROPERTY
Personal Property (Contents)
Your personal belongings are covered if they are stolen or damaged in a covered loss. This can include furniture, clothing, electronics, etc. If you have any high value items such as jewelry, art, camera equipment, musical instruments, or firearms, be sure you discuss scheduling these items on your policy. Most policies have sublimits for valuable items over a certain limit such as $2,500 per item for example. Scheduling items can have other benefits to you as well, such as waiving your deductible.
If your personal property is stolen as a result of a car break-in, this is where the coverage is found. Damage done to the car is covered under the auto policy, and your stolen personal belongings are covered under the home insurance policy.
Loss of Use – Additional Living Expense
This part of the policy will pay for additional costs that you incur when it is necessary to live away from your home due to damage from a covered cause of loss, such as a fire. This helps pay a hotel and other temporary living expenses while your home is being repaired.
PART II: LIABILITY
This povides defense and pays legal expenses if you, your family members, or your pets unintentionally injure someone or damage other people’s property. Typical limits available are $100,000, $300,000, and $500,000.
This covers medical payments for a guest who becomes injured in your home, regardless of fault.
Additional Coverages to Consider
Most homeowner’s insurance policies have the same basic structure as outlined above, however, there are some coverages that may need to be endorsed or added onto the policy, such as those listed here.
Do you work from home or have an in-home business?
Be sure you review the sub-limit of property coverage available on your home policy when that equipment is used for your business, and consider purchasing an in-home business insurance policy to be more adequately insured.
Do you have property in a storage unit, possibly from downsizing or having recently moved?
Your home insurance policy provides coverage for this, up to a certain limit, so you most likely don’t need to purchase additional insurance from the storage facility.
Identity Theft Coverage
Some policies have this coverage built in, and others require it be added.
If your home is damaged as the result of a flood, your home insurance policy does not cover the damage. You need a separate flood policy for this type of loss.
If your home is damaged as the result of an earthquake, your home insurance policy does not cover the damage. You need an earthquake policy for this type of loss.
Do you have kids who use social media? Check to see if this coverage is included. Cyber bullying and libel are claims that come up more now that social media is so prevalent in society.
If you have any jewelry, fine art, rugs, expensive hobby equipment, firearms, silverware or other collectables that may be high in value, you may want to consider scheduling or listing them specifically on your home or renter’s insurance policy since most policies have sublimits for these types of items. In addition to the sublimits that may be too low, scheduling the items can be a way to eliminate the deductible for those items at the time of a loss. Depending on the value of the item, an appraisal may be required.
Kristie English, M.Ed.
Principal / Agent
Will my renters insurance policy cover my roommate?
Some insurance companies might allow you to add them to your policy, but it’s best for you to each have your own separate policy. If your roommate has a claim on their renters insurance policy for items stolen as a result of a car break-in, that claim will be on your record if you share the same policy.
We're here to help you understand your insurance needs as a renter.
Call us at (833) BIG-TREE / (425) 673-7948, or use our online form to request a quote.