UPDATED: JULY 21, 2022 | 2 MIN READ
What is Renter’s Insurance?
A renter’s insurance policy refers to a group of insurance coverages that are meant to help protect house and apartment renters in the case of unexpected events known as “covered perils”. These plans are usually three-pronged to protect your person, your belongings, and your living arrangements. These coverages are referred to as personal property, liability, and additional living expenses. Although not everything is covered, each plan can be tinkered with and tailored as necessary.
Types of Coverage
As previously stated, there are three types of coverage included in the renter’s insurance policy bundle: personal property, liability, and additional living expenses. Personal property may cover the cost to repair or replace your belongings – such as clothing, furniture, and electronics – up to the limits in your policy. The next coverage type is liability, which can pay out claims in the event that there is accidental damage to someone else’s property. Liability also may cover the medical bills of a guest if you are found to be responsible, or liable, for their injuries. In both coverage types, they usually come with a monetary limit and will not cover anything above that limit. The final coverage option is additional living expenses. This is meant to cover any additional costs you may be subjected to if your rental residence is damaged and uninhabitable. But this does not extend to cover any structural damage to your rental building. Your landlord’s homeowners insurance will take care of that.
How Renter’s Insurance Protects You
Renter’s insurance can protect both renters and landlords from exuberant fees due to natural disasters or other unpredictable situations. For renters, this insurance is a way to protect belongings and valuables while protecting their home and pockets. For landlords, this insurance means protection against liability while protecting their business and their tenants.
Unfortunately, fires can start for various reasons and can devastate homes. An insurance plan can help cover various situations where a fire wreaked havoc. Whether it be due to a faulty wire, a neighbor’s negligence, or sometimes even the actual renter’s negligence, insurance plans can offer coverage. Some plans protect even if the tenant is at fault, like in the case that they forgot to blow a candle out. Between the fire itself and the smoke, homes and everything inside can experience costly damage. Tenants can worry less about how they will replace everything if they have a policy in place.
Pipes bursting is an ever-present fear for landlords, especially during the cold winter months where freezing is a larger concern. Water damage from burst pipes, or even just a leak, can not only cause structural damage but can also damage what’s housed within a building’s walls. Luckily, there’s landlord’s insurance for structural damage and renter’s insurance to cover the renter’s personal belongings. Some plans extend coverage to items stored in the basement, but not all do, which is important to note beforehand.
Insurance policies usually offer additional coverage in the case of a natural disaster like a flood, hurricane, or earthquake. These kinds of devastating disasters can force renters out of their homes and leave their belongings exposed, leading to subsequent damage. Although your landlord’s insurance will cover damages to the property itself, this does not extend to belongings on the property or paying to replace them. This is where having renter’s insurance helps, as a policy will often cover paying to replace the losses. Both landlords and renters can breathe a little easier knowing that renters have something to rely on to help recover from the damages of a natural disaster.
Relocation due to Unlivable Conditions
In the case that any of the above stated events (fire, bursted pipes, or a natural disaster) take place, renters will most likely have to evacuate their homes. In the case that homes become uninhabitable and renters have to seek refuge in places like hotels, the insurance company will help pay for the cost of living expenses. Tenants will be covered and protected until their homes are finally restored to safe and livable conditions. So in addition to various coverages to the actual home and belongings, renters themselves are protected if not residing in their rental.
Safety and security are some essential factors to making a house feel like a comforting home, but sometimes, this feeling can be broken. In the case of a break in and theft, the insurance company will help with replacing the stolen items. This coverage also extends to situations where the home isn’t broken into but theft still occurred. As long as theft occurred and was documented, the renter’s insurance company will help replace the stolen items.
This might come as a shock to some, but renter’s insurance can extend past the home being rented. Coverage can extend to cover the tenant’s car when parked on the property. In the case that the car is broken into and items from within are taken, it will be the renter’s insurance company helping to replace the items, not the car insurance company. Although recovering from the damage done to the car will have to be taken care of by the car insurance company, renter’s insurance can aid for a more complete recovery.
Although it may seem like a similar situation to those listed above, vandalization is a problem some may have to deal with in the future. In the case that a renter’s personal property is damaged by others, whether for malicious and purposeful reasons or through coincidence, renter’s insurance can help pay for the replacement of damaged items. Coverage can include situations like if someone throws a rock through the window of the home and said rock breaks the renter’s TV. The insurance company will help not only to replace the broken window, but the TV as well.
In Case of a Lawsuit
There are various situations that can arise where a tenant can be sued. For example, a guest can get hurt and their health insurance may sue to cover the cost of the medical bills. This kind of situation will affect the renter, not the landlord, and can lead to stress due to the cost of dealing with such a situation. Luckily, renter’s insurance provides liability coverage to deal with this kind of situation. Additionally, the insurance company can even pay court fees within the limits of the renter’s policy.
Rising Insurance Premiums
Renter’s insurance clearly offers plenty of benefits to the renters, and these in turn help landlords as well. Having renters with their own insurance helps and protects the landlord’s wallet in more ways than one. Oftentimes, a landlord’s insurance premiums can go up after filing a claim. In some more extreme cases, the policy stands to not be renewed if there are too many claims on it. By having tenants protect themselves, landlords can file fewer claims, which helps protect themselves from rising insurance premiums.
Helps Secure the Lease
In some cases, landlords can require renters to have renter’s insurance before being able to sign the lease. Seeing as renter’s insurance protects both parties, it’s in everyone’s interest to have a policy in place. Landlords will have to take out their own landlords insurance to protect the property and the building itself, so it only makes sense renters protect what is inside. Requiring insurance as a part of the rental agreement also gives the landlord more control. Having an insurance plan in place can sometimes even help landlords allow pets on the property.