Rental houses might not belong to you. However, yours is still your home, and you want to feel secure there.
Carrying renters insurance can help you in case accidents occur on the property. However, if a storm damages your property, you might wonder if your renters insurance will pay for damage to the home. It's important to take a closer look at the different aspects of your renters policy, as well as your landlord's own insurance, to find out where you have protection.
Renters insurance will usually cover a variety of property damage done by severe weather. However, it will also have its limits. Always know what your policy will provide, and never assume any loss has automatic coverage.
Renters Possessions Insurance
Suppose that one day, a severe storm hits your property. When it does, it could cause significant property damage to your home. For example, hail might damage your roof. Or, perhaps, a tree on the property might fall through the home. There could be water damage to the property — and your possessions inside — in each of these instances.
Your renters insurance might be the first place to which you turn to look for assistance. Fortunately, many policies will cover the damage to possessions within the property.
For example, if a tree falls through the dining room — damaging your table, silverware, rugs and other belongings — the damage will likely be covered. This is the case because there was likely nothing you could have done to prevent the collapse of the tree. However, limits might apply to your property in various ways.
- The policy will likely have a deductible attached, which you must pay before your policy will pay you any money for your losses.
- Some policies will limit the maximum amount they will pay you for certain damaged items. For example, though you might have a damaged table, you might only receive the depreciated value of the item at the time of the damage.
- For additional coverage, you might need to add scheduled endorsements for certain high-value belongings. This coverage will extend a specific dollar value to important items like jewelry, silver or other items.
- Policies often don't cover items stored outside of your home, such as grills, patio furniture and potted plants.
To ensure you receive adequate coverage for your property, make sure you keep receipts or document the value of important belongings. You can often do so by researching these values yourself, or by having them appraised by an auctioneer or other specialist.
Furthermore, your policy likely won't pay for damage to the property itself. In these cases, you will likely need to turn to your landlord to see if they can assist you with coverage.
When Your Landlord's Insurance Can Pay You
If a tree crashes into your living room, then it's obvious that it will do damage to the house itself. However, it is not your renters insurance that will pay for the repairs. Since you don't own the home you rent, there's no reason for your renters policy to cover the structural damage. Therefore, you will need to reach out to your landlord to tell them about the property damage. They should then contact their own property insurer to determine the right course of action.
While in some limited cases, you might be able to pursue a property damage liability claim against the property owner for a tree falling on the home, there is likely nothing they could have done in an instance like this one to prevent the collapse. Therefore, they'll likely have no responsibility for your own property damage. That's why you'll need your own renters insurance for your benefit.