When you rent a home, you might do so because you don't plan to stay in one place forever. You might eventually have to move because you got a new job elsewhere. Or, you might eventually want to upgrade from one property to another, or simply from one unit to another. The question you might have is, Can I take my renters insurance with me when I move?
On a basic level, yes, you certainly can transfer your renters insurance from one property to the next. However, you can't do so arbitrarily or without taking a few precautionary steps. Your goal, at the end of a move, is to make sure your renters insurance still applies in your new property in the critical ways it was able to in your old residence.
Renters Insurance In General
Renters insurance protects both the financial risks a renters both faces within that rental property, and the risks they pose to others. Most policies contain coverage like:
- Liability Insurance, which applies if you cause harm or property damage to other parties — such as neighbors or friends who visit the home.
- Possessions Insurance, that will pay in the event your belongings get damaged in such events as fires, vandalism, robberies, or similar occurrences.
- Living Expenses Protection to cover the costs of hotel bills, dining costs or similar expenses. Coverage will kick in if you have to temporarily vacate the rental after a damaging peril occurs.
However, what your renters policy likely does not cover is damage the home's structure itself. That's because you don't own the rental home; it belongs to the landlord. Therefore, they are the party that needs the coverage for the dwelling.
On one hand, renters insurance doesn't tether itself explicitly to a single property, as a homeowners insurance policy might. That makes it easier to take the policy with you when you move to a new home. However, you can't just pull up stakes and go to a new property without giving a second thought to your policy. Moving means taking a deliberate step to update your coverage.
Changes You Need To Make to Coverage
All rental homes have different insurance risk factors, even if you are still the same person in the new property as you were in the old one. When you move from one rental home to another, you must update your policy to reflect your current residential situation.
Keep a few of the following tips in mind when updating coverage:
- If you plan to move states, make sure your agent knows. Different insurance laws apply from state to state, so changes might have to occur with the finer points of the policy.
- Always update the address listed on the policy. If your renters insurance policy still reflects your old property, then, for all intents and purposes, it still insures the old property. If you fail to update your coverage, your new property might have no coverage at all afterward. Even if you just move one unit over in the same apartment building, you need to update the unit number.
- Ask your landlord if they require certain liability insurance limits. You'll need to update your liability coverage to offer at least this coverage. Usually, you'll have the opportunity to buy more coverage if necessary.
- Take the time to review your personal possessions coverage limits. If you haven't updated your limits in a few years, coverage might not adequately reflect the true value of your belongings.
Moving With Your Renters Insurance
Most landlords want their tenants to have coverage for rental properties from the moment their leases start. However, at times, it might mean there's an overlap of the times when your old lease ends and a new one begins. Essentially, you might need coverage in two places at once.
Often, it's best to arrange to update your policy before the actual move occurs. Call your insurer and tell them that you will be moving in the coming days. Your BluCanopy agent can tell you exactly how your policy can apply during the moving process. They can also usually start any updates to your policy at that time, so you won't leave any holes in coverage you aren't aware of.
In many cases, you do have a grace period to update your policy from one property to the next. Insurers will often cover your new property for up to 30 days from the time you move into the space. All the same, update your renters policy to the new property as soon as you can.
When you update your policy, your agent will ask for a lot of information involving the risks on the property. Such items as the location, the type of home, and various features of the property might all influence your risk. Therefore, your insurer can tell you where they need to make changes to coverage to make sure it always protects you.