There's a lot to consider when it comes to finding a place to rent. The location, the building itself, the tenants, the amenities and staff are all important aspects to consider when apartment hunting. When you do find the perfect place, it's important to consider renters insurance. But how far does renters insurance actually go in covering you?
If you miss a payment or multiple payments on your rent, renters insurance won't cover you. If your landlord decides to sue you for missing payments, those legal costs will have to come out of pocket. Your renters insurance may cover you for other claims from your landlord, however.
If the claim falls within the scope of your policy, your renters insurance will cover you — even if it's your landlord suiting you. Renters insurance often covers claims concerning:
- Bodily Injury. This coverage steps in if you hurt someone else on the rented property.
- Property Damage. This coverage steps in if you damage someone else's property. This may not include property damage you cause to the rented property.
- Pet Bodily Injury. If your pet injures someone, pet bodily injury liability steps in.
- Pet Property Damage. This coverage can be tricky. Pet property damage refers to the damage your pet does to another tenant's property. It usually does not cover property damage your pet causes to the apartment or its amenities.
Renters insurance also protects your personal belongings from certain incidents — such as fire, theft and vandalism. It doesn’t cover your car, either — though it may help cover items stolen from your car if those items were listed on the policy. While items in storage may also be covered under renters insurance, renters insurance policies don't typically cover flood or earthquake damage. Speak with a BluCanopy agent about adding additional coverage if your area has frequent floods.
What To Do If You're Behind On Rent
Keep in mind that just because you're behind on rent doesn't mean a landlord will automatically sue you. Most landlords are open to discussing the issue. Nor will landlords evict you for only missing one payment. In general, eviction notices occur if you miss two or more months of rent. If you know you're falling behind or about to fall behind, there are measures you can take to try and prevent eviction.
- Converse honestly with your landlord. Landlords are more likely to give you leeway if you're open and honest about why you're falling behind on payments. You may be able to negotiate paying partial rent or delaying the rent payment. If you make a deal, make sure to get it in writing. This way you have proof if the landlord decides to turn around and try to sue you for not paying on time.
- Adjust your budget and cut expenses. Renting a place, even a one-bedroom apartment, can be expensive. There are other expenses you must worry about, too — such gasoline, food or college tuition. Scour your budget for any small adjustments that can be made. Small changes can amount to large savings.
- Seek financial help. There are different programs and plans in place for people who are struggling financially. Some credit companies have hardship programs while other organizations offer grants and assistance.
The most important thing is to be open and honest. If you have a mostly clear record of paying bills and rent on time, your landlord likely won't even bat an eye if you're late on rent one month — so long as you give them plenty of notice. The earlier you discuss the issue with your landlord, the better.