Say you start a load of laundry and leave to eat dinner with friends. You come back about two hours later to find the floors covered in water and the baseboards damaged from water and soap. You have renters insurance, but does it cover this?
In general, your renters insurance will cover water damage. Renters insurance covers water damage due to burst pipes, accidental overflows and leaky ceilings. It may also cover damage from rain. It doesn't cover all water damages, though. Examples of what a renters insurance won't cover include:
- Flood damage
- Intentional damage
- Damage due to neglect
To guarantee that your renters insurance has the highest protection against water damage, ask your BluCanopy agent about water backup coverage. This is an endorsement that often comes with a renters insurance policy and provides compensation for items lost or damaged due to sewers, drains or sumps backing up or overflowing.
You can typically add a flood endorsement or purchase a separate flood insurance policy. This is recommended for renters in areas that are at high-risk for floods. Keep in mind that an insurance company will consider the circumstances of the damages before deciding to approve or deny a claim. If the incident occurs due to negligence (such as running a sink until it overflows), it's likely your claim will be denied.
Does Renters Insurance Cover Personal Belongings?
Renters insurance does cover damage or loss done to items due to covered incidents, including water damage. Other incidents covered under a renters insurance policy include fire, theft, vandalism and smoke.
Is The Landlord Responsible For Water Damage?
There are times where the landlord may be held responsible for water damage. Leaks and bursting pipes are the landlord's responsibility, and damage due to these incidents should be compensated by the landlord (or the landlord's insurance.) Keep in mind that you should do what you can to minimize the damage and move your items away from the affected area. The landlord is responsible for the building itself and any incidents not caused by the tenants.
There are other instances where another tenant may cause harm or damage. Say your washing machine breaks and leaks through the floor and causes damage to the unit below. You may be held liable for those damages, which is why it's important to have personal liability as part of your renters insurance. Liability insurance provides compensation if you cause accidental bodily injury or property damage. This may also include pet liability, which steps in if your pet causes bodily injury or property damage. Another coverage is loss of use coverage, also known as additional living expenses. This coverage helps pay for temporary living expenses if you must move somewhere else while the rented property is being repaired or rebuilt.
How Much Does It Cost to Repair Water Damage?
This depends on a few factors, such as the extent of the damage and if items are being repaired. On average, it costs between $1,145 and $4,433 to fix water damage without insurance. With particular items, this varies depending on the value of the item. A computer, for example, could cost $60 or more to repair — if it can be repaired at all. Replacing an electronic due to water damage is more likely and much more expensive.
If a pipe bursts or an accident occurs in your unit, move items away from the area, try to contain the flooding and notify your landlord immediately. Consider your location's unique risks (such as the risks for floods and storms) when searching for an insurance policy. Your landlord's insurance may not cover your items from flood damage.