Household thefts are never fun experiences. If this occurs in a rental home, then not only the tenant, but also the property owner might face damage. If your personal items get damaged or vandalized, then your renters insurance might help you pay. However, damage to the property is often the responsibility of the property owner. Here's how the two parties can divide up responsibilities in the event property damage occurs.
Theft Occurrences In Rental Homes
A rental property is as safe as a home you own. However, it is also as vulnerable to break-ins as most other properties. So, if a thief enters the home and both steals items and damages the property left behind, then you stand to lose out. Your renters insurance might provide a couple of incentives to help you pick up the pieces.
- Possessions Insurance helps you pay to repair damaged belongings and replace stolen ones. Should the thief maliciously slice your furniture, then coverage might help you pay to repair or replace the damaged items. The coverage will likely compensate you for the cash value of the items minus any deductible. Keep in mind, cash value is not the full value of a brand-new item.
- Loss Of Use Insurance helps in severe cases when you must leave the home until repairs can occur. The policy might cover a portion of the extra living expenses you incur because you cannot stay at home.
- However, sometimes, the landlord might blame the property damage on you. For example, if you host a party in the home, and one of your guests damages or takes something that belongs to the landlord, then the landlord might blame you. If they do, then your Property Damage Liability Insurance might cover the cost of the damage. It applies to third-party losses for which the tenant is at fault. Because you invited the guest that caused the damage, then the accident might be deemed your fault.
Property damage to which your renters insurance won't apply is damage to the owner's belongings. So, for example, if the thief breaks glass, kicks in doors or causes other significant damage, then the property owner's own policy will apply for the damage.
When Renters Insurance Won't Cover You
There are cases where a renters policy won't cover property damage from theft or vandalism.
- If the cost of possessions damage falls below the cost of your deductible for coverage, then your policy might not pay. For instance, suppose that your possessions sustain $500 in damage. However, you have a $750 deductible on your policy. Because the deductible cost was higher than the cost of the damage, your policy won’t pay. Damage above that $750 mark will have coverage, however.
- Damage to certain belongings - such as jewelry or collectibles - might have no coverage. To get this coverage, you might have to buy a separate high-value endorsement for your policy.
- Consider a situation where a disgruntled ex, who previously lived with you, breaks in and does damage. If this person was still insured by the renters policy, even though you no longer are together, then your policy won't pay. Therefore, it's important for you to always keep the information on your policy up to date.
If you can prove that the property owner's negligence led to the break-in (such as if they installed faulty door locks) then you might be able to sue them for the damage. They often carry liability insurance on their property policy for cases like these. However, just because you attempt to file against someone else's liability insurance, that doesn't mean you can't use your own renters policy for the initial property damage claim.