While you live in a rental home, you have to pay rent, take care of the space and make sure that you leave it in good condition for the next person. At the same time, you have to protect yourself in that space. One of the best ways to protect yourself and others on the property is to have renters insurance.
What's Renters Insurance?
Homes, even rental properties, have insurable interests. You might not own the house, and you therefore don’t need the full homeowner’s policy someone else might. but you still own the possessions inside. You still pose liability risks to others by living in the space. If damaging accidents occur in the home, then you might face personal challenges that you can’t easily afford to fix.
Your landlord is usually not responsible for replacing your damaged belongings, or for paying for damage that is your fault. Renters insurance can provide you with a financial settlement that can alleviate your own cost burdens after accidents in the home.
In essence, if you rent a home, you must have this coverage. From Millennials to retirees, families and more, anyone can benefit from the protection that renters insurance can provide.
What Does My Renters Insurance Cover?
A true HO-4 Renters Insurance policy will offer a few standard types of protection:
Liability coverage applies to cases where the policyholder (you) causes harm to a third party. If you are at-fault for someone else’s bodily injuries or property damage, liability insurance can help cover that party’s losses. Coverage can also provide you with legal assistance in the event of a lawsuit.
HO-4 policies typically cover your personally-owned items, like furniture, clothing or electronics damaged by a variety of accidents, including:
- Fire & smoke damage
- Wind, hail & lightning
- Falling objects
- Riots & civil commotions
- Damage by vehicles & aircrafts
- Volcanic eruption
- Weight of ice, snow & sleet
- Water damage from utilities
- Electrical surges
- Vandalism & malicious mischief
As long as a covered peril damaged the items, almost any possession can receive contents coverage.
Living Expenses Coverage
Sometimes, damaging accidents might make the home temporarily unlivable. While the home undergoes repairs, this coverage can pay for expenses like your hotel or dining bills.
What About Coverage For The Home’s Structure?
Sometimes, HO-4 property damage liability insurance will pay for damage you cause to the rental property itself. So, if damage in the home is your fault, this coverage can help you pay for the repairs.
However, if the structural damage was not your fault, then it is not your responsibility to pay for. Rather, that falls onto the landlord and their rental property insurance.
How Much Renters Insurance Should I Carry?
The right renters insurance needs cover the full value of your personal assets and liabilities.
- Landlords frequently require renters to carry minimum liability insurance limits. Most HO-4 policies will start with at least $100,000 in liability limits. You can increase these limits to offer yourself (and by default, others) more assistance.
- To get the right contents insurance, you will need to inventory or appraise your personal belongings. You need to know not only what you have, but also items’ purchase values.
- Most policies will include deductibles. We’ll help you tailor yours to ensure you never have to pay more for a claim, personally, than you can afford.
Replacement Cost Value vs. Actual Cash Value Coverage
Contents insurance might offer either replacement cost value (RCV) coverage or actual cash value (ACV) protection. Each element will influence how much coverage you can receive.
- ACV insurance will pay a possession’s depreciated value at the time of the damage. This is not an item’s new-purchase value.
- RCV coverage will pay you enough money to buy a new item of equal or lesser value. RCV coverage will usually provide you with more coverage. However, it might make your premium more expensive.
Is Renters Insurance Affordable?
Everyone’s renters insurance premiums will vary. The type of home (houses, apartments, condos), the amount of coverage you buy and other demographic factors will influence your premium. However, most policies are very affordable, and you can pay your premiums monthly, so that they fit your budget.
Frequently Asked Questions
1Does renters insurance cover mold damage?
If mold develops because of a covered peril, your renters insurance might pay for the damage. However, policies will not pay for mold that develops due to neglect or uncleanliness.
2Does renters insurance cover everyone in the home?
If everyone living in the home is related to each other, then a renters policy will apply to all parties.
However, roommates who share a home either can share a policy only if both are named as the insured parties. Most roommates need separate renters insurance policies.
3Can renters insurance cover pet damage?
If a pet bites someone else or damages their property, your liability coverage might help pay for that person’s losses. However, some policies will not insure certain breeds of animals, like Pitbulls.
4Can renters insurance cover pet damage?
If you simply lose a piece of jewelry, such as if it goes down the drain, your renters policy likely won’t pay for the replacement. A covered peril will have to cause the loss for the item to receive coverage.
Please note, for jewelry of exceptional value, you might want to schedule items on your policy. This endorsement can ensure you receive coverage to the full value of the item.
5Will renters insurance cover storage units?
Most renters policies can insure your belongings anywhere they go, including in storage units. However, your policy might only provide you a percentage of the full coverage limits you would have if the item was inside your home.
6Will renters insurance cover bed bugs?
Policies almost never cover bed bugs. Bed bugs are usually preventable, avoidable hazards.
7Will renters insurance cover flooding?
If a weather-related event causes flooding, then renters insurance will not cover your losses. You’ll likely need a specific flood insurance policy for renters to cover the losses. However, if an in-home incident, like a burst pipe covers damage, then your policy might provide some protection.
8Which states do you serve?
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- West Virginia