What Does Renters Insurance Cover?

By Brittany Loeffler on January 15, 2018

Part of growing up and becoming an adult is making responsible decisions and investing in protection. With renters insurance, college students who rent apartments while attending school can protect their belongings and their personal liability for just a few dollars a month.

As someone young and optimistic, you may turn your nose up and continue believing that bad things only happen to other people. That isn’t the case. It’s important to take precautions against accidents, weather, and damage, which can be covered by renters insurance.

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via Pixabay

What is Renters Insurance?

Renters insurance, also known as tenant insurance, is recommended for people who rent their home rather than own it. Different than homeowners insurance, renters insurance covers personal property, personal liability, and additional expenses rather than a building or condo. Your landlord will typically have homeowners insurance to insure the building you live in.

Affordable and easy to sign up for, it’s recommended that renters sign up for a policy to ensure that their belongings are covered in case of a burglary, fire, or any other disaster.

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What Does It Cover?

Renters insurance policies typically cover three main items: personal property, liability, and additional living expenses. Take a closer look at your policy to see if it covers additional items.

Personal Property

The average renter possesses about $20,000 in belongings. Renters insurance will cover the theft or damage of your personal belongings in the event of a fire, weather-related incident, or burglary.

There are two ways your personal property is covered through your policy: Actual Cash Value (ACV) or Replacement Cost. If you choose to have ACV, the insurance company will cover the cost to replace your item minus the depreciation based on its age and other factors. The Replacement Cost option may have a higher premium each month, but the insurance company will cover the exact cost it takes to replace the damaged or lost item.

The beauty of renters insurance is that it doesn’t just cover the belongings that are damaged or stolen in your home. If you kept your laptop in your car while you stopped into the grocery store and it was stolen, your renters insurance will cover it.

Liability

Similar to car insurance, renters insurance covers personal liability. What does this mean? If a guest or visitor is injured in your apartment, decides to sue you and you are found responsible, your renters insurance will cover these expenses. Medical bills are expensive and most people can’t afford to pay someone else’s bills.

Your policy will also cover damage that you may cause to someone’s property. For example, if you are throwing a ball in the backyard and accidentally break your neighbor’s window, your policy will cover that damage.

Keep in mind, not all policies will cover all of the expenses. There may be a deductible that you must pay before the insurance kicks in.

Additional Living Expenses

In the unfortunate event your home becomes uninhabitable due to a fire, frozen pipes, or whatever else, your renters insurance will cover the expenses of lodging, food, and any other additional costs you may come across. This may be one of the most valuable parts of an insurance policy because these unexpected expenses can really rack up. You could easily spend $1,000 to stay in a hotel for a few nights while you find a new place to live. Thanks to renters insurance, you won’t have to pay all of that out of pocket.

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via Pixabay

What Isn’t Covered by Renters Insurance?

Renters insurance covers a number of items that are important and valuable to renters, but there are some things that the typical policy does not cover.

Flooding

Though water damage is covered under most renters insurance policies, flooding is not. If you live on the first floor of a building or rent a single-family home, ask your landlord if you are located in a flooding zone. If so, there are additional policies through the National Flood Insurance Program you can sign up for.

Animal Bites

If you have an incident where your dog bites a visitor or someone walking by on the street, your renters insurance policy typically does not cover that liability. Those medical bills that you may be sued for will be ultimately your responsibility. Check with your insurance company if there are additional policies you can sign up for if this is a concern of yours.

Damage from Misuse or Age

When your television is on the fritz and there is static on the screen due to its old age or you accidentally break the screen while roughhousing in the apartment, your renters insurance will not cover the cost to replace it. Your items must be damaged or stolen by the listed disasters in your policy.

The saying, “It’s better to be safe than sorry” is the ultimate slogan for insurance policies. When renting a property, whether you are in a safe or questionable neighborhood, it’s always a good idea to sign up for a renters insurance policy to protect yourself and your belongings. Don’t worry, if you move after your lease is up, your policy follows you where ever you go!

By Brittany Loeffler

Uloop Writer
Brittany is a senior English major with a concentration in creative writing at Temple University. After growing up in a very rural part of Pennsylvania, she found her calling in the streets of the big city of Philadelphia. Aside from writing, she enjoys reading, movies, baking, and photography.

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