When you’re leasing an apartment, many people will tell you to purchase renters’ insurance—and they’re right. Renters’ insurance offers protection that your landlord’s insurance doesn’t. Their policies only cover general liability. But what is renters’ insurance, and what does it protect you from? Renters’ insurance covers theft or damage of individual property, personal liability damages, emergency medical costs for guests, and extra living expenses if you need to relocate temporarily.
We recommend purchasing an affordable renters’ insurance policy to protect yourself financially. Keep reading to understand what renters’ insurance covers and how it works.
What Is Renters’ Insurance?
What is renters’ insurance? This type of insurance policy protects tenants from the expenses of unexpected personal property damage, theft, or legal liability. Renters’ insurance covers any living space, whether you’re renting a condominium, apartment, home, or townhome. This coverage is much cheaper than homeowners’ insurance because it doesn’t cover the building’s structure. Damage to the building is the landlord’s responsibility.
Renters’ insurance coverage varies from company to company and from state to state. For instance, California doesn’t require renters to hold renters’ insurance by law, but a property owner may require it.
No matter where you decide to live in California, Saferoad Insurance Services has reliable renters’ insurance options to protect your living space and personal belongings against the unexpected.
How Does Renters’ Insurance Coverage Work?
Your selected insurer will provide you coverage if you file a claim, or a request for reimbursement for a covered loss. A renter can claim additional living expenses, personal liability coverage, and theft or damage to personal belongings.
Filing a property damage claim involves the following steps:
- Take inventory: Create an inventory of all your belongings and gather any paperwork that states their value, such as receipts. Documenting your personal property should occur right before or after you receive your policy, so you’re prepared in case something happens.
- Document all damages: Document all the damaged items to prepare to file the claim.
- Contact your insurer: Your insurer will give you the necessary documents to fill out to file your claim. The insurance company will then assess the damage and determine your reimbursement.
What Exactly Does Renter Insurance Cover?
You’re probably wondering what exactly renters insurance covers. Renters insurance provides four types of protection:
- Medical payments: If guests are injured on your property, your insurer will provide limited coverage for any medical expenses they incur.
- Additional living expenses: Renters insurance will pay any expenses beyond your average costs if your rental living space becomes uninhabitable due to covered damage.
- Personal liability: If you are to blame for someone else’s injury or property damage, your policy will cover the costs, including legal fees.
- Personal property damage: If your property is damaged, renters insurance will cover the expenses of the damages up to your policy’s maximum.
What exactly does renters’ insurance cover? These coverages provide a significant amount of financial protection against unexpected incidents, but understanding precisely which situations are covered is essential. Events that renters’ insurance covers include:
- Fire and lightning
- Smoke damage
- Plumbing damage
The main feature of renters’ insurance is the protection of your personal belongings from unexpected damage and theft and not damage to property. Personal property includes everything you own inside and outside your rental unit. However, insurance won’t cover all damages to your property; you can file a claim for only approved events in your policy. For example, our renters’ insurance does not cover floods and earthquakes, but you are more than welcome to purchase a separate policy.
When your insurance policy covers damage or theft of personal belongings, you can file a compensation claim up to your maximum limits. For instance, if a fire in your townhome ruins all your property—valued at $15,000—your insurance company will reimburse you that amount, minus your deductible.
Our renters’ insurance covers personal liability costs associated with damages or lawsuits. Say your dog bites a guest, and that guest wants to sue; personal liability coverage will reimburse you for legal fees and any damages that you might be ordered to pay the plaintiff.
Our insurance will also cover hotel bills, temporary rentals, meals, and other expenses you might incur if your living space were to become uninhabitable. However, this coverage only applies if your home becomes unlivable due to a covered loss.
This insurance policy also includes limited medical expenses if guests are injured in your home. Coverage includes their hospital stay, surgical procedures, dental fees, and other related costs. The fault of the injury does not matter; your guest is covered under rental insurance up to the policy limits.
A renter can also include add-ons such as protection from floods or earthquakes in their policy. Renters’ insurance policies may offer coverage for different risks that fit with your environment.
What Does Renters’ Insurance Not Cover?
Personal property and liability coverages will not protect you from all risks and damages. Renters insurance will rarely or never cover damages to your individual property for specific events such as:
- Bug or pest issues
- Damage to your vehicle
- Your roommate’s possessions
With minimal exceptions, insurers consider bugs, pests, and rodents to be maintenance issues and will not cover the damages. Your renters’ policy will also not cover damage, vandalism, or theft of your vehicle. Your auto insurance will cover any damage to your vehicle; however, the renters’ insurance will cover the belongings inside your car at the time of the incident.
Also, renters’ insurance does not cover the damages associated with any roommates’ property. To be protected, you would need to include them in your policy. But unless they’re your spouse or a relative, we do not recommend adding a roommate to your policy. Adding a non-relative to your insurance policy will split the coverage among the people assigned to the policy. For example, if your policy pays for up to $50,000 in damage, you and your roommate would have to divide that amount.
You should also consider that a renters’ property coverage limit does not equally apply to high-value items. Electronics and jewelry may be covered under separate limits. For example, if you have $10,000 worth of purses and your total possessions are valued at $30,00, your insurer may pay for only up to $3,000 worth of jewelry.
Renters’ insurance protects you and your belongings from unexpected damages and incidents. Understanding what renters’ insurance protects you from is essential when you’re searching for the best policy. If you’re searching for insurance in Long Beach, California, or any other area of California, we can provide the best policy for you! Contact our agents today to discuss our various policies and bundle deals.