What does renters insurance cover? This is a common question when renters are considering purchasing renters insurance. You may know that a renters insurance policy will cover your belongings in the event of a covered loss. If a burglar breaks in to your apartment and steals your new living room furniture, renters insurance will cover the replacement cost. It also covers clothes damaged or destroyed by major accidents like fires, so long as their value meets your deductible.. Many people think that renters insurance only covers the cost to replace or repair these common items.
In addition to covering a person's belongings, renters insurance has several lesser-known benefits. When renting an apartment, condo, or house it’s important to know everything that an insurance policy can do for you. Below are the most surprising things covered by renters insurance.
What Does Renters Insurance Cover? Some Surprising Items
Property Outside your Dwelling
Arguably the most well-known fact of renters insurance is that it covers belongings while they are inside a rental. Surprisingly, those belongings are also covered when outside of the renters apartment or house. Coverage for property outside of your dwelling keeps your belongings protected while you are on the go or storing your things elsewhere. This little-known part of a renters insurance policy provides peace of mind for items kept outside of your rental.
For example, you are out to eat with friends at a busy restaurant. While you are enjoying dinner and not paying attention, your phone is stolen from the edge of the table. Your renters insurance policy might cover the cost to replace the phone. Similarly, your bike may be vandalized or damaged while you are in class. The cost of replacing or repairing it is most likely covered by your renters insurance.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of coverage for belongings outside your rental is that items stored in storage units or lockers are also insured. Items that are kept in a separate storage facility are also covered under some renters insurance policies. This coverage may have limitations, such as coverage being limited to 10% of the Personal Property Coverage limit. You might use a bike to get around town in nice weather. When temperatures cool, you store it in a storage unit. Should someone break your lock and steal your bike from the storage unit, it’s probably covered under your renters insurance.
Loss of Use
What do you do if your rental suddenly becomes unfit for living? An electrical fire might cause damage to your apartment building and tenants have to leave for repairs. The house you’re renting might have a pipe burst and flood the home, making it unlivable. Luckily, many renters insurance policies have coverage for loss of use of the rental. Loss of use, also known as additional living expense coverage, pays for basic necessities if you’re forced out of your rental while it is being repaired.
Loss of use benefits are especially helpful if you are going to be out of your rental for an extended period of time. That electrical fire may not have damaged the items in your apartment, but the building cannot be inhabited while repairs are being made. If the repairs take several months, the cost of living in a hotel or other temporary housing can add up quickly.
In addition to the cost of temporary housing, you are likely to spend much more on food if you do not have access to a kitchen. Pet owners may not be able to keep their furry friends in their temporary living spaces and may have to pay for pet boarding. Renters insurance with loss of use coverage may pay for some of these additional costs of living.
In 2017, California had the highest number of insurance claims involving a dog bite in the United States at 2,228 claims. Dog bites are a common accident that, if severe, may lead to expensive medical bills and possibly legal action against the owner. Even the friendliest of dogs may lash out unexpectedly. If you are a renter and dog owner, your renters insurance may cover your liability if your dog bites someone. The liability coverage on renters insurance can also protect you against legal action if the person who was bitten tries to sue you.
Liability coverage through renters insurance also covers you for other injuries for which you are legally at fault. If you accidentally cause a fire while cooking and your neighbor gets hurt, your renters insurance can cover his or her medical bills. Your renters insurance can then protect you against some potential legal action taken by your neighbor. While a friend or neighbor may never take action against you, the protection provided by liability insurance can safeguard you should an accident occur.
What Does Renters Insurance Not Cover?
Renters insurance offers a lot of benefits you may not know about. Unfortunately, it doesn’t cover everything. Taking the time to learn what renters insurance does not cover can save you a headache later if you must make a claim. For example, any of your roommate’s property is not covered by your policy. Each roommate in a rental must purchase their own renters insurance.
Generally, renters insurance does not automatically provide coverage for certain natural disasters like floods or earthquakes. In many cases, however, additional coverage to address these exposures may be available. Basic policies also don’t usually cover damages caused by pests such as termites or rodents. If you have high-value items like expensive jewelry or electronics, the cost to replace them may exceed the coverage limit of your renters insurance. The good news is that you can purchase additional coverage for many of these limits and exclusions.
Get Covered with Renters Insurance
Renters insurance covers a wide variety of physical items. It may also add a layer of protection against unfortunate accidents like fires or injuries on the property. Knowing all of the benefits provided by renters insurance can help you decide if your current renters insurance is right for you. Renters insurance may save you time and money should an accident take place at your rental. To see how you can affordably protect yourself with renters insurance, get a free quote today.