As a renter, you may not think you need an insurance policy because your landlord has insurance. However, your landlord’s policy won’t protect you or provide personal property coverage in the event of a loss. Tenant insurance is an affordable way to ensure you have financial protection in case damages occur to your personal property.
This article discusses how tenant insurance can protect you, events where a claim won’t qualify, and what tenant insurance is.
What Is Tenant Insurance?
Tenant insurance is an affordable way to protect your personal property as a tenant. Small unexpected incidents can cause costly damages and result in thousands of dollars in loss for you.
It covers the financial burden of named perils up to your policy limit, and protects you against liability claims if a visitor gets injured after slipping and falling in your home. It also ensures your additional living expenses are covered in the event your unit becomes uninhabitable due to a covered loss. Tenant insurance only provides coverage on your personal belongings and not the property’s structure.
What Does Tenant Insurance Cover?
A tenant insurance policy provides several different types of coverage in the form of financial protection for you. This includes coverage for some losses you may not even realize you can claim. Your policy will state the risks you are covered for along with limits of coverage for your personal contents, liability and additional living expenses. Below are the types of coverage included in your tenant insurance policy.
1. Natural disasters
Natural disasters and weather events like fire, lightning, explosion, smoke, falling objects, windstorm, and hail are examples of named perils. You can file a claim for any personal property damaged by these kinds of events. However, if you live in an area prone to flooding you may want to invest in additional coverage such as flood insurance to increase your policy limits.
2. Water damage
Water damage from burst pipes, sewage overflows, water seepage, and leaks are covered perils under your tenant insurance policy. Your policy will also cover personal property damage that occurs from frozen pipes, heating or cooling systems, and sprinkler systems.
3. Liability protection
Tenant Insurance policies include liability protection in the event of any damages or a lawsuit filed against you. Personal liability coverages can also reimburse you for attorney fees or litigators. If someone is injured in your home, your policy will cover costs associated with potential medical bills or life insurance. Take note that there is a limit to the reimbursement amount. Check your policy documents to learn more.
4. Cost of additional living expenses
If your apartment or home becomes unlivable due to a covered loss, then your policy will cover additional living expenses such as hotel/airbnb charges , meals, laundry, and increased costs of commuting up to a limit .
5. Credit card theft and bank forgery
You may not know that your tenant insurance safeguards you against credit card theft and bank forgery. Your policy will reimburse you for losses you incur if a thief steals your credit card from your home and fraudulently spends your money.
6. Losses of personal belongings
Many policies will protect you against losses if your personal belongings are stored away from your rental. In these cases, your tenant insurance will cover the cost of items damaged or stolen from inside your vehicle and even property damaged while at a storage facility, however this limit will be less than the policy limit for items stored within your home.
7. Food Spoilage
If a power failure results in food spoilage from your fridge or freezer failing while on your premises due to a power failure or mechanical breakdown, additional policy coverage will reimburse you for lost food, as well as damage to the unit and reasonable expenses you’ve spent to preserve the food.
8. Removal of debris
With additional coverage, your tenant insurance also reimburses you for reasonable costs related to the removal of debris after damages to your property. However, this is only applicable to insured perils.
What Isn’t Covered by Tenant Insurance?
Not all risks are covered under your tenant insurance policy, and limited coverage is available for high-value items like jewelry, eBikes, cameras and more. Keep in mind that there are special limits to insuring these high-value items. Only perils listed in your policy are covered by tenant insurance. Below are events that your tenant insurance policy won’t cover.
1. Damage associated with bed bugs and pests
Your tenant insurance policy will not cover any losses or damage associated with bed bugs and pests. This also extends to any extermination costs of rodents.
2. Stolen car
If your car is stolen, the loss isn’t covered under your renter’s policy. Instead, your car insurance will cover the theft. However, you can file a claim for any belongings that were inside the car at the time with your tenant insurance. Keep in mind that the limit on the amount you can claim for property outside of your rental property is not as high as what you can claim for property within your rental property.
3. High-value items
High-value items like antiques, expensive jewelry, family heirlooms, or rare collections may exceed special limits for these items. Due to special limits within your policy for these kinds of belongings, you’ll need to look into purchasing additional coverage for items of this nature to ensure they will be covered against any unexpected damage or loss.
4. Roommate’s belongings
Tenant insurance also won’t cover any damages or losses associated with your roommate’s belongings. They would need a policy of their own to be covered.
5. Items related to business use
Tenant insurance commonly excludes items related to business use. While certain business property is covered up to a limit while on premises, the limit is lower than what you can claim for personal property. This property is also not covered off-premises. If you run a small business from your home, it’s a good idea to supplement your tenant insurance with our business insurance product.
Having tenant insurance is worth it and it protects you against the common causes of losses like theft and vandalism as well as the worst-case scenarios like fire. Tenant insurance also provides you with liability coverage in case you accidentally cause damage to someone else’s property or if someone gets injured while at your residence and sues you for medical expenses or lost wages. However, it is important to keep in mind that whenever you make a claim, you’ll be required to pay a deductible in order to receive compensation.
Tenant insurance also covers most kinds of damage and personal property losses that you could face as a tenant. Most renter’s don’t realize how much their belongings are worth, as a renter you should take stock of your home inventory to add up how much your personal property is worth. You should also discuss with your insurance advisor the best coverage option for your situation to cover you against any risks and potential perils.