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Frequently Asked Questions

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Illustration of a Renters Insurance FAQ

Renters Insurance FAQ

Does my landlord’s insurance cover losses and damage done to my apartment?

Most landlord insurance covers damages to the building and its structure, not any the tenant’s possessions within it. It mostly covers exterior damage and might not cover damage on the inner walls such as with a pipe leak.

Is my landlord responsible for any damage to my personal property?

No. The landlord is not responsible for the loss or damage of a tenant’s possessions within their rented space.

What does a renters insurance policy cover?

Renters insurance helps cover the damage or loss of personal property due to theft, fire, and other such hazards. It can also help cover you if a visitor gets injured or gets their property damaged within your home.

How does renters insurance work?

If you have a renters insurance policy and have filed a claim, the insurance company will help pay for repair or replacement of personal items stolen or damaged due to a hazard. Once you have paid the deductible, the insurance company will pay for the cost of replacement of the item(s) or the actual cash value (subject to depreciation), depending on your policy.

Should someone get injured in your home, that person can file a claim with your insurance company and your insurer will attend to that claim to help pay for medical expenses or loss/damage of their personal property.

What is liability coverage?

Liability coverage can help cover medical costs and property loss when a person is injured or has damaged a possession of theirs within your home.

I don’t have a lot of valuable possessions. Why do I need renters insurance?

Even if you don’t think you own many valuables, renters insurance is a worthwhile investment. Without renters insurance, you would be responsible for replacing any damaged or stolen electronics, furniture, and other items. You may not have expensive items, but the cost to replace those items can add up if a burglar cleans out your apartment or a fire destroys your furniture in your condo. Also, if visitors injure themselves in your home or have a personal item damaged, you could be held responsible to cover their medical costs or repairs to their property.

How affordable is renters insurance?

Renters insurance is usually affordable depending on the coverage you purchase and the value of the items of your home. There have been renters insurance plans as low as $5/month.

Is renters insurance tax deductible?

There are certain scenarios where you can write off renters insurance from your taxes. If you operate a business from your home, you can deduct a percentage of your renters insurance policy from your taxes depending on the number of items that are covered are primarily used for business, such as a business laptop or work equipment. Talk to a tax professional for more information to see if you qualify.

How much personal property coverage should I get in my renters insurance policy?

It varies from person to person. When shopping for renters insurance, ask yourself how much your belongings are worth, if you can afford to buy them back if they were damaged in a fire or stolen, and what you would do if someone files a liability lawsuit against you. Taking this inventory can help you determine how much coverage you would need. The average person has at least $35,000 worth of possessions that could be subject to theft or damage in their home.

Does renters insurance cover computers?

Most insurers include personal computers and laptops in their list of covered electronics in their renters insurance plans, however you should do your research. If you have replacement cost coverage, you’ll get the amount needed to outright replace your damaged computer. However, if your policy covers the actual cash value and you have an older computer, it will cover the current cash value and not the price you paid years ago. Some renters insurance policies have restrictions or limitations on electronics coverage, so be sure to discuss this with your insurer to make sure your computer is fully covered.

Will renters insurance cover a broken TV?

If your television was damaged in a fire, stolen, or broken due to an act of vandalism, it is covered by your renters insurance agreement. However, if it was damaged from misuse or wear-and-tear, your broken TV isn’t covered.

Is jewelry covered by renters insurance?

While some jewelry is covered in a standard renters insurance agreement, there may be limits on your coverage. If you have a specifically expensive piece(s) of jewelry that you want covered, you should ask an insurance agent for special additional coverage.

Does renters insurance cover fire damage?

If your possessions are damaged or destroyed by a fire, your renters insurance should cover the expenses of repair or replacement. In some policies, your renters insurance can help pay for temporary housing if your home is deemed unlivable after a fire.

Does renters insurance cover theft/burglary?

After you pay your deductible, your renters insurance policy can cover the cost of items that have been burglarized from your home.

Does renters insurance cover damage done to my car?

Damage to your vehicle can is covered through a comprehensive auto coverage insurance policy. Your renters insurance will not cover damage done to your car, van, truck, or other forms of vehicles.

Does renters insurance cover items stolen from my car?

Yes. If your possessions were stolen from your vehicle, they are covered under your renters insurance plan. You should get coverage whether the items were stolen from your car while parked near your home or if they were taken while you were traveling.

Will renters insurance cover items in my storage unit?

Probably. In many cases your renters insurance can cover your belongings if they are away from home, however there could be limitations in coverage. Talk to your insurance agent to see if there any limitations regarding items kept in a storage unit. You may need to either increase your coverage or purchase a separate plan for your storage unit. There are also some storage units that offer insurance coverage as an option within your unit rental agreement, so you may want to inquire the storage unit facility to see if they offer satisfactory coverage.

Does renters insurance cover pet damage?

It depends, but most renters insurance policies won’t cover damage to your furniture and other possessions due to your dog or cat biting, clawing, or soiling the items to the point that they need to be replaced or repaired. However, it is important to disclose your pet ownership to your insurer in order to get a proper rate.

If my pet bites a visitor, will renters insurance protect me?

Most insurance companies will not cover pets and those that do might have restrictions on what breeds or types of pets they are willing to cover. For example, most insurance companies won’t provide coverage for pit bulls as they are considered as a high-risk breed of dog. There are some insurance companies that offer special coverage that cover dog owner’s liability should the insured pet bite or injure another person.

Does renters insurance cover infestations of roaches, bed bugs, rodents, and other pests?

Renters insurance typically doesn’t cover pest infestation at any time, since the majority of infestations occur due to neglect on behalf of the tenant. Renters should notify their landlord of any infestation and work out a solution. You may be required resolve your infestation out of your own pocket, but your landlord may cover the cost of an exterminator if you are not the only rental unit on the property that has been infested.

Does renters insurance cover flooding?

It depends on what caused the flood. If your property has been damaged by water and flooding from a broken pipe, a water leak from your ceiling, or a similar structural issue, your renters insurance will likely cover it. However, damages caused by heavy rain or rising water from a nearby river or stream will not be covered on a regular renters insurance policy. Depending on where you live and the insurance provider, you can purchase a separate flood insurance policy that will account for water damage caused by acts of nature.

Who should be listed on a renters insurance policy?

You, your spouse, your children, and any resident relatives should be listed to ensure that they are covered. For some buildings, you may be requested to add your property manager or landlord as a renters insurance interested party on your policy. While your insurance company won’t provide coverage for your landlord or property manager, they will receive notifications from your insurer.

Can I share a renters insurance policy with my roommate?

Technically, yes, but it is not recommended. While a roommate can be added to your policy and many insurers offer their customers the ability to add their roommate to their policy for an additional fee, there may be certain restrictions regarding their coverage on your policy. Also, if your roommate were to leave, they will not be able to take their part of the policy with them. It is recommended that if you live with a roommate that each of you has your own policy to ensure that everyone’s possessions are properly covered.