If you rent an apartment and live in a building that is not your home, the landlord probably carries the homeowner’s insurance on the building. So you might be wondering does my landlord’s homeowner’s insurance policy cover me? Chances are it doesn’t. Read on to find out what you need to know about homeowners insurance and renting.
Does My Landlord’s Homeowner’s Insurance Policy Cover Me?
The quick answer is no, it doesn’t.
Your landlord’s homeowner’s insurance will only cover the actual property meaning the physical structure. Landlord insurance will also not cover any damage you as a renter cause to the property.
It will not cover any loss you may incur.
For example, if there is a fire and you lose all of your furniture and clothing and everything else you own, your landlord’s insurance will cover their loss, but you will get nothing for all of your possessions.
That’s why if you rent a house or an apartment, you need to carry renter’s insurance.
However, if you live in a condo or co-op where you are responsible for repairs and maintenance of common areas inside and outside of your unit, then your landlord’s homeowner’s insurance will likely cover liability for damages that occur within or around these areas as well as some damage inside your unit.
You will want to confirm this with your landlord. Don’t just assume you are covered.
What is Renter’s Insurance?
Renter’s insurance is an insurance policy that covers your personal property and your liability in case of accidental damage or injury to others.
Renter’s insurance covers you with a policy that you can tailor to suit your individual needs, just as you would do with a homeowners policy.
This policy should also cover you if you cause damage to the home or apartment you are renting.
There are different types of renters insurance.
The best option is replacement insurance. This will replace your lost possessions for the amount it will cost you to replace them.
For example, let’s say you bought a sofa for $500 dollars and it is lost in a fire.
You’ve had it for a year, so it is no longer worth $500 dollars.
If you don’t have a replacement policy, your insurance company will only give you yard sale prices, so you might only get $50 from the insurance company.
On the other hand, if you have replacement value insurance, and it will now cost you $600 to replace your sofa with the same sofa, you would receive $600 dollars.
Can My Landlord Require That I Purchase Renters Insurance?
Although many landlords require it (to be covered for damages to the rental property) or strongly suggest it (as additional protection), no state requires renters to carry renters insurance, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
Most landlords don’t require it, but some do. Be sure to ask before you rent your new place.
What is the Difference Between Homeowner’s and Renter’s Insurance
Homeowner’s insurance covers only the property.
Renter’s insurance covers your possessions or any liability due to you damaging the property.
Renter’s insurance covers your possessions and liability, as well as other people who use your rental property.
If you have more than one person living in the home or apartment, all of their belongings and liability are insured together under the same policy.
A home is typically covered by a homeowner’s policy up to $500,000 for single or multiple dwelling units (depending on the state).
Other types of property may also be covered by homeowner’s policies that range from $1 million up to $10 million or higher.
Renter’s insurance may also cover items you own that you take out of the house due to loss or theft. Be sure to ask about it when you select a policy.
Should You Have a Renters Insurance if You Rent an Apartment or House?
Yes, you should. Otherwise, you could lose everything in a fire or a break-in and you will have no way to replace the items.
Renter’s insurance isn’t very expensive and if you get it through the same insurance agency that you get your car insurance you will receive a discount on both.
It makes sense to spend a few hundred dollars a year to know that if the worst happens you will still be covered and able to replace any lost possessions.
When considering whether to buy renter’s insurance, consider the cost of all available coverage (including liability and contents), claims made during a year, and any deductible required.
Automatic Cancellation Right to Cancel
If you move out, your policy will be canceled automatically unless you pay for additional time.
If you have provided a forwarding address to your landlord, it may be considered as a cancellation notice.
Just be sure that if you move and want to continue having renter’s insurance that you contact your insurance agent before you make the move.
That way they can transfer your insurance to your new residence.
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What is the Average Cost of Renter’s Insurance?
The average cost for renter’s insurance can range from $157 per year in Fillmore, California to $1,571 in Anchorage, Alaska.
Premiums also vary depending on your location and the kind of risks within your neighborhood.
I had renter’s insurance before I bought my house. It cost me $230 per year for $25,000 dollars worth of coverage.
So, it wasn’t bad. I had replacement insurance which costs a bit more than non-replacement. Even still, it was affordable and would have replaced everything I own.
Renter’s Insurance Claims
If you have a claim against your policy, you should notify the agent or company as soon as possible.
Each insurer will have its own preferred method of handling claims.
Call or write them a letter with a description of what happened and when it happened.
Send all papers relating to the incident with it as well.
Ask for an estimate and be sure to keep copies of everything sent in case they need more information later on or make a claim denial without explanation.
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To Sum it All Up:
Your landlord’s homeowner’s insurance will not cover your personal possessions or any liability you may have due to damage you cause. For that reason, you should really consider renter’s insurance. If something does happen, you will be glad you are covered.