8 Things Renters Insurance Doesn’t Cover
A renters insurance plan is an inexpensive and affordable way to protect your property and save money in the future, but you might be feeling confused about what renters insurance really covers and what it doesn’t. Don’t worry, we are here to help clarify these points.
Generally, renters insurance covers you against losses from fire or smoke, vandalism, theft, explosion, windstorms and certain types of water damage. Also, it covers personal liability, which protects you if you’re responsible for an accident or damage to another person or their property. Other coverages include emergency medical payments, costs of temporary relocation (if your apartment becomes unlivable), debris removal, building additions or alterations, credit card, check forgery and food spoilage are all covered as well.
Before purchasing renters insurance, it’s important to keep in mind that you should buy enough renters insurance to cover all of your personal property. The best way to calculate how much you need is by creating a list of all your belongings along with their estimated value. There are some tools that can help you to create this list, like a home inventory app called Encircle, a free way to make a comprehensive inventory. We highly recommend having an inventory of your belongings, so you guarantee that all your belongings will be covered. An inventory also helps if you need to make a claim. You will thank yourself in the future for doing this today!
Once you have your list prepared, you are ready to apply for a renters insurance policy. To avoid any unexpected cost in the future, we’ve prepared a list of items that most Renters Insurance companies don’t cover, since the personal property and liability coverage won’t protect you from all risks.
1. Natural Disasters
Most standard renters policies don’t cover floods, earthquakes and sinkholes. Flood insurance is generally only available through the National Flood Insurance Program and for earthquake insurance, it can be bought either as an attachment to your current renters insurance, or as a separate insurance policy. If you live in a state with a high chance of earthquake you may need to acquire an earthquake policy. The same is for sinkholes, if you live in a sinkhole-prone state you can buy a sinkhole endorsement to your existing policy.
The damages caused by pests aren’t covered, since they are considered a maintenance issue. If your property had damage caused by rodents, bugs, pests and other sorts of vermin it will not be covered under the policy. Extermination costs are not included either.
3. High Value Items
If you have highly valuable belongings like jewelry, antiques, art or vintage things, they may not be covered by your policy. It’s important to check in with your insurance company to see what the limit amount is in case you need to purchase additional coverage for those pricier items. Usually, you can buy riders and floaters for especially expensive items and equipment which is stored in the home.
4. Roommate’s Belongings
Renters insurance doesn’t cover damage caused to your roommate’s belongings. In order to be covered the roommate must be listed in your policy. However, we don’t recommend doing this, since the amount of coverage will be split between those assigned to the policy. The best way to get covered is for your roommate to have his/her own insurance policy.
5. Terrorism or nuclear war
Damage caused by terrorism or nuclear war is not covered, so if this is a concern, you’ll need to buy terrorism insurance, which is not commonly sold and is an additional endorsement if you want it included in your policy. Keep in mind that it will only cover your apartment and not the rest of the building.
Any damage, vandalism or theft that may occur to your car or other vehicles that you own, is not covered by the insurance policy. However, the belongings inside your car at the time of the theft, for example, will be covered. In order to protect your vehicle, it’s important to have an auto insurance plan.
If you have a pet, take into consideration that generally, most renters insurance policies don’t cover personal belongings damaged by pets. You’re also not covered if your pet destroys the carpet or bites the wall. However, if your pet accidentally damages your neighbor’s apartment or belongs, or even bite he/she or someone else in the street or inside of your house, you will be covered under your personal liability coverage.
8. Accidental Loss
If you lose your phone or laptop, you’re not covered but you are covered if it was stolen. For instance, if your home or car were broken into, you can file a claim. If you leave your belongings in a library and it’s no longer there, however, you will not be paid out the claim.
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Renters insurance is one of the most underrated types of insurance out there. It’s also one that many people regret not having invested in until it’s too late. A renters insurance policy can protect you and your belongings in situations that you may not have ever anticipated.
Imagine the ceiling caving in; a major leak upstairs or a fire! If something were ever to go wrong you may not only have to replace some valuables in your apartment, but your place may become uninhabitable for a length of time too. What would you do if you had to stay in a hotel for a couple of weeks?
You may not remember everything that got destroyed and you won’t be compensated for it either. Think about what kind of damage a really bad water leak or fire will do. Your things may become unrecognizable and you may not list everything properly when you start the claims process. Or worse yet, what if the insurance company requires proof of ownership?
Really, the best way to determine which policy is right for you is to see how often you think you may need to file a claim. Because an expensive deductible is more difficult to pay, you should not choose the highest deductible if you know you’re prone to break-ins or if the apartment complex you live in is poorly maintained (a faucet leak upstairs from you may destroy all your property).
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