Renter’s insurance is an important coverage for those not owning their own home but still desiring to protect and insure their personal possessions. A rental policy mimics regular homeowner policies in a number of ways by providing personal property coverage, liability coverage, medical expense, loss of use and fair rental value. An important aspect to consider when covering your personal property is whether or not you want actual cash value (ACV) coverage on your possessions or replacement cost coverage (a superior coverage that pays the price to replace your items new rather than at a depreciated cost).
Most rental policies will cover your property for up to 30 days while transferring your possessions to another dwelling; however, you will still only be covered for the listed perils in your policy. This does not include any damage done to the property that is not outlined in the policy specifics. Be sure to notify your insurance carrier if you are planning a move so he may insure the new property address you will be living at.
A renter’s policy will cover your property in the event of a loss resulting from fire, lightening, windstorm, hail, explosion, damage by vehicles, theft and vandalism in addition to the other named perils covered in your policy. In addition, most policies will cover part of your personal property when traveling or off premises (generally 10 percent) year round. Check with your insurance company for a full list of covered perils.
This coverage offers you protection against what is known as civil liability cases in the event of accidental damage caused to another. This could be someone injured on your premises or an accidental event caused by a member of your household while he is off premises. This is a worldwide coverage and often contains supplementary coverage for prosecution and defense expenses in addition to your liability limits. Things such as a negligent act by a minor, pet bites, sports activities and liabilities stemming from unpaid voluntary services are a few of the coverages that are included under your personal liability protection.
This is a limited liability coverage (usually offered in increments of $1,000, $5,000 or $10,000) and pays the necessary medical expenses incurred or medically ascertained caused from bodily injury to another covered by the policy.
Loss of Use
This coverage will help to pay any necessary increases in expense that allows you to maintain a normal standard of living should you be forced to temporarily reside at another location during the repairs needed due to a covered peril that occurs at the property you have rented.
Fair Rental Value
If a portion of your rented premises is rented to others and is damaged under a covered peril, this coverage will pay the fair rental value of the premises while it is under repair.
Other Supplementary Coverages
Additional coverages that may be available for no additional cost are collapse, unauthorized credit card use (up to a limit), debris removal, cleaning and removal of contaminants and fire department service fees. Check with your insurance specialist for full disclosure on all available coverages.