What Isn’t Covered Under a Renter’s Insurance Policy?

October 15, 2018

If you rent, you should have renter’s insurance. This insurance policy helps cover your belongings in the event of a loss. Renter’s insurance may also cover you in other instances, such as if someone gets hurt on your property, you damage someone else’s property, or you need to live elsewhere while your primary residence is fixed.

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It’s important to know before you buy a policy, though, what isn’t covered, so that you can properly prepare yourself.

Earthquake and Flood Damage

Just like it is for homeowners, renter’s insurance doesn’t cover damages that result from an earthquake or flood. You will need separate policies to cover these instances, if you think the home or apartment you rent is at risk for either instance.

Talk to your insurance agent if you live in an area at high risk for either occurrence. This will help you understand what types of policies you need and how you need to protect yourself.

Expensive Items

Do you have expensive jewelry, antiques, electronics, or other valuable items in your home? Your renter’s insurance may not cover them up to their full value. Before you buy renter’s insurance, get a ballpark value for the items in your home – the ones that you think have high value. Then you can talk with your insurance agent about covering these items. Many renters’ policies only cover personal belongings up to a certain amount. If your items exceed this amount, you’ll need a separate rider for them.

Items You Can’t Prove You Owned

It’s important to take inventory of the items you own and have proof of ownership. Receipts generally work for most items. But the more proof you have of owning the item, the better your chances of getting coverage for them.

Let’s say your apartment burns down and you claim that you had 3 televisions, 6 antique necklaces, and 2 cameras, but you could only prove ownership of one TV and one necklace. The insurance company isn’t going to cough up the money to replace the other items because you can’t prove that you owned them. At the very least have receipts, but it’s even better if you have a Bill of Sale and pictures of the items in your home for further proof of ownership.

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Other People’s Items in Your Home

If you have people over and they leave stuff behind or even if you have a roommate, his/her belongings aren’t covered under your renter’s insurance. Each person renting should have their own policy since the insurance covers personal belongings, not the structure of the home itself.

Damages to the Home Itself

Any type of damages that occur to the home isn’t covered under renter’s insurance because it’s a personal belongings policy. Renter’s insurance doesn’t cover the structure of the home or even the interior of the home. If something happens to the home itself, the property owner’s insurance policy should cover the damages.

Your renter’s insurance will, however, cover the cost for you to live somewhere else if you are displaced. But it won’t cover the cost of making the renovations on the home that make the home livable again.

Pest Damage

Pests are annoying and they can cause a lot of damage. But, your renter’s insurance doesn’t cover this type of loss. If you experience a loss as a result of rodents, insects, or any other type of pest, the cost of the damages and repairing or replacing your belongings is on your shoulders.

The best way to protect yourself is to invest in pest prevention. If you notice an insect issue, call out an exterminator. If you think the property may have termites or other pests, contact your landlord and have him handle the issue before it gets out of hand.

Renter’s insurance protects you should you lose your belongings or even if you damage someone else’s property. But it doesn’t cover many things that could happen to you while renting a home or apartment. Make sure you talk to your insurance agent about the right way to protect yourself so that you don’t face serious loss should something happen.

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