Whether your landlord requires it or a near-miss tornado prompts you to purchase it, renters insurance is a smart investment. A renters policy will typically provide replacement cost coverage for personal property damaged by a covered loss such as fire, smoke, covered water damages, theft and it likely offers many other protections you’ve not considered.
Here are answers to a few common questions about the unexpected uses of renters insurance.
Does renters insurance cover temporary housing?
Yes, if your rental is rendered uninhabitable as a result of a covered loss. Loss of use or additional living expenses coverage pays for temporary housing until you can return to your rental or move into a new one.
Does renters insurance cover hotel stays?
Yes, loss of use coverage typically pays for hotel stays if your residence is uninhabitable as a result of a covered loss.
Does renters insurance cover my food or gas?
Yes, your plan likely covers the increased costs you incur as a result of your home being uninhabitable. Food and gas costs associated with living in temporary housing may be more than what you incur at your home. If staying in a temporary location or hotel increases your commute or causes you to dine at restaurants for meals, your plan will likely reimburse the extra expenses you incur up to your coverage limits. And when you’re back in your own dwelling, does renters insurance cover refrigerator food loss? It’s possible. If the food in your refrigerator is spoiled due to a power outage or failed appliance, it may be covered under your policy.
Does renters insurance cover damage to a landlord’s property?
It depends. Landlords have their own insurance policies to protect their buildings from things like fires and storms. If you cause damage, however, the costs could fall on you. Your insurance may cover accidental mishaps, but you’ll be on your own for any intentional damage. Also, your plan won’t cover a lost security deposit. Check your policy or speak with your insurance agent to better understand what coverages your policy provides.
Does renters insurance offer medical coverage?
Typically, yes, if a guest is hurt in your home as a result of a covered claim, whether they fall or your dog bites them, renters insurance may cover their medical bills up to your policy limits. A typical renters policy does not provide coverage if you, or someone who lives with you, is hurt at your home.
Does renters insurance provide legal liability protection?
Yes, typically a renters insurance policy provides liability protection for covered claims. For example, if someone is hurt in your home and sues you, renters insurance may cover any claims or lawsuits brought against you including your legal fees, up to policy limits.
Does renters insurance cover car theft?
Yes and no. Typically, automobiles are excluded from coverage under a renters policy. Auto insurance covers the car itself, but renters insurance may cover possessions stolen from your car.
Do roommates need separate renters insurance?
It’s a good idea. While the policy provides coverage for the insured and their resident relatives, any non-related roommates would need to be listed on the policy to have coverage. If relatives or roommates are listed, you may want to increase the limits to ensure appropriate coverage limits. Another option is for each roommate to purchase their own separate policy.