Written by Mark Kallus, Owner & Broker
RentLife® Property Management
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Houston’s Local Property Management Experts
What You Should Know About Renter’s Insurance
What You Should Know About Renter’s Insurance
Many (if not all) landlords carry property insurance, which helps cover the cost of damage or loss should something catastrophic happen. Homeowner’s insurance is a necessity (if not a requirement) for all landlords to carry. But what if you’re a tenant and not a landlord? What then?
First, let’s get a few myths out of the way.
Myth #1 – the landlord’s homeowner’s policy will cover me. Wrong! While a landlord’s policy will cover structural damage and property loss itself, it will not cover any resulting damage or loss to your personal property, such as furniture and electronics. Furthermore, insurance isn’t just for property loss and damage. Many homeowner’s insurance policies cover medical expenses and legal costs associated with third-party injuries that occur on your property. While the landlord’s insurance will likely cover injuries sustained by you as the tenant, it will not cover those suffered by your guests.
Myth #2 – renter’s insurance is expensive. Wrong again! Some renter’s insurance policies are as little as $15 per month. It all depends on the location, property, and type of coverage you obtain.
So, what does renter’s insurance cover? Let’s pause here for a quick note. Not all insurance policies are created equal. You must read through the details (you know, that fine print) of your policy before assuming that it will or will not cover something. For this blog, we are talking in general terms.
Personal Property – a comprehensive policy will cover the cost to replace your personal items, such as furniture, clothes, and electronics, should they be lost because of damage to or loss of the property. Basic renter’s insurance will reimburse you for the loss of your personal property up to the plan’s limits for any damage resulting from events such as fire, windstorms, frozen pipes, water leaks, theft, and yes, in some cases, even volcanic eruptions. Again, it’s important you read your individual policy to determine what is and is not considered a covered event. Without renter’s insurance, you’re out of pocket to replace everything. While this may not seem like a lot, given the larger picture, look around you. Add up the expenses you’ll incur to replace everything you see.
Personal Liability and Medical Bills – some renter’s insurance policies will cover the cost of medical bills should someone slip and fall on your property. Some policies also cover events such as dog bites. Liability insurance will cover you if someone brings a lawsuit against you because of an injury.
Temporary Housing – if the property you are renting is destroyed or uninhabitable for any period, you’re going to need somewhere else to stay. Your friendships are probably too valuable to risk overstaying your welcome, and hotels are costly these days. Most renter’s insurance policies will reimburse you for such expenses.
Here are some things to consider as well. Renter’s insurance policies vary from state to state and company to company. What one may cover, another will not. As with most homeowner insurance policies, events such as floods and earthquakes aren’t covered under basic protections. Many insurance policies do not pay out an infinite number of reimbursements. High-priced items such as antiques and jewelry may mean you reach your policy limits much quicker than expected. It’s essential to have an itemized list of your belongings to accurately determine an insurance value to ensure you have the coverage you need.
While landlords will be required to carry homeowner’s insurance, many renters seem to bet on nothing happening and come to regret that decision much too late. Renter’s insurance is a relatively inexpensive way to protect yourself and give you peace of mind. Furthermore, it’s not uncommon to see renter’s insurance as a requirement in a landlord’s lease.
But, as a tenant, what protections do you have? Are you covered under the landlord’s policy too?
While your landlord’s policy will cover structural damage or loss should something catastrophic happen, it will not cover you and your belongings that are damaged or lost as a result. What exactly does that mean? Well, it means that if something happens, you are completely out of luck unless you carry renter’s insurance.
For a Free Insurance Quote, contact Mason Kallus with Goosehead Insurance Company.
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