What Does Renters Insurance Cover?

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Renters insurance is a special type of home insurance designed to protect the interests of someone who rents a home but does not own the dwelling itself. A common misconception is that renters insurance only provides personal property protection, when the policy actually includes coverage for damages and injuries as well as the well-known personal property coverage.

Personal Property
Renters insurance will repair or replace your personal property up to the limit stated in your policy. Be sure to set this limit high enough that you can replace everything you own after a catastrophe. Use a video recording of everything you own, from your appliances to your child’s zebra robot. Having a recording helps resolve property claims faster and gives the insurance company a visual reference of the quality and condition of the item.

Injury Liability
Injury liability pays the medical care for people outside your immediate family who are injured as a result of you, your immediate family, or your property. One example might be if your dog became too excited and accidentally bit the next door neighbor. Injury liability would pay for the medical care, and the policy would later protect you if the neighbor decided to take the case to court.

Damage Liability
Damage liability is similar to injury, except that it covers the property of other people instead of their physical beings. If your car jumped out of gear and rolled downhill to smash down your neighbor’s mailbox, the damage liability in your renters insurance would pay to repair or replace the mailbox. As long as the limits of the policy are high enough and you are able to make the deductible, the damage liability of your policy has this one covered.

Unless they are specifically mentioned in the policy, pets are typically considered personal property and included in the renter’s insurance coverage. If your dog damages your home or the property of someone else, the insurance will cover it. Coverage for some pets, including several breeds of dogs, may be expensive or even difficult to find.

Acts of God Are Not Included
Very few policies will include major catastrophes that might be considered acts of God. Earthquakes and floods are never included in a standard home, renters or condo insurance policy, but flooding accounts for more individual losses than any other insurable peril. The problem is that flooding is an expense hit for insurance companies, and very few companies are willing or able to accept the increased risk.

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