Frequently Asked Questions
About Renters Insurance
Q: What does my Renters Insurance cover?
A: Most policies cover liability on your part if someone is injured within your home or apartment. For example, if someone falls and breaks their arm in your kitchen, (and you are determined to be liable) they will be able to file a claim with your insurance company. Renters Insurance will also reimburse you if there is a theft or fire. If you need to live somewhere else due to repairs caused by a fire, smoke, or water damage, your insurance will cover the cost of accommodations. Many Renters Insurance policies will also replace or reimburse the cost of stolen or damaged personal items while you’re on vacation. Stolen items from within your car or storage unit are also considered insured property.
Q: Isn't my apartment covered under my landlord's Insurance policy?
A: No. The landlord's insurance covers damage to the building and the landlord's property, and not your personal property or liability.
Q: How are prices determined for Renters Insurance?
A: Most Renters Insurance policies are relatively inexpensive. Overall, the average cost for a renters policy is between $190-$225 per year. The value of your property to be insured and other risk factors will determine your premium. Many insurance companies will give you a discount on your Renters Insurance if you purchase auto insurance from the same company.
Q: What does the term 'perils' refer to in a Renters Insurance policy?
A: Perils is a word you will find often a Renters Insurance policy. A peril is a specific risk or cause of loss. But not all Renters Insurance policies cover the same type of perils. Named-perils are commonly found in basic renters insurance plans, but open-perils will cover you for any event other than the ones that are named. An open-peril policy is important if you live in an area that may experience natural disasters more often than other areas of the country.
Q: Does my Renters Insurance cover my roommate(s) or does each one have to get their own insurance?
A: Some insurance companies will allow you to add someone who is not related to you onto your plan. Although, it’s recommended that each tenant purchase a separate insurance policy.
Q: Should I get Renters Insurance if I have a pet?
A: Yes. It’s a good idea to purchase Renters Insurance if you own a pet. Although you may not anticipate your dog or other pet will bite anyone, it can happen. If you’re insured, you’re covered for medical payments (amounts can vary), legal fees, and any settlement, up to your coverage limits. What is not covered with Renters Insurance is if your pet ruins your couch, although if they destroy a friend’s couch, you may be covered. Please note insurance companies have a list of dog breeds that are uninsurable. Ask your insurance agent if your particular dog will be covered.
Q: Does my Renters Insurance cover my possessions even if I go on vacation?
A: Yes. Your Renters Insurance will cover loss of your possessions no matter where they are, as long as the loss is by a covered event or peril.
Q: If I have acreage in multiple locations, can they be covered under one Farm Insurance policy?
A: Yes. You can insure each location as well as all the structures at each location and have them all insured under one Farm Insurance policy.
Q: I run a home-based business out of my apartment. Are my inventory and business property covered by Renters Insurance?
A: Yes, but within limits. Any inventory or business property is covered as personal property used for business purposes. However, like all personal property, there are limits on reimbursement.
Q: What do I do if my property is damaged or stolen?
A: Regarding damages to your rental property, contact your agent or company representative as soon as possible.
You may need to make emergency repairs, if there is damage to your home or possessions to protect yourself and your property from further damage. For example, if some of the windows in your home have been blown out by wind, you may board them up to prevent additional damage and your policy will cover the cost of these emergency measures.
Before making permanent repairs, call your insurance agent. Your insurance company has the right to inspect the property in its damaged condition and may want to send a claims adjuster or have you get an estimate from an independent contractor.
Regarding stolen property, notify the police immediately, then call your insurance agent and report which items were stolen so that you can be reimbursed for the replacement cost of those items.
Q: Are electronic like my TV, tablet, computer, and mobile phone covered under Renters Insurance?
A: Yes, but some Renters Insurance policies have a pre-defined limit for home computers and other electronics. If that’s the case, you can purchase additional coverage if your system is worth more.
Q: How will I know how much my belongings are worth?
A: There are home inventory apps and information on websites that will help you price and log all of your possessions for insurance purposes. Creating a spreadsheet is a good idea. Having this data will also be useful if you need to file an insurance claim. Just remember to save receipts for your big-ticket items, and take photos and/or videos of all of the possessions you would want to claim. If your items have serial numbers, add this information to your inventory sheet.
Q: What events are covered by Renters Insurance?
A: Depending on the type of Renters Insurance policy, here are just a few events that are usually covered:
Fire and smoke damage
Windstorm and hail
Damage by a vehicle (not your own)
Damage from the weight of snow and ice
Plumbing that freezes, heating and air conditioning damage
Short-circuit damage caused by electrical appliances
Q: Does Renters Insurance cover the current value of my possessions or does it pay the amount these items would cost to replace them?
A: It all depends on the type of Renters Insurance policy you purchase.
Q: If I'm renting out my own property (income property, vacation home, etc.), do I need Renters Insurance?
A: If you rent out property you own, insurance coverage applies only to the structure itself and your financial interest in it. Your tenant’s personal possessions are not covered under your policy. In order to avoid disputes arising from damage to the renter’s belongings, many landlords require their tenants to purchase Renters Insurance before signing a lease.