Most renters believe that their landlord’s homeowners insurance policy will cover their items. This isn’t true at all. The landlord’s policy will cover everything except a tenant’s belongings. There are a few other common myths about renters liability insurance that stop people from getting the coverage they need for their belongings.

Common Myths

Too Expensive

Most renters believe that a policy is too expensive. In most cases, it can be bundled with other coverage like a car and life insurance. With a bundled policy, a renter can pay less than $20 per month to protect all of their possessions up to $30,000. This is an average cost per month as well as coverage. It could be less or more depending on the value of the items being protected with the policy.

No Need for Insurance

Those renters who don’t purchase a policy often believe that their items don’t have enough value to warrant an insurance policy. While individual items might not add up to much, collectively, the bulk of a person’s belongings have a value upwards of $10,000. It’ll cost more to replace all the items at their current sale value. That includes clothing, furniture, electronics and jewelry lost due to a disaster.

Benefits of Renter’s Insurance

Injury Coverage

If a visitor or guest in the renter’s apartment is injured, the insurance policy can cover their medical bills. It could be an injury due to tripping inside the home, or a large object hits them in the head. The policy can cover liability when it comes to dog bites too. While it can cover visitors to the apartment, the policy might not cover anyone who lives in the unit. The coverage will depend on how much the renter purchases and pays for each month too.

Covers Theft of Possessions

The landlord isn’t liable for anything that gets stolen unless he or she did not take reasonable measures to keep the tenant safe. Some states require a minimum amount of security measures on the property, but the unit’s security is the tenant’s responsibility. When the landlord isn’t responsible, his or her policy won’t cover the renter’s stolen items. The stolen property has to be listed on the policy to be covered, but a variety of items can be listed from furniture to electronics and jewelry.

Fire and Electrical Issues

Short circuits and wiring issues in the apartment might not be covered by the landlord’s policy. If the fire spreads to other units, the tenant could be liable for damage to the property of neighboring tenants. A renters liability insurance policy can help with costs if the tenant is held responsible for the fire and smoke damage to their belongings and others in the building.

Natural Disasters

Wildfire, tornado, hail or high winds are all natural disasters that a landlord’s policy might cover when the damage is to the structure of the building. There are others that require the landlord to have riders added on to the basic coverage. Policies don’t cover flood damage as well as other kinds of damage due to disaster. It won’t cover a tenant’s items at all. A tenant has to understand that the landlord’s policy will not cover any damage to their personal belongings, but the tenant can purchase their own renters’ liability insurance.

Possessions Outside the Unit

When one of the tenant’s belongings are covered in the policy, it can be covered whether it’s in the car or on the road with the person. For example, a laptop can be covered under a renters policy, and that coverage extends to the laptop if it’s taken to the local coffee shop. Renters insurance can even cover items lost while traveling, but the renter might need to add that to their policy. If the tenant has a storage unit or a trailer, he or she can add extended coverage to these areas too.

Damage Caused by the Tenant

A damaged window can let rain into the unit. Overflowing water can lead to ruined belongings. Items can fall and break furniture. All of these examples are times when the tenant could have avoided the damage. They won’t be covered by the landlord, but the renters’ policy can cover them if the damage wasn’t intentional. Accidents can happen, but that doesn’t mean the tenant has to be at a loss.

Loss of Use

When the home itself is damaged and the tenant has to leave, the renters’ liability insurance policy can cover the costs of living expenses. For example, if the home is damaged and the tenant has to live in a hotel, the policy will cover the cost of the hotel as well as food costs. There’s a limit on the amount the policy will cover, but it can be extended with a rider if that’s a particular concern of the tenant.

Everything that the renters’ policy covers are costs that the tenant would have to pay out of their own pocket in the event of an emergency, disaster or theft. Tenants can purchase the coverage they need by listing only valuable items or choosing natural disaster coverage alone. It’s much like car coverage in that the policy holder can pick and choose the right renters’ liability insurance coverage for their needs.