Renters insurance is often discussed in terms of apartments, but it can also be used when you rent a home or room. Even if you rent a single room in a home, you can purchase renters insurance. This insurance helps cover your items in case they are lost or damaged, as well as protects you from lawsuits concerning liability.
Do I Need Insurance to Cover the Home?
If you’re renting a home and don’t own it, you don’t need to purchase or carry insurance that covers the physical home. Your landlord should have property insurance in case the structure of the home is damaged or lost. The same goes for the room itself. If a candle falls and causes a fire in your bedroom, for example, your landlord’s property insurance should cover the damages to the bedroom while your renters insurance policy should cover any items you lose due to the fire. Keep in mind that the landlord may still sue you for the damages.
Renters insurance should instead cover you and your personal belongings within the home. You can receive compensation for your belongings after incidents involving:
- Volcanic explosions
- Civil riots
- Damage by vehicle or aircraft
Common exclusions for renters insurance include floods and earthquakes. These are not covered under basic policies but may be added under separate coverages depending on your insurance agency and location. There is also limited coverage for items like jewelry, furs and art, but you can buy policy floaters for extra coverage.
Can My Landlord Require Me to Have Insurance?
No matter if it’s an apartment or a house, if you are renting a property, your landlord has the right to require renters insurance before you move in. Some states have caps on how much insurance landlords can require, but most policies cover $100,000 in personal liability and around $30,000 in personal possessions coverage, though this depends on the value of your insured belongings.
You should know whether or not your landlord requires renters insurance by the time you sign the lease. It should be explicitly stated on the lease. If it is and your coverage lapses, your landlord has the right to evict you. Always speak with your landlord if you’re unsure about anything and double check your lease before signing to make sure everyone understands the requirements.
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