You’ve done the smart thing and purchased renters insurance. But unless you’ve read the fine print of your insurance policy, you may be unaware of what renters insurance doesn’t cover.
But fear not. We’re outlining the most common insurance claims that aren’t covered by your renters policy so you can better prepare for the future.
What renters insurance doesn’t cover
Despite what you might think, renters coverage does have limitations. To make sure you’re covered in nearly every conceivable situation, browse through the following categories. Are you leaving anything up for grabs?
Mother Nature’s wrath
If you’ve been a longtime resident of New York City, you know that several different weather scenarios can play out in a 24-hour period. While some weather occurrences or effects of them are covered by insurance, like windstorms and lighting, you’ll more often find that natural disasters aren’t covered by your insurance policy.
If you have basic renters coverage, your belongings are not protected from flooding, hurricanes, or earthquakes. If you believe you live in an area where any of these disasters are possible, you’ll have to purchase a separate policy to be protected.
Expensive or rare items
If you’re a collector of the finer things in life, you may be surprised to learn that they’re not covered under your standard renters insurance policy. This could include, but is not limited to, jewelry, high-priced artwork, rare sports memorabilia, appraised family heirlooms, and rare collectibles.
If you’re not sure if something is covered by your current policy, it’s always best to contact your insurance agent and discuss your coverage. You may need to purchase a separate insurance policy for valued items.
If you’ve had a roommate join you in your humble abode, you should suggest renters insurance to them. Let them know that even though you have a policy, their items will not be covered underneath it. The exception to this is that if you’re living with a family member, their items will be covered, as long as their name is added to the policy.
Unfortunately, false insurance claims happen. To protect themselves and keep your premiums as low as possible, insurance companies almost always require documentation to prove ownership of an item in the event it is damaged or stolen.
To protect yourself, make sure you keep receipts for large or expensive items. Use a spreadsheet to keep track of your personal inventory and important data like serial numbers. The more information you gather, the better. Digitize your records and store them in a cloud for added protection. You should also take video or pictures of all your items and store them in a safety deposit box or another safe location. If you’re concerned about your more expensive items, have them professionally appraised and then insured properly.
So what does renters insurance cover?
What is not covered through renters insurance is slight when you compare it to the list it does cover. This type of policy is one of the most comprehensive types of coverage available, including coverage for personal possessions, liability insurance, and additional living expenses.
Renters insurance covers:
- Theft or burglary (at home or while traveling)
- Personal belongings like furniture, clothing, and home furnishings
- Injury to another person while in your apartment
- Damage to another person’s property caused by you
- Expenses to live in another place in the event your place becomes uninhabitable
As a renter, you should purchase an insurance policy before moving into your rented space. But it’s never too late. If you’ve been gambling by going without coverage, there’s no better time than the present to pick up the phone and speak with an insurance agent regarding your unique coverage needs.
How to complete your coverage
One common misconception regarding renters insurance is that once you have it, you’re 100% safe from damages. Unfortunately, your valuables are only covered up to the specified amount the insurance companies provide.
Often, depending on the value of your items, this amount is not enough should the valuables become damaged or are stolen. To ensure your jewelry, fine art, or other collectibles are properly insured, you can purchase a floater or a separate policy to add on to your existing insurance.
Insurance riders are a good example of additional coverage. If you have expensive watches, furs, jewelry, a rare coin collection, or other valuables, a cost-effective insurance rider will provide that extra coverage on top of what your standard policy covers.
Remember, while a landlord insurance policy typically covers the building structure itself, it’s up to you to cover your belongings inside your apartment and know what renters insurance doesn’t cover.
The best way to prevent being caught off guard is to speak with an insurance agent. They can review your policy and address any coverage concerns you may have. It only takes a few minutes to expand your coverage and sleep better at night.