Basically renter’s insurance covers you(the policy holder) your property, any liability that is not as a result of structural issues( which is covered by homeowner insurance) and alternative apart in the event of a loss that is inclusive in the coverage.
Renter’s insurance is a type of insurance policy under property insurance that is tailored to protect the people living in a rented apartment.
As long as you live in a rented space be it an apartment, studio, duplex, condo etc, renters insurance is a necessity.
Most homeowners who own a rental apartment usually require proof of renter’s insurance since your belongings and some liabilities are not covered under homeowner insurance.for example if a rented building and the property of the tenants are destroyed by fire, homeowner insurance can cover for the building but not the personal property of the tenants.
Types of coverage under renter’s insurance
There are typically three types of coverage under renter’s insurance
- personal possessions coverage
- Liability protection
- Additional Living Expenses (ALE) protection
Personal possessions coverage: this coverage protects policyholders against loss due to damage, theft, fire, vandalism and other causes of loss. It is advised to not just add this coverage to your renters insurance but to buy enough for your covered properties. For easy calculation of how much coverage you should purchase, enumerate all your property and their equivalent retail cost.
Personal possession coverage branches out to actual cash value (ACV) and replacement cost which you can choose from but bear in mind that although ACV is more expensive it pays for the retail value of the lost item at the time the claim is filed unlike replacement cost that pays the retail value of the lost item at the time the policy was purchased.
Note that there is a coverage limit but if your possession cost is above the limit, you can purchase a floater which is a different policy that provides extra coverage for expensive items should loss occur.
Liability protection: This Coverage protects the policyholder in the case of any liability claims. If a policyholder ,or a member of his household (pets inclusive) is responsible for any Bodily injury or damage of property on the rented property, liability protection covers the cost of any legal issue that may arise.
It is advised to buy no-fault liability coverage as part of liability protection to sort the medical bills of an injured third party.
Just like other policies, liability protection coverage has a coverage limit. Be sure to check with your insurance provider to know if the coverage limit suits your needs.
Additional living expenses protection: This type of renter’s insurance protection offers coverage for additional expenses of getting an alternative apartment if the rented apartment is no longer livable because of a covered loss. For example if there was a fire in the rented apartment and there is need to get an alternative living area while the building is being repaired or rebuilt, additional living expenses protection pays for the extra expenses more than what you’ll spend on a normal day. These expenses may include; hotel bills,feeding expenses. Or any extra expenses that may be incurred.
Typically, Insurance providers pay the whole difference between your normal expenses and the expenses incurred during this period.
Also note that this coverage also has a limit ensure to contact your insurance provider for clarification.
How to file a renter’s insurance claim
To file a renter’s insurance claim, here are few steps to help you on the way
- Safeguard your property from further damage
- Contact your insurance provider immediately to report a claim
- Inform your insurer if there is any emergency repair to be made
- Your insurance provider may want to investigate the extent of the damage and ask further questions, be cooperative
- Discuss the application of your policy limit and coverage in your situation
- Document the items to be repaired by taking pictures, writing, videos etc.
Note that before your insurance provider pay your claims, you would be required to pay a certain amount as deductible.