Rental Insurance and My Home: What to Know

Loads of tenants don’t realize they may need rental insurance. This could be for a lot of different reasons like underestimating the value of their belongings, or believing their landlord is responsible for carrying the insurance. Landlords generally prefer or sometimes even require their tenants to have rental insurance as a means to protect themselves in the event of property damage, and we will go over why in just a second! So why exactly is rental insurance important and beneficial?

What does it cover?

Rental insurance is similar to homeowners insurance in that it can cover the cost of replacing personal belongings if they are damaged or stolen. Items such as televisions, computers, or even bicycles can be covered by rental insurance. When it comes to property damage, depending on the type and severity (structural), this would be the responsibility of the landlord’s insurance. Now, the landlord’s insurance may cover the property damage itself, but it will not cover your personal belongings.

It is also important to note that rental insurance is not just for loss of personal belongings, it also covers liability for injuries, and sometimes natural disasters.

Why should landlords require rental insurance?

There are many reasons a landlord would require rental insurance, but most importantly would be in the case of large-scale property damage that could cause loss of personal property. If there were to be a natural disaster, certain insurance policies will assist in the cost of temporary living as well as replacing personal property.

Rental insurance also helps landlords reduce risk of being targeted by a lawsuit. Like when landlords permit a pet onto the property, rental insurance helps mitigate risks like dog bites as well as property damage from pets.

What isn't covered?

Rental insurance has a lot of benefits but it should be clear that there are things that it won't cover. In the case of loss of personal property you could very easily go over your coverage limit, or have certain rules you must follow in order to be covered.

If you accidentally damage someone else's property or a guest gets hurt (within the limit of your home) and they have medical bills, it is possible that your insurance may cover this. However, if the occurrence happens outside your property limits this is not something the insurance would cover..

On top of this, any other additional residential expenses such as hotel bills will be covered in the case of damage to your residence, however any damage to the structure of the building or property you are renting will not be. There are also certain items that may not be covered by rental insurance policies, like jewelry or coin collections. For items like this you may be required to get additional coverage.

How much personal property coverage do you need?

The first thing to do is to think of everything you own and calculate how much it would cost to replace all of it if it was damaged or destroyed. Set coverage limits for things that are appropriate to your situation. There are also two types of property coverage policies that you can choose from. Actual cash value protection is calculated using their current market value plus depreciation, the other policy type is where the cost would be to replace your items at today's retail prices after a covered loss.

When you need to file a rental insurance claim, remember to contact your insurance agent as soon as possible to report the claim. Your agent will also be required to ask you questions about the process. Submit and document all the damaged items in writing, as well as take photos and videos of the damage.

Rental insurance is great for protecting renters and minimizing their risks and potential costs from personal property loss, however it is important that you take the time to select the policy options that best suit your family and needs.

Buckeye Northwest Realty provides houses for rent in Toledo, Ohio and the surrounding areas. To learn more about houses for rent, contact us today!

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