Renter's Insurance FAQs
Why would I need insurance if I'm only renting and not owning a house, apartment or condo?
That's a good question! While you may not own the house or unit you're renting, you will likely have personal belongings there. These belongings (aka "contents" and "personal property") are almost certainly not going to be covered by the home or unit owner's personal policy, and they likely also will not be covered by the building's commercial policy. That means that you will need to be sure to have coverage in place in case your belongings get lost or damaged
Coverage for your belongings is necessary, but what about coverage if someone slips and falls at your rental property? Depending on the circumstances of their fall you might wind up getting sued even if you don't own the unit
Alternatively, imagine you're walking your dog outside of your rental location and it bites someone? If the person's injuries are severe enough you will likely get sued personally, and you need coverage for these circumstances. That's where liability, and potentially umbrella or excess liability coverage will come into play. Even if your dog bites someone in another state or even another country, most insurance providers will provide coverage as long as your dog isn't specifically excluded for coverage on your policy
This combination of contents and liability coverage will cover your basic needs as a renter
So how much contents coverage should I buy?
What makes renters insurance different than homeowner or condo insurance is that there is typically no inspection involved, so there's no simple way to determine how much coverage you need. While there may not be a simple percentage calculation to use, there remain plenty of ways to come up with a safe estimate that should more than adequately cover what you own and have in storage.
For example, if you're renting your first apartment and it's a small studio apartment where you are living alone, and you have minimal belongings, you will need significantly less than family renting a 3 bedroom home. Once we obtain information about you, your family, and the unit or house you are renting, we will be able to estimate a safe limit of coverage that will suit your needs
So how much liability coverage should I buy?
As with a homeowner or condo policy, you should be buying enough liability coverage to adequately protect your net worth from a lawsuit
If you have just started your career and are beginning to build your wealth, a limit of $100,000 may be adequate. If you're renting a large unit for your family, you may need $1,000,000 or more in liability coverage to be properly protected
We can't know the correct answer to this question without knowing what you own, so once we speak to you or you request a quote (links below) we'll be able to determine an adequate limit quite quickly
Is the contents/belongings limit that ends up showing on my policy the maximum I would get paid out if my home was lost?
Typically, yes. Unlike on a homeowner or condo policy, which we discuss directly above this section, a renter's policy generally caps out at the contents/belongings limit showing on the policy. This means that it's extremely important to properly estimate how much of your belongings are at this unit and in storage
As with a homeowner or condo policy, most of your non-valuable belongings in storage worldwide that are away from a residence will be covered under the limit we estimate, so we’ll need to consider your storage use if any to avoid having inadequate coverage for those items
It's also important to note, as we discuss within our Collection FAQ page, there are limits to how much coverage most carriers will afford for collectible items such as jewelry, coins, furs and more in the event of theft or disappearance (e.g. losing an item on vacation). We can properly cover these items via an endorsement (a coverage addition to your renter's policy) or via a separate policy, but just know that when we talk about coverage for your belongings on a renter's policy, we’re typically referring to non-collectible items
What does a typical Renter's policy cover?
While there are certain exclusions for specific claims scenarios, as well as plenty of additional coverages that can be added or may be included by default, at a minimum modern renter's policies typically include coverage for damage due to the following events (aka perils):
Fire or Lightning
Volcanic Eruption (coverage varies among carriers)
Windstorm or Hail
Riot or Civil Commotion
Damage caused by Aircraft
Vandalism or Malicious Mischief
Damage due to weight of Ice, Snow, or Sleet
Sudden & Accidental Tearing Apart, Cracking, Burning, or Bulging
Sudden & Accidental Damage from Artificially Generated Electric Current
Accidental Discharge or Overflow of Water from Plumbing, Air conditioning etc.
As mentioned above, Renter's policies can also typically include liability coverage as well, and you can learn more about that in our Liability Coverage FAQ section
Also, if a covered loss requires you to move out of your rental location temporarily, Loss of Use (LOU) aka Additional Living Expenses (ALE) will kick in to cover the bills required to maintain your living standards while the repairs take place*
What do you need to get me price quotes for insuring my rental?
We really only need a small amount of information about you and your rental in order to obtain quotes from one (or more than one) insurance provider. For the quickest turnaround time you can fill out our quick 2-5 minute online quote request form (links directly below)
Alternatively, we can set up a time to talk in person (location dependent) or have you provide us with your information over the phone (212-495-9172 is our main number) or you can email us at Hayden@NorthImprovement.com. Whatever route you prefer to go is fine with us
*Loss of Use/Additional Living Expenses coverage varies between carriers and states. There is sometimes a negotiation involved in deciding where you will live while covered damages are repaired.
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