If your possessions were damaged in a flood, major storm or fire, would your losses be covered? Many people assume that their landlord’s insurance covers any damage that occurs in the building. While your landlord probably does hold some type of landlords insurance, do you know what it covers? More importantly, will it protect your apartment and your belongings?
What Does Landlords Insurance Cover?
Most landlords insurance covers damage to the building itself. Depending on the policy your landlord holds, the inner structure of your apartment may or may not be covered. For instance, in the case of water damage resulting from a flood, the exterior walls of the building may be protected while the inner walls of your apartment are not. Check the terms of your lease for the specifics of the insurance policy. Unfortunately, landlords insurance will not protect your personal property from damage. To protect your personal items, you will need to purchase renters insurance.
What Does Renters Insurance Cover?
Renters insurance will cover damage to your personal property that is the result of factors listed on your policy. The specifics of your coverage will vary with your policy. Before you purchase coverage, you will want to look into how the insurance company will reimburse you for your losses. “Replacement Cost” coverage will pay for the costs of replacing the items that were damaged. “Actual Cash Value” coverage will reimburse you for the depreciated value of the damaged items. Replacement Cost coverage may have a higher premium than Actual Cash Value coverage. Carefully examine the events that are and are not covered by your renters insurance. In many cases, damage from flood will not be protected. If you live in a flood-prone area, you might consider purchasing separate flood insurance for your apartment.
Some Other Factors to Consider
Before purchasing renters insurance, you’ll need to understand the implications for your property if there is an incident. Some policies have caps on the amount that they will reimburse for damage of certain items like jewelry or electronics. If you have an expensive jewelry collection or other expensive items that may not be fully covered by renters insurance, you can take out a separate policy for them.
Keep receipts for expensive items and important paperwork from your insurance policy on file in a safe place outside the house, such as a safe deposit box. In case of an incident, try to document the damage as fully as possible. Take dated photographs of any damaged items and save them to help with your insurance claim. With a little preparation and a decent insurance policy, incidents out of your control don’t have to turn your life out of control too.