Landlords often require Renters Insurance Arkansas as part of the lease agreement. In addition, it’s generally a good idea for tenants to have their policy for peace of mind.
Most people only realize how much their belongings cost once they list them for replacement value coverage. A renters policy also covers additional living expenses if the apartment is uninhabitable due to concealed damage.
A renters policy will typically include personal property coverage that pays to repair or replace your belongings if they’re stolen, destroyed or lost. You’ll have the option of selecting a replacement cost or actual cash value limit, and your policy may also offer an endorsement for valuable items (and higher premiums).
While your landlord’s building insurance covers the physical structure of the home or apartment, it will not cover your belongings – and that’s where a renters insurance plan comes in handy. If something happens to your stuff, you’ll be covered. If the same thing happens to your landlord’s stuff, his or her insurance will cover it.
Most standard renters policies have a set list of “covered perils,” including fire, windstorm, hail, lightning, smoke, vandalism, theft and freezing, among others. Some plans cover terrorism-related damage as well. If you have any special concerns, such as earthquake damage (or even if you’re just worried about bugs), talk to your insurer.
Another important feature of most renters policies is liability coverage, which pays for injuries or damage you accidentally cause to other people. For example, if your dog bites a neighbor or your son throws a baseball through a neighbor’s window, liability coverage could pay for the medical bills and legal fees.
If you have expensive belongings, consider adding a personal article of jewelry or floater policy to your standard renters policy. These additional policies provide a certain amount of coverage for specific items and will often come with lower limit amounts than your standard renters policy.
It’s important to note that the personal belongings of roommates and other household residents are not typically included in a standard renters policy unless those people are listed as named insureds on the policy. Additionally, if someone’s property is stolen or damaged from your rental home and it’s found to have been stored inside your house for the purpose of renting it out, you might not be reimbursed by your insurer for any of that loss.
Some other important considerations about personal property coverage are that it’s only covered when it’s in your home, and the value of any data stored on a computer or electronic device is usually limited to the price you paid for the item, not its current market value. You can add endorsements to your policy to cover more expensive belongings, but it’s still best to complete a personal property inventory so you know what your stuff is worth.
Many renters assume their landlord’s insurance covers them in the event of a fire, theft or other catastrophe. But the building itself is the responsibility of the owner, and the landlord’s policy doesn’t cover personal possessions or pay for living expenses if the property is uninhabitable. That’s why renters or tenants insurance is important for anyone who lives in a rental house, apartment or other dwelling.
Most renters policies offer personal property coverage that pays to repair or replace your personal belongings if they’re stolen, destroyed or damaged by a covered loss event. Typical items included in this type of coverage are computers, televisions, jewelry and furniture. It’s a good idea to take a room-by-room inventory of your belongings and determine their approximate cost before purchasing a renters policy. Many policies also include a deductible, which is the amount you’re responsible for paying before your insurer starts covering losses.
Another important aspect of renters insurance is liability coverage. This component of the policy protects you from financial responsibility if someone is injured while visiting your home or if your dog bites someone outside your home. Depending on the type of policy, this portion of the policy may also include property damage caused by you to your neighbors’ homes or their belongings.
Some renters insurance policies also provide additional living expense coverage, which helps pay for hotel bills, temporary rentals, meals and other costs while your residence is being repaired or rebuilt following a loss event. This coverage is generally limited to a certain dollar amount, and some policies have a time limit on how long they will reimburse you for these expenses. Some policies also offer a choice of actual cash value or replacement cost coverage for personal property. While the former pays out your personal property’s depreciated value, the latter typically covers the cost of replacing your belongings with new ones. It’s best to speak with a licensed agent for more information about these differences. Additionally, many insurance companies will ask you to get your belongings professionally appraised before they’ll cover them. This process typically includes taking the item to a jeweler for an assessment of its value.
Most renters insurance policies include a portion called additional living expenses (ALE) that helps pay for costs above and beyond your normal daily spending if a covered peril causes you to relocate until your home can be repaired. It may cover hotel bills, temporary rentals, restaurant meals and more – it’s a great way to ensure you can keep up with your everyday expenses without having to cut back too much.
Typically, the ALE limit is tied to a certain percentage of your dwelling coverage limit, but it can vary. Your agent will be able to help you determine which limits are right for you, depending on the details of your particular policy.
To qualify for ALE reimbursement, you’ll need to document your increased expenses. That’s why it’s important to get clear written communication about how ALE claims work with your insurer. Ask your insurance agent or company representative for guidance on what documentation you’ll need and how to submit it, including the best way to calculate and compare your normal living expenses with the ones incurred in your temporary housing.
For example, suppose your average grocery bill is $200 a week but the restaurant meals you have to eat while in temporary housing cost $250 a week. Your insurer will reimburse you for the difference. The same goes for gas: if you have to drive farther to get to work in your new location because it’s closer to your office than your old one, your insurance may reimburse you for the added travel costs.
In addition, many policies account for storage fees for any undamaged items you have to store while your rented space is being restored or if you have to use a coin-operated laundromat because your apartment’s washer and dryer were damaged in a fire or flood. Other costs that often are reimbursed under ALE are extra laundry detergent, electricity and internet service for the temporary place you’re staying in, phone charges for calling family and friends, and internet access for researching and working from home.
Most basic renters insurance policies exclude coverage for certain extreme events, such as damage caused by floods or earthquakes. However, specialized policies or policy endorsements can fill these gaps and help protect your property.
Most standard policies also exclude damages caused by wear and tear or maintenance issues like pest infestations, unless you have specific add-on coverage for these types of issues. If, for example, your apartment gets robbed and all of your belongings are stolen, you can usually claim the replacement value of your property up to your personal property limit. If you aren’t sure how much your items are worth, it may be a good idea to create a home inventory and itemize them for an accurate valuation.
You should also be aware of your policy’s exclusions for certain high-value items, such as antiques, fine arts, and jewelry. For example, a standard renters insurance policy may only cover jewelry up to a specified amount, and you will need to provide a professional appraisal in order to receive the full value of your ring. Similarly, most renters insurance will only pay up to a specified amount for premium electronics like computers or 3-D printers. For pricier items, you can usually purchase extra coverage called riders or standalone policies to protect these items.
Another type of damage that your renters insurance will typically not cover is water damage that you cause yourself, such as from a burst pipe, sprinkler system failure or sewer backup. This is why it’s a good idea to have additional protection for your property by purchasing a separate flood insurance policy or the USAA Equipment Breakdown EndorsementSee note6.
Having the right rental insurance is an affordable and smart investment that can give you peace of mind knowing that your belongings are covered against theft, fires, flooding and more. Plus, it can help you pay for things like a hotel or food if your home is rendered unlivable due to one of the named perils that your policy covers. So, if you’re not already protected by this affordable form of protection, it might be time to consider getting a renters insurance policy in Orange, CA.