Property owners generally carry a standard fire and liability policy, and have additional coverage with “landlord/rental” insurance, but they normally cannot cover the contents or possessions of the resident. In addition, they generally do not cover tenant displace or reimbursement for added food expenses. The reason that insurance companies do not provide this type of coverage is because they are “non-owner” occupied properties. Therefore, it is very important for you to have adequate insurance coverage for your contents and to also cover displacement costs in the event you are unable to occupy the home.
HappyDoors requires all tenants to have renters insurance. The purpose of this is to help protect your interest in the event something happens at the property. Examples include, but not limited to:
- Refrigerator malfunction – A renters insurance policy may offer reimbursement for food spoilage. A property owner does not have a legal or contractual obligation to reimburse a tenant for food spoilage.
- Water leaks – Leaks can be complicated. If a leak is due to tenant’s misuse or negligence, intentional or not, they may be found liable for the damage caused. Other possible issues that could arise is being unable to live in the property during repairs and damage to the tenants personal belongings. These are items that can be covered through a renters insurance policy which isn’t normally offered through the owners insurance policy.
- Fire – Similar to water leaks, a renters insurance policy can offer coverage for tenant liability, personal belongings, and displacement.
- Break-ins/burglary – In the event a tenant’s personal belongings are stolen, renters insurance can help with the cost to replace stolen or damaged property.
- If you think it is not important, sit down and write out a list of your possessions in one column. In a second column, list how much it would cost to “replace” them. You will be surprised how the list can really add up.
The above examples all refence situations in which a landlord’s insurance policy generally does not offer coverage and situations which the landlord may not be obligated to compensate the tenant for.
Contact an insurance agent if you do not have renters insurance. If you have a car insurance policy, it may be beneficial to speak to your existing insurance agent to find out whether or not you qualify for a discount. You can also find insurance agencies the telephone directory, search the Internet, or ask a friend. The Internet can also provide both information and comparison-shopping. To avoid a loss, acquire renters insurance now.
Here are some things you may want to ask your insurance agent about:
- Liability and property coverage due to mold and microbial contamination.
- Property damage due to sewage backups.
- Hurricane insurance.
- Flood insurance.