Does tenant insurance cover my personal belongings?
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- Renters’ insurance has two components: civil liability and personal property coverage.
- Personal property covers you if your property is lost, damaged or stolen.
- Certain items like specialty jewelry, fine art, and high-end electronics require additional coverage.
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Renters insurance protects your property and provides liability coverage for injuries that occur on your property. It also offers a relocation fee if you are temporarily forced to vacate your rental due to “loss of use” coverage.
If your pet bites a guest or someone is injured in your rental, liability coverage has you covered. Your belongings are covered by personal property coverage. However, there are limits and some items can be excluded.
What is personal property insurance?
Renters insurance protects your belongings and furniture against damage due to covered events, known as insurance risks. A peril is an event that can damage your property. Common insurance risks include: theft, fire, lightning, hail and vandalism.
Renters’ insurance policies cover up to a certain amount, typically around $ 20,000 or $ 30,000, depending on the value of your belongings.
Most renters’ insurance coverage for electronic devices is capped at around $ 2,500. Jewelry limits are generally lower, at $ 1,500. If your electronics or jewelry exceed these limits, you must increase your limits or get an additional rider.
*Available as additional coverage if not part of the policy
** Flood insurance is available from NFIP and licensed insurers
Specialty items may not be included
Specialty items such as high-end electronics, specialty jewelry, furs, fine art, firearms, specialty bikes, and cash may not be covered by renters insurance in the event of theft. . According to Steve Wilson, senior underwriting manager at Hippo Insurance, these items may require a “personal item” endorsement or supplemental endorsement.
It is a good idea to take an inventory of your furniture and personal effects. Some tenant insurance companies will have inventory lists to fill out. If you have riders for art and specialty jewelry, you will need to catalog them and provide ratings for them.
With personal jewelry insurance, you can ask your tenant insurance to increase your limits, but “amounts are still limited for individual parts and overall losses,” according to the Insurance Information Institute.
You can get a float or rider to add to your tenant insurance, or consider standalone coverage for personal jewelry.
Actual cash surrender value versus replacement cost
Renters’ insurance policies cover up to a certain amount, typically around $ 20,000 or $ 30,000 in coverage. Determining the value of your property will help you decide how much coverage to get.
Renters’ insurance policies generally use “replacement cost” when paying for covered damage. Replacement cost is the cost of replacing the item with a new or used product.
The actual cash surrender value (ACV) takes into account the depreciation of the item. For example, if a five-year-old leather sofa is damaged by fire, the actual dollar value takes into account the age of the sofa. The actual cash surrender value is usually less than the replacement value.
Flood insurance policies generally use the actual cash value, but you can pay extra to use the replacement cost. Check with your home insurance to see what is being used. Some suppliers offer a “guaranteed replacement cost” as a benefit.
For specialty jewelry and fine art, you will be covered for appraised value less any deductible.
How to file a claim if your goods are damaged or stolen
Treat stolen or damaged goods like a car accident and follow these steps to report and file a claim.
- Notify the police and file a police report if it is theft. Your insurance company may request a copy of the police report.
- Take pictures of damaged property and what caused the damage (fire, storm, etc.).
- Contact your tenant insurance company. Failure to timely notify your insurance provider may result in denial of the claim.