As a renter, you may wonder what happens if you experience water damage such as a pipe break or roof leak in your apartment. Is your landlord responsible? Does your renters insurance cover these damages? Does the cause of the water damage affect whose insurance coverage pays for the damages?
These are understandable questions. As a renter, there are a lot of things that your landlord takes care of for you. But is this one of them? Here’s everything you need to know:
What is Renters Insurance?
Renters Insurance is insurance coverage intended to protect your personal property in the event that something happens to it. So, for example, if your apartment building experiences water damage from a broken pipe and this damages your furniture, clothing, or collectibles, your renters insurance policy would cover the cleaning, restoration, or replacement of these items.
This is valuable coverage for a renter to have, as your landlord’s insurance policy will not cover the damage to your personal property.
Does Renters Insurance Cover Water Damage?
In the event that your personal property is damaged as a result of a water damage event such as a pipe break, roof leak, or overflow, your renters insurance policy will cover the cleaning, restoration, or replacement of your personal property damaged by the water damage event in most cases.
This means that, while your renters insurance does not cover the damages to the structure (the building), it does cover damages to the items you personally own (electronics, furniture, clothing, jewelry, collectibles, etc.). It’s important to note that your landlord’s insurance policy does not cover damage to your property, so it’s important to ensure that you are equally protected in the event something happens.
Imagine for a moment how much it would cost to replace everything in your apartment. How much did you spend on your sofa? How expensive were your television and electronics? What about children’s toys, clothing, or collectibles? This all adds up very quickly, which is why it’s always a good idea to ensure that you are protected in the event something happens. The best way to protect your property in the event of water damage is to have a renters insurance policy.
Additionally, most renters insurance policies also cover hotel or additional living expenses if you temporarily cannot stay at your apartment due to the extent of damages. This is an often overlooked, but invaluable coverage that will assist you with hotel, and sometimes meal expenses, that you incur while waiting to move back into your apartment.
What does Landlord Insurance Cover?
Now that you know what renters insurance covers, you may be wondering what your landlord’s insurance policy covers. Similar to how your renters insurance policy protects your personal property in the event of damage, your landlord’s insurance policy protects the property they own – the building.
So, in the event of a pipe break or roof leak, your landlord’s insurance policy will cover the cleaning and restoration of the building itself (the ceiling, walls, floor, etc.). This allows your landlord to hire a qualified contractor to address the property damage, properly resolve moisture issues caused by the water damage, and complete any necessary repairs.
Your landlord’s policy will not cover any damage that occurs to your personal property, such as your furniture, clothing, electronics, etc. and may have provisions in place requiring any damaged content items to be taken care of by the tenant to prevent secondary damages to their apartment or building, or requiring that tenants carry separate renters insurance for this purpose.
While your landlord may decide not to turn in a claim for every occurrence of property damage, opting to address smaller issues directly, landlord insurance coverage is extremely important and is there to address even the most significant problems. Large water damage claims, storm damage, and fires are all common types of property damage that your landlord may report to their insurance company.
Similar to how your renters insurance policy assists you with out-of-pocket expenses such as hotel and meal costs, your landlord’s insurance policy will generally cover lost rental income, additional utility costs, and other business-type expenses related to the property.
Do you need Renters Insurance?
If you are a renter, it’s a good idea to have renters insurance coverage. Not only does this cover the cleaning or replacement costs of your personal property in the event of water damage, but it also creates financial security should you ever be in a situation where you can’t stay at your apartment for an extended period.
Additionally, some landlords, or their insurance companies, may require renters to have renters insurance. While this can sometimes be viewed as a nuisance by some renters, this is actually a good thing, as it encourages renters to protect themselves and their property, which benefits everyone. Without proper renters insurance, you may see your apartment repaired following a water damage, but you may have lost your contents and personal property, effectively putting you in the position of having to start over. This can be devastating, which is why we always recommend having renters insurance for the safety, and peace of mind, it provides.
Where do you get Renters Insurance?
You can purchase renters insurance from most local insurance agencies, who will be more than happy to assist you. We always recommend purchasing insurance through a local agency because it’s always helpful to have a local office that can assist you with your claim should you ever need them. This personal relationship is a very important part of having insurance coverage and the promise they make to take care of you when the worst happens.
We hope this was helpful and answered some of your questions about renters insurance. If we can ever help with anything, please don’t hesitate to contact our offices!
About Disaster Blaster
Disaster Blaster is an indoor environmental firm serving the Northeastern PA Area. We have been providing our local area with unparalleled water damage mitigation, mold remediation, basement waterproofing, basement waterproofing, asbestos abatement, radon mitigation, and fire / smoke restoration services for decades, and are proud to have been named The World’s Greatest Indoor Environmental Firm. For more about Disaster Blaster, as well as more helpful tips, please visit our website at: www.disasterblaster.com or call our office at (570) 963-1123.