8 things renters insurance does and does not cover
When you purchased your renters insurance, chances are slim that you were told about the following surprising things that your insurance may or may not cover.
Since coverage amounts vary depending on your policy, only general examples are provided. Be sure to check your policy details to confirm exactly what’s covered in your personal policy:
- Dog bites or other bodily injury: if your dog bites your friends while they’re over at your place or it damages somebody else’s apartment while you’re visiting, your insurance will cover medical bills and damaged goods occurring as a result of the incident. Legal defense costs in case of a lawsuit are also covered.
- The food in your fridge: power outages can happen overnight or while you were away on a short vacation, but in some instances you can be reimbursed for lost or spoiled food.
- Several nights at a hotel, your pet included: this type of expense generally falls under “living expenses.” If your apartment becomes uninhabitable due to unexpected damage (like broken pipes, flooding after a storm or accidental kitchen fire), the insurance will pay for a hotel or alternative rental for up to a few weeks.
- Storage units: your belongings in storage (outside of your apartment unit) are covered up to a certain amount. Exceptions: things that were moved because they had to be repaired or renovated.
- Belongings stolen from your car, or a piece of personal property stolen outside your apartment, like a bicycle.
- Bed bugs: although there are certain policies which will cover dry cleaning or booking a hotel room, your landlord is responsible for bed bug infestations and they are not covered by renters insurance.
- Insect or vermin damage: floors, insulation or wires will not be covered if ants, rats or squirrels find their way into your house. Remember, renters insurance is first and foremost contents coverage.
- Antiques, jewelry, art, electronics and other very expensive items: unless you buy additional coverage for a specific item, your engagement ring is not covered by your insurance and in some cases, neither your ultra-modern stereo.
- Flood damage: you’ll generally need a separate flood insurance policy through the National Flood Insurance program for this, although a number of renters insurance policies may provide some coverage.
Not sure you’re covered? Find a better renters insurance policy.