5 Questions to Ask Your Insurance Rep About Renters Insurance

While renters insurance offers broad protection for tenants, it’s important for consumers to choose the policy that best suits their individual needs.

A renters policy can cover your personal belongings and help cover legal costs in the event you are sued for accidental bodily injury or property damage of others. But not all policies are the same. Here are five questions to ask your insurance representative to help you make the right choice.

1. What’s Covered and What’s Not?

A renters policy generally covers your stuff against events like theft, lightning, fire, smoke, vandalism, explosions and windstorms.1 There’s also liability protection against claims and lawsuits alleging that you caused bodily injuries or property damage. There may be coverage for certain kinds of water damage, such as leaks from damaged pipes. Your insurance rep can tell you if the policy includes additional living expenses if you’re forced to move due to a covered loss.

A typical renters insurance policy does not generally provide coverage for damage from floods and earthquakes. Also, there will be limits on how much coverage is provided for your things. There could also be lower limits in the policy for different categories of your possessions. If you own expensive collectibles, such as jewelry or art, ask your insurance representative about buying additional coverage for these valuables.

2. Will a Renters Policy Cover my Roommate?

Renters insurance typically covers family members, but may not cover roommates. Travelers recommends that each occupant obtains his/her own policy to cover their individual stuff.

Some insurers allow roommates to be insured under a single policy.2 In these instances, roommates must agree to the level of coverage, based on the combined value of their stuff. If one roommate moves away, the remaining renter typically will need to obtain a new policy.