Renters Insurance Lessons: Importance of Reading the Fine Print

Not every landlord will require you to have liability insurance. However, some will ask you to have this protection to secure a lease. As a renter, you’d expect the insurance premiums you’re paying every month to count toward your renters coverage. If you ever lost your personal belongings in a covered event like an apartment fire, your insurance would typically pay to replace them. However, this would depend on whether you’re paying for renters insurance or your landlord’s coverage.

If you live in a rented apartment, here’s a look at some important renters insurance lessons.

Landlord Insurance Doesn’t Cover Tenant’s Belongings

Landlord insurance will not cover the personal belongings you keep in your rented apartment. According to the Texas Department of Insurance, the building owner’s coverage can only pay for repairs to the building and doesn’t cover tenants’ property.

Items like electronics, clothes, and furniture aren’t covered. If you lost these belongings due to a fire in your apartment, you can not replace them via your landlord’s insurance policy.

However, your landlord’s policy would pay to repair or replace the apartment’s physical structure, such as walls or doors, if damaged in a covered event like fire.

You Need Your Own Renters Coverage to Protect Your Personal Belongings 

If you’re a tenant, you can take out renters insurance to cover your personal properties. This coverage is separate from your landlord’s, and it can pay to replace your appliances, laptop, or clothing if damaged by a covered hazard. Your renters policy will also cover personal belongings for theft.

When Landlords Require Renters Insurance

Some apartment owners may require tenants to obtain renters insurance before letting them in. For instance, you may be asked to show proof that you have this coverage or provided with an option to buy protection via the property’s management. Either way, you should be covered for personal belongings.

Are You Unknowingly Paying for Your Landlord’s Policy?

In some cases, the landlord may require each tenant to purchase liability or other landlord insurance components via the property’s management before approving their rental contract. Their tenants will be paying rent along with extra insurance fees every month.

Tenants often mistake this coverage for their own renters insurance. It turns out that they’re actually paying their landlord’s insurance, excluding their renters personal property protection.

Importance of Reading the Fine Print

Don’t wait until damage has occurred to realize that you’re not covered for personal belongings or third-party liability. It’s vital that you carefully read your lease agreement before signing it. If there’s an insurance addendum to the contract, scrutinize it too.

You might be surprised to see the addendum stating that the premiums you’re paying to meet your lease obligations aren’t a personal liability or renters insurance cover. In that case, you’d have to purchase a separate policy to cover your belongings.

Keep these renters insurance lessons in mind to avoid personal property or liability coverage gaps when renting an apartment. To learn more about tenants’ coverage options, contact the team at  VGW Insurance in Texas today. We are happy to help with your unique coverage needs.