What Renters Insurance Does NOT Cover

Performance Property Real Estate Question

Q: I just got my first apartment. What does rental insurance actually cover? Marvin, Little Ferry, NJ

A: Renter’s insurance does not cover major weather events like earthquakes, floods and landslides nor does it cover damage from riots or sinkholes. A renter’s policy also will not cover pest infestations (including bed bugs or rodents). However, it is possible to get separate insurance policies for events like floods.

A renter’s policy also will not cover a roommate’s possessions if they aren’t named on the renter’s policy-basically anything damaged that does not belong to the person on the insurance policy will not be covered. It’s generally not a good idea to add roommates to a renter’s insurance policy unless they are family or a spouse because adding a non-relative to your policy will split coverage among all those assigned to the policy.

Damage or theft of a renter’s car will also not be covered by a renter’s policy. A tenant will need a car insurance policy with comprehensive coverage in order to get protection from that.

Although personal coverage insurance covers most costs related to legal liability, there are some exceptions in the case of pets. Bodily harm caused by a pet, such as a dog bite, may fall under renter’s liability coverage, but policies can exclude these events in certain circumstances. For example, many insurers exclude coverage for certain dog breeds like pit bulls and they may even deny coverage if a tenant owns one of their banned dog breeds.

Thanks for your question, Marvin.

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