There’s a lot to think about when you’ve rented a new place, from where you’re going to put your fiddle-leaf fig tree to how you’re going to decorate your bedroom. Don’t let tenant insurance get lost in the shuffle.
When you’re shopping for tenant insurance, you’ll probably come across a lot of tips and information — but how much of what you read is actually true? Let’s break down five of the most common myths about tenant insurance.
- Myth: Your tenant insurance policy protects your roommates’ stuff, too. Reality: Tenant insurance protects the renter named on the policy, not everyone living in the space — each roommate needs their own tenant insurance policy to protect their stuff. Plus, did you know that tenant insurance protects more than just your belongings? Any coverage included in the policy applies only to the renter whose name is on it. This is why it’s so important for each roommate to have their own renter’s insurance policy.
- Myth: Your tenant insurance covers damage to the building you live in, like a broken window. Reality: When you’re a renter, your tenant insurance doesn’t cover any part of the building or structure you live in (but don’t own), including its windows, doors, walls, or any appliances or fixtures that belong to your landlord. If someone breaks in through your window and steals your belongings, your belongings themselves would be covered by your policy, but the broken window would be covered by your landlord’s insurance.
- Myth: “Loss of use” or “additional living expenses” coverage pays for the entire cost of alternate living arrangements when you have to leave your rental unit because of a fire or other event. Reality: Additional living expenses or loss of use coverage is designed to cover any additional expenses you incur because of an insured event, above and beyond your regular living expenses. This means if your rent was originally $900/month, but now you have to pay $1,100/month for an alternate place to stay, you’d be reimbursed for the additional $200/month. And if your apartment had a kitchen but the alternate space doesn’t, you’d be covered for additional food costs as they exceed your average grocery bill.
- Myth: Tenant insurance covers all of your belongings, including electronics and valuables. Reality: Your standard tenant insurance policy will probably protect most of your belongings, but there are certain big-ticket items that come with special limits or require additional coverage (e.g., electronics, sports memorabilia, jewelry, collectible items, computer software, and bicycles). Find out how to make sure all of your high-value belongings will be covered by insurance in the event that they’re lost or damaged.
- Myth: You can buy tenant insurance after something happens, then make a claim right away. Reality: Like any other kind of insurance, you must have your renter’s insurance policy in place before something happens that requires you to make a claim opens a pop-up with definition of claim. Insurance won’t cover any incident that occurs before the policy was purchased, and you never know when the unexpected might happen. Contact your licensed insurance broker opens a pop-up with definition of broker to get your coverage in place before move-in day to be on the safe side.
These are just a few of the most common myths we hear about tenant insurance, but there are many more out there. Shopping around with the help of a licensed broker is a great way to make sure the information you’re getting is always accurate and up to date. Your broker can help you find the best coverage to suit your needs, and they’ll be there to bust any more myths that come up along the way.