: Does usaa renters insurance cover water damage
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What Is Flood Insurance?
Flood insurance covers the harm caused by heavy or prolonged rain, melting snow, coastal storm surges, blocked storm drainage systems, or levee dam failure. Some policies cover only the structure of the home, while some cover the inside contents of the property, such as electrical installations, cooling and heating systems, appliances, and more.
The NFIP excludes temporary housing and additional living expenses incurred while the building is being repaired or is unable to be occupied. Property outside of an insured building (landscaping, wells, septic systems, decks and patios, fences, seawalls, hot tubs, and swimming pools) are not covered either.
Financial losses caused by business interruption are generally not covered by the NFIP, nor are losses of currency, precious metals, stock certificates and other valuable papers, cars, and most self-propelled vehicles (including their parts), and personal property kept in basements. Some private insurers stand out by covering some of the items NFIP doesn’t.
What’s the Difference Between Private Flood Insurance and NFIP?
The federal government regulates NFIP’s policies. While NFIP has been the most common flood insurance for decades, with the appearance of private flood insurers, the market has become a bit more competitive. Private flood insurance carriers are independent and have their own reinsurance programs. They don’t have to abide by the requirements set by FEMA for the policies that are written through the NFIP.
Because they have a direct interest in the claims, private insurance companies analyze each property individually and generate premiums that reflect the flooding risk more accurately for each property. This allows consumers to find flood insurance that offers the best rate for their situation.
Who Should Does usaa renters insurance cover water damage Flood Insurance?
While flood insurance is typically recommended for those who live in areas at risk of flood damage, that doesn’t mean that other homeowners shouldn’t get this coverage as well. According to The Federal Emergency Management Agency, more than 25% of flood claims come from properties outside of high flood areas. Furthermore, it only takes a few inches of floodwater in your home to cause an average of $35,000 in damage.
If you live in an area at risk of hurricane, storm, prolonged rainfall or snowfall, coastal storm surge, or other conditions that may increase the risk of flooding, flood insurance is a must. However, if you live in a low-risk area with no snowfalls, rainfalls, or other conditions that raise the risk of flooding, investing in flood insurance is not a must-have for you.
How We Chose the Best Flood Insurance Companies
To find the best flood insurance providers, we analyzed 16 companies to determine the best options in seven categories. We started with company history, financial and customer service ratings, and overall reputation. We looked at what types of flood insurance they offer, and for which situations they may be a particularly good fit. Online quoting and claims filing were a plus, but needed to be balanced with the option to dial up a live person.
We strongly preferred companies that write policies nationwide. Companies that fared well in our price comparisons rose to the top also. Finally, we pointed out any notable inclusions or exclusions that were different from other carriers.
The National Examples of the 1st law of thermodynamics Insurance Program (NFIP) is managed by the FEMA and is delivered to the public by a network of more than 50 insurance companies and the NFIP Direct.
Floods can happen anywhere — just one inch of floodwater can cause up to $25,000 in damage. Most homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage. Flood insurance is a separate policy that can cover buildings, the contents in a building, or both, so it is important to protect your most important financial assets — your home, your business, your possessions.
The NFIP provides flood insurance to property owners, renters and businesses, and having this coverage helps them recover faster when floodwaters recede. The NFIP works with communities required to adopt and enforce floodplain management regulations that help mitigate flooding effects.
Flood insurance is available to anyone living in one of the 23,000 participating NFIP communities. Homes and businesses in high-risk flood areas with mortgages from government-backed lenders are required to have flood insurance.
For more information about what’s covered and to find a policy visit FloodSmart.gov.
Become a Customer
How to Purchase Flood Insurance
To purchase flood insurance, call your insurance company or insurance agent, the same person who sells your home or auto insurance. If you need help finding a provider go to FloodSmart.gov/flood-insurance-provider or call the NFIP at 877-336-2627.
Plan ahead as there is typically a 30-day waiting period for an NFIP policy to go into effect, unless the coverage is mandated it is purchased as required by a federally backed lender or is related to a community flood map change.
Become a Seller and Servicer
Work With the NFIP
FEMA administers the NFIP and it is a partnership between the federal government, the property and casualty insurance industry, states, local officials, lending institution, and property owners.
Each year, more than 50 private insurance companies participate in the Write-Your-Own (WYO) program selling and servicing NFIP policies through their insurance agents.
FEMA retains responsibility for underwriting flood insurance coverage sold under that program and by the NFIP Direct. There are more than five million policyholders nationwide and the NFIP is the nation’s largest single-line insurance program providing nearly $1.3 trillion in us bank personal online banking login against flood.
Flood Insurance Resources
NFIP offers a wide range of publications, videos, graphics and online tools that help policyholders, agents and other servicers navigate the flood insurance process before, during and after disaster. Digital resources can be downloaded, and certain print publications can be ordered for free.
Find an Insurance Form
Insurance Outreach Publications
Flood Insurance Fact Sheets
Work with the NFIP
We provide reports on the National Flood Insurance Program's (NFIP) financials and offer guidance on conducting daily operations for existing and new NFIP sellers and servicers. Find information on the Write-Your-Own program, reinsurance, Risk Rating 2.0, plus the Flood Insurance Manual and other tools.
View All Programs and Tools
Understand NFIP Laws and Reform
Congress established the NFIP on August 1, 1968, with the passage of the National Flood Insurance Act (NFIA) of 1968, which has been modified over the years.
Learn about legislative changes to and the future of the National Flood Insurance Program.
See Rules & Legislation
When You Can Claim for Water Damage Coverages on Home Insurance
Water damage is one of the most common causes of home insurance claims. According to the Insurance Services Office (ISO), water damage claims are the second largest frequent insurance claim, after wind and hail damage. Claims due to water damage does usaa renters insurance cover water damage 1 in 50 homeowners each year. It's no wonder people have a lot of questions about it. For instance, what is covered under your homeowner's insurance, and why are things such as "gradual damage" not covered?
Things get even more complicated when we look at the exceptions. Here's a review of some water damage claims to show you what kinds of water damage will or will not be covered by does usaa renters insurance cover water damage insurance.
Types of Phone number santander customer service Damage
There are many types of water damage that a home policy may cover, such as:
- Sudden or accidental discharge
- Sewer backup or water backup
- Storm-related water damage
Common Questions About Water Damage
There are some common questions people ask about what their home, condo, or renter insurance will cover. For instance:
- Is a water leak covered?
- Is a leaking toilet covered?
- Is water damage from a leaking roof covered?
The answer to whether these are covered or not depends on the source of the damage, the type of policy you have, and whether the water damage is accidental and sudden, or gradual.
Gradual water damage is not usually covered. Check with your broker to be sure.
What Is Gradual Damage?
Gradual damage occurs when something causes damage to your home slowly over time. Gradual water damage is a common problem when it comes to making insurance claims.
For instance, suppose the faucet handles on your sink are leaking and you neglect to repair them. That leaking water will one day cause damage to your home. If you try to make an insurance claim when that happens, you could be denied. Your insurer would see that the problem had been going on for a long time and you didn't make the needed repairs.
Gradual Damage in Your Home
Hancock business bank login house is a complex structure. There are wires, pipes, and heating and cooling systems behind the walls and beneath the floors. But we don't see them. We just see the walls, the carpet, and our belongings.
If you don't check and maintain those systems in your home, there could be trouble under the surface. If things go wrong, you might not know until you see the effects of the damage. Often, that's when people try to make a claim.
If the damage is not sudden but was instead caused by neglect over a long time frame, you'll have trouble getting a claim to pay out.
What Are Examples of Gradual Damage?
Common causes of gradual damage that can cause a claim to be blocked include:
- Plumbing, faucets, or pipes leaking over time, causing damage to walls, ceilings, or floors
- Damage caused by water seeping in from cracks in the basement
- Flashing, tiles, or shingles on the roof that show signs of needed repair
- Mold, rot, or rust
- Old or damaged wires
- Poor repairs or lack of repairs
You might not know why a claim got denied. But if you tried to make a claim and it turns out the damage was caused over time, that's likely why you got denied.
When Is Gradual Damage Covered?
This is where things get tricky. You can figure out what an insurance company will and will not cover based on the wording in the policy. Your agent or broker is the best person to go over the details with you. Ask them to review the exclusions in your policy as well as the type of coverage you have.
All insurance policies exclude wear and tear and gradual damage. But there may be some exceptions.
Examples of Gradual Water Damage Claims
Whether your policy will pay out can depend on its wording. Here are some ideas of when you might see a payout for gradual damage.
In a case where mold results from a covered loss, you may have coverage for fixing the mold issues if you have comprehensive insurance. This is not common. Plus, you'll need to make sure you meet all of the terms does usaa renters insurance cover water damage the policy for it to pay out.
Some companies may allow you to buy coverage for fixing mold issues. This varies from state to state. In Texas, for instance, policymakers have pushed to have basic mold coverage added to policies. The best way to find out whether your policy has this is to ask your broker. You might be able to add it, but it will depend on the company.
Tree Causing Roof Damage
Say a tree fell onto a roof, making a hole that let water pour into the home. A water damage claim was made, and the hole and roof were fixed by the insurance company.
Several months later, the owners of the home noticed a funny smell and chipping paint near where the repairs had been done. They called their insurer, who told them to check for dampness or even mold where the damage had been, and they found new water damage.
Because this gradual water damage was a result of a claim that was covered before, the company can decide to cover it.
Broken Pipes and Water Damage
Suppose does usaa renters insurance cover water damage is a broken pipe or water tank that gets worse over time, or a washing machine breaks. The actual pipe, tank, or machine will not be covered. However, the resulting damage that occurs after the sudden break may be covered.
Resulting damage is different than the initial damage. For example, if water damage resulting from a broken pipe or appliance is listed in your wording as being covered, then you may be paid for a portion of the damage caused, even though the pipe replacement or new appliance would not be covered. This is an example of the cause of the damage not being covered, but the resulting damage being covered.
Why Claims Are Denied and What to Do About It
First, if you are being denied a claim, make sure that you ask for the full reason. You have every right to understand exactly what part of the policy wording excludes what you are asking for and why the claim is being denied.
Know that there are many people who represent the insurance company during a claim, so you will want to know where the decision is coming from. Was it your agent, the insurance adjuster, or a contractor? Each person plays a different role. Don't be afraid to ask for clarity to avoid misunderstandings. When a claim is denied, you will normally receive word in writing telling you of the official decision.
If you still do not know why something isn't covered, you can see whether there is a chance for a review of your claim. Don't be afraid to ask your agent or representative for a second opinion. In a stressful event such as a claim, things may not be expressed clearly on either side. You will want to make sure you understand fully.
Why Was Coverage Denied?
Find out if coverage would have been available to you for this kind of damage through an endorsement. You have a right to know what is covered (or could be available) on your insurance for the future. You may also want to figure out why you did not have it. If you can get it elsewhere, you can change your insurer.
If you think that your coverage should have applied, or that something is wrong, get a second opinion from a licensed professional or consumer advocacy group that is familiar with insurance in your region.
Your insurance company may also have an ombudsman that can help review your file. You can also contact your state insurance commissioner for guidance or to file a complaint.
Avoid Having a Water Damage Claim Denied
Maintain records of repairs and the help you have hired over the years to maintain your home. This will be good to have in tdb online bank event of a loss. Make sure you know all the coverages on your policy. Have a good understanding of the exclusions as well as your duties as a homeowner.
Perform regular maintenance of your home every spring and fall to avoid surprises. Small repairs made regularly will avoid large expenses.
Make sure you purchase the best insurance for your needs and inquire about extra coverages that may be useful to you.
USAA was founded close to 100 years ago with the goal of helping current or former military members and their family. One way USAA helps military members and their family members is by providing renters insurance with personal property and liability coverage for as low as $10 per month.
Keep reading our USAA renters insurance review and determine if it’s the best renters insurance company for you and your family.
Compare the advantages and disadvantages of a USAA renters insurance policy below.
Pros & Cons of USAA Renters Insurance
|✔ Flood and earthquake coverage included in the standard policy||✔ Only available to current or former service members and their family members|
|✔ Customers have the choice to not include personal liability or personal property coverage in a policy||✔ Can’t customize medical payments for others coverage|
|✔ USAA members can enjoy perks like car rental discounts and travel deals||–|
USAA Renters Insurance Coverage
USAA covers the following events:
- Fire and lightning
- Flood and water
- Windstorm or hail
- Collapse of building
- Volcanic eruption
- Falling objects
- Vandalism and malicious mischief
- Riot and civil commotion
- Sudden and accidental tearing apart, cracking, burning, or bulging
- Sudden and accidental damage from artificially generated electrical current
USAA renters insurance includes three main coverage areas:
1. Personal Property Coverage
This part of the policy protects the belongings you own in the apartment or home you rent. USAA offers replacement cost coverage, which means that if one of the covered events damages your items, they will cover replacement costs as if the items were new.
The quote we received from USAA included $30,000 for personal property coverage.
2. Liability Coverage
If you’re responsible for damaging your neighbor’s property or injuring them, your policy will cover the cost to repair or replace their items or pay their medical bills.
Our USAA quote included $100,000 for liability coverage.
3. Coverage for Medical Payments to Others
If a guest is injured in your home, your policy may cover the medical bills if they see a doctor.
The USAA quote we received included $5,000 per person for medical payments to others.
Here are the available coverage amounts according to North Carolina information:
USAA Range of Coverage
|Type of Coverage||Range of Coverage|
|Medical Payments to Others||$5,000|
USAA Additional Coverage
USAA allows you to buy extra personal property coverage for more expensive items with valuable personal property and computer and tablet add-on options.
How Much Does USAA Cost?
The cost of USAA renters insurance can be as low as $10 per month. The This Old House Reviews Team requested a quote to verify that price using information for a three-bedroom apartment in Raleigh, North Carolina:
Cost of USAA Renters Insurance
Your USAA renters insurance deductible will be $250, $500, $1,000, or $2,500.
To get your own quote, you’ll have to determine if you’re eligible by answering questions regarding your military history or your family member’s history. Once you’re eligible for coverage, you can create an account and input the following information to receive a quote:
- Date of birth
- Phone number
- Security features
Customer Service and Claims Support
USAA has a customer portal and mobile app so that you can review your policy and file a claim at any time. To talk to a customer service representative, call fcnb bank near me or 800-531-8722, and you’ll be forwarded to the correct department. The claims jose gonzalez chautauqua is open 24 hours a day, but the rest of the departments have limited hours.
If you’re a current military member, veteran, pre-commissioned officer, or the spouse or does usaa renters insurance cover water damage of someone in the military, we recommend getting a quote for USAA renters insurance. The insurance policy offers standard personal property and liability coverage with unique coverage for floods and earthquakes. You also get to enjoy certain USAA membership perks for free, like car buying discounts and travel deals.
Along with your quote from USAA, we recommend requesting renters insurance quotes from at chase business banking customer service phone number two other insurance carriers so that you can find the policy with the type of coverage you want at the price you can afford.
If you’re not sure whether USAA is right for you, compare it to other top-rated renters insurance companies below.
Compare Renters Insurance Companies
|Known for||Flood and earthquake coverage||Credit card coverage in the basic policy||Multiple discounts|
|Monthly price||As low as $10||About $20||About $16|
|Customer service||24/7 for claims; limited for sales and service||24/7 for claims; limited for sales and service||24/7|
- Company Name: The United Services Automobile Association
- CEO: Wayne Peacock
- Years in Business: 98
- State Availability: 50
- Address: 9800 Fredericksburg Road
- City/State: San Antonio, TX
- Zip Code: 78288
- A.M. Best Financial Strength Rating: A++
Frequently Asked Questions About USAA
Does USAA renters insurance cover mold?
USAA doesn’t cover damage caused by mold, but they cover mold if it was caused by another event. For example, if water damage causes mold, your policy will take care of the mold because it wasn’t the original cause of damage.
What are the benefits of a USAA membership?
As a USAA member, you can join a USAA bank and purchase any of their insurance products, including life insurance, home insurance, and auto insurance. You can also save money with a wide range of shopping discounts for car rentals, traveling, security systems, car buying, does usaa renters insurance cover water damage more.
Is a USAA membership free?
As long as you’re eligible for a USAA membership, you can join for free.
Does USAA offer renters insurance discounts?
Yes. You can get discounts for bundling several insurance policies, for being claims-free, and for having safety features in your home, like a monitored alarm system.
Does USAA renters insurance cover dogs?
Yes. In fact, USAA is one of the few insurance providers that cover all dog breeds. Other renters insurance companies historically exclude malicious breeds and require you to purchase extra coverage to protect yourself from liability claims related to your pet.
To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at [email protected].
What Is Renters Insurance, and What Does It Cover?
Renters insurance is designed for those who don’t own their own home.
A renters policy covers your belongings if they’re stolen or destroyed. It also pays out if you cause harm to other people or their property.
Renters insurance covers disasters such as fire, theft and windstorms, but generally doesn’t cover flooding or earthquakes.
One of the perks of renting is that it’s your landlord’s responsibility, not yours, to insure the building and make repairs. But as a tenant, you’re not off the hook completely. Your landlord’s insurance won’t pay to replace your belongings if a storm destroys the building or a thief breaks into your apartment. If you want coverage for these and many other disasters, you’ll need a renters insurance policy.
What is renters insurance?
Renters insurance covers your personal belongings in case of theft, fire and other disasters. It can also pay your legal expenses if you’re sued for causing harm to others.
Also known as tenants insurance or an HO-4 policy, renters insurance is similar to homeowners insurance but designed for people who don't own their own place. At roughly $14 a month on average, renters insurance is much cheaper than homeowners insurance, according to NerdWallet’s rate analysis. That's because it covers only what’s inside your home and not the structure itself.
Renters insurance definition
Renters insurance is a policy designed for people who don't own their own home. It covers your personal belongings in case of disaster and pays out if you're found at fault for injuries or property damage to others.
» MORE:The best cheap renters insurance
What does does usaa renters insurance cover water damage insurance cover?
A standard does usaa renters insurance cover water damage policy includes four types of coverage.
Covers your clothing, furniture, electronics and other belongings.
Pays for hotel stays, restaurant meals or other expenses if you have to live elsewhere while your home undergoes covered repairs.
Pays out if you're responsible for injuries to other people or damage to their property.
Covers injuries to other people in your home, regardless of fault.
Most renters insurance reimburses you for the loss of items such as clothing, smartphones and other does usaa renters insurance cover water damage belongings due to 16 specific events:
Fire or lightning.
Windstorm or hail.
Riot or civil commotion.
Damage caused by aircraft.
Damage caused by vehicles.
Vandalism or malicious mischief.
A falling object.
The weight of ice, snow or sleet.
Accidental discharge of water or steam from within certain household systems or appliances.
Sudden and accidental tearing apart, cracking, burning or bulging of certain household systems.
Freezing of certain household systems or appliances.
Certain sudden, accidental damage from artificially generated electric currents.
Your personal belongings aren’t just covered when they’re in your home, but also when you’re out and about. So if your bike is stolen outside a store, your renters insurance policy will cover you — with a couple of caveats. First, your deductible will apply. Second, there may be a limit on how much coverage you have outside your home (typically 10% of your total personal property limit).
How it works: Lightning hits your apartment building and starts a fire that burns through your living room. Your renters policy will pay for your damaged belongings, including things like your couch and TV, minus your deductible.
Loss of use, or additional living expenses
If you can't live in your home after a disaster covered by your policy, renters insurance coverage generally pays for you to live elsewhere during repairs. It can cover expenses like hotel bills, restaurant meals and other costs above what you would normally pay.
How it works: After the fire in your living room, you need to move out for a couple of weeks while your apartment is cleaned up and fixed. Your insurance company can help pay for your motel stay. It can also cover the cost difference between making your own meals (as you normally do at home) and eating out every night (as you do while you're living at the motel).
» MORE:Loss of use coverage for homeowners and renters
If someone is injured in your rental and sues you, a lawsuit could wreck your finances for years. The liability portion of your renters insurance policy covers you in these events, paying out for someone else’s bodily injury on or off your property. (One exception: If you injure someone in a car accident, your auto policy would handle the expenses.)
Renters liability insurance also covers damage you and your family accidentally do to others' belongings.
Your renters policy may pay out if your dog bites someone. However, some insurers exclude dog bites or certain breeds from renters policies. If you have a dog, check with your agent to be sure you’re covered.
Renters insurance typically covers legal representation in a lawsuit and any money awarded to the other party.
How it works: You start filling your tub for a bath, then get distracted by an argument between your kids. By does usaa renters insurance cover water damage time you get things settled down, your tub has overflowed. The water seeps through the ceiling, ruining a leather sofa in the apartment below. Your downstairs neighbor sues you. Your renters policy could cover your legal bills plus the $2,000 awarded to your neighbor for the loss of her couch.
Like liability insurance, this coverage pays out if someone is injured on your property. What's the difference? Medical payments coverage will pay no matter who’s at fault for the injury, while liability insurance is triggered only if you’re found responsible. Liability coverage also tends to have much higher limits.
How it works: A visiting friend trips over your son's toy truck and lands on her wrist. Luckily it's just a sprain, but your medical payments coverage can reimburse her for her X-ray and urgent care appointment.
Optional renters insurance coverage
In addition to the standard coverage listed above, you can usually pay a little extra to customize your policy with endorsements that add more coverage. Here are a few of the most common.
Replacement cost coverage
A standard renters policy pays to replace your belongings based on their “actual cash value.” That means if your ruined sofa is 10 years old, your claim check would probably only be enough to buy a used sofa. To get a new one, you’d pay the difference yourself.
With replacement cost coverage, you’ll get the cost of replacing your lost items with new ones. So if your 10-year-old sofa is ruined, you’d receive enough from your insurer to buy a brand-new one.
Scheduled personal property
Renters policies typically cap songs in the key of life amazon amount they’ll pay for valuable items such as jewelry, firearms and electronics. To get coverage are liquor stores open in delaware today items that are worth more than this limit, you may want to add a scheduled personal property endorsement.
Say you’ve inherited a diamond ring from your grandmother. Your insurance company will likely ask you to get it professionally appraised and then add separate coverage for the ring onto your policy (for an extra cost).
Identity theft coverage
Some insurance companies offer optional coverage for expenses associated with identity theft. This may include credit monitoring services, coverage for legal fees and help replacing your documents.
What renters insurance doesn’t cover
Every insurance policy has exclusions, and renters insurance is no exception. Below are a few things renters insurance won’t pay for.
Most renters insurance won’t cover damage from flooding. If your home is at risk, you’ll have to pay for repairs yourself or purchase separate flood insurance. (One exception is USAA, which includes flood coverage as a standard part of its renters policies. USAA insurance is available only to active military, veterans and their families.)
Nerdy tip: You can get flood insurance that’s backed by the federal government or buy coverage through an independent company. Learn how to find the best flood insurance.
Earthquakes also won’t be covered by the majority of renters insurance policies. (Again, USAA is an exception.) You can buy earthquake insurance separately or as an add-on to your renters policy.
Most renters insurance won’t cover bedbugs, mice or other infestations.
However, you may be able to get bedbug coverage with an Assurant renters policy, depending on where you live. Another option is Jetty, which offers insurance only at participating properties but includes $300 worth of bedbug coverage in its basic policies.
Your roommate’s belongings
Most renters insurance won’t cover your roommate’s stuff unless the two of you share a policy, which not all states or insurance companies allow. In most cases, it’s best if you each get your own renters policy.
» MORE:Can I share a renters insurance policy with my roommate?
Is renters insurance required by law?
No, but some landlords require proof of renters insurance before you sign a lease, or within a certain time period. Usually, though, it’s your call.
If your worldly possessions amount to a futon, a coffee maker and a toothbrush, you probably don’t need renters insurance.
But for most renters, it can be a smart (and surprisingly affordable) investment. Having renters insurance could prevent you from paying out of pocket to replace everything that could be damaged or stolen: jewelry, TV, computer, furniture, clothing and so on. A landlord’s insurance policy won’t pay your living expenses while the building is under repair, but renters insurance generally does.
Nerdy tip: College students may not need renters insurance if their parents’ homeowners policy provides adequate coverage for dependents’ possessions. Check the policy to be sure; in many cases such coverage applies only to students living in on-campus housing. It may also be limited to a certain dollar amount.
» MORE:6 reasons not to skip renters insurance
How much renters insurance do I need?
The amount of renters insurance you need depends on how much stuff you have and what your savings and other assets are worth. The more you have to lose, the more insurance you need.
Before buying renters insurance, take stock of your belongings to decide how much personal property coverage you need. Several home inventory apps are available to help you catalog your possessions. This can also be useful if you ever file a claim.
To get an idea of how much your belongings are worth, use our renters insurance cost calculator below.
Liability limits typically start at $100,000 and top out fulton bank hours pa $500,000. You’ll want at least enough to protect your current assets, including savings and any vehicles, because they're part of your net worth and could be seized in a lawsuit.
» MORE: Renters insurance quotes: What you need to know
How much does renters insurance cost?
Though renters insurance is generally about $14 a month, the average renters insurance cost varies from state to state. Most insurance companies offer a discount if you bundle your auto and renters insurance policies. They might also reduce your rate if your apartment has a security system, smoke detectors or deadbolt locks.
If you’re looking for more ways to save money, consider raising your deductible. That’s the amount that will be subtracted from an insurance claim check.
For example, if you have a $1,000 deductible and a claim for $5,000 in property damage, your insurance company will pay $4,000. The higher your deductible, the cheaper your premium.
When deciding on a deductible amount, ask yourself: How much can you pay out of pocket after a disaster? Keep in mind that you’ll pay the deductible each time you file a claim for personal items. Your rate is likely to increase after each claim, so weigh carefully whether to file one for an amount close to the deductible.
Nerdy tip: There’s generally no deductible on liability claims against you, loss of use claims, or riders for high-value belongings.
» MORE: Learn how to use rent to build credit
How to get renters insurance
Ready to buy a policy? Take these steps.
1. Evaluate your needs. Figure out how much coverage is right for you by using the calculator and tips above.
2. Research insurance companies. Most major U.S. insurers sell renters policies, including Allstate, Farmers, Geico, Progressive and State Farm. You may also want to consider newer insurance startups such as Lemonade and Toggle, which offer quick coverage, slick apps and affordable rates.
3. Shop around. We recommend getting quotes from at least three companies. You can search for quotes online or call an agent to talk through your options.
» MORE: The best renters insurance companies
Yes, theft of your personal belongings is typically covered by renters insurance, even if you’re not at home. But there's one major exception. If your car is stolen, you’ll have to file a claim under the comprehensive section of your auto insurance policy, not your renters policy.
Generally, yes. Just as your renters policy covers your belongings when you’re traveling, it will usually cover them when they’re stored somewhere besides your home. However, you may have less coverage for belongings stored off-premises (typically limited to 10% of the total personal property value on your policy).
It depends on the cause of the mold. Renters insurance is designed to assist with damage from sudden, catastrophic events — like a burst pipe that floods your bathroom, leaving mold in its wake. This type of event would likely be covered. But if the mold has been slowly developing because you haven’t gotten around to cleaning your basement, you’re out of luck.
It depends. Say your bedroom window is shattered by a falling tree branch in a storm. Because falling objects are a covered event, the damage would be taken care of through the personal property part of your policy. But if you accidentally break your own window through an errant game of fetch with your dog, it wouldn’t be covered.
Your liability coverage can help here as well; it may pay out if you accidentally break someone else’s window.