Does tenant insurance cover damage caused by fire and smoke?

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  • Renters’ insurance covers fire and smoke damage to your property as part of insurance risks.
  • Damage to artwork, high-end electronics, and jewelry may require additional coverage.
  • If your rental unit is uninhabitable due to fire or smoke damage, loss of use helps you move.
  • See Insider’s Picks for the Best Renters Insurance Companies.

Home insurance is a type of home insurance that replaces your belongings if they are damaged or stolen. Your landlord has insurance that covers the building and structure, but your property inside the rental unit is your responsibility.

The most important part of renters insurance is the replacement of damaged items. Fire or smoke damage to your belongings is covered by tenant insurance.

Does tenant insurance cover damage caused by fire and smoke?

Renters insurance protects your personal property if it is damaged by a covered event called insurance risk. Common insurance risks include fire, smoke, theft, storms, hail and lightning.

Fire and smoke damage to your personal property is covered by insurance. Damage to the building, walls and structure of your rental is the responsibility of your landlord.

*Available as additional coverage if not part of the policy

** Flood insurance is available from NFIP and licensed insurers

If you rent in disaster prone areas – where flooding, hurricanes, tornadoes, forest fires, mudslides, hail or earthquakes are common – you will have higher premiums, because these natural disasters are not included in the basic coverage and require additional policies, called riders.

Damage to art and jewelry may not be included

Most renters’ insurance coverage for electronic devices is capped at around $ 2,500. Jewelry limits are generally lower, at $ 1,500. If your electronics or jewelry exceed these limits, you must increase your limits or get an additional rider.

Specialty items such as high-end electronics, specialty jewelry, furs, fine art, firearms, specialty bikes, and cash may not be covered by renters insurance in the event of theft. . According to Steve Wilson, senior underwriting manager at Hippo Insurance, these items may require a “personal item” endorsement or supplemental endorsement.

It is a good idea to take an inventory of your furniture and personal effects. Some renters insurance companies will have inventory lists to fill out. If you have riders for art and specialty jewelry, you will need to catalog them and provide ratings for them.

Will tenant insurance cover the move?

“Loss of Use” coverage, also known as “Additional Living Expenses” or ALE, is included in most tenant insurance policies and provides reimbursement for temporary accommodation when a peril causes damage making your accommodation rental. habitable.

For “loss of use” and “additional living expenses” it depends a lot on your insurance company and it varies by provider. Some carriers will reimburse you for temporary accommodation. Others may have a list of housing alternatives.

If you plan to vacate your rental due to damage, first contact your rental insurer and take detailed photos of the damage. Also make sure to lock down and secure the premises.

Actual cash surrender value versus replacement cost

Renters’ insurance policies cover up to a certain amount, typically around $ 20,000 or $ 30,000 in coverage. Determining the value of your property will help you decide how much coverage to get.

Renters’ insurance policies generally use “replacement cost” when paying for covered damage. Replacement cost is the cost of replacing the item with a new or used product.

The actual cash surrender value (ACV) takes into account the depreciation of the item. For example, if a five-year-old leather sofa is damaged by fire, the actual dollar value takes into account the age of the sofa. The actual cash surrender value is usually less than the replacement value. Talk to your tenant insurance company to find out if they are using replacement cost or actual cash value.

How to file a claim if your property is damaged by fire or smoke

Follow these steps to file a claim.

  1. Take pictures of damaged property and what caused the damage (fire, storm, etc.).
  2. Contact your tenant insurance company. Failure to timely notify your insurance provider may result in denial of the claim.
  3. If you think your rental unit is uninhabitable, contact your tenant insurance company before leaving. Do not assume that you will automatically qualify for loss of use.
  4. Damage to the building and structure is the responsibility of the owner.

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