If you rent your home, you’ll want to have insurance coverage in place to protect your personal items from being damaged, lost or stolen. You also want to be covered in case someone is injured while visiting your home and makes a personal injury claim that you are responsible (liable) for the damages.
Renter's Insurance Coverage Basics
Renter's insurance is an important part of your overall financial protection plan. Many people who rent their home don’t have a policy in place, thinking that they don’t need the insurance or that it’s too expensive. Compared to the cost of replacing your personal property (things like furniture, electronics, clothing, jewelry and other household items) if it was damaged or destroyed, buying renter's insurance is a good investment. It pays out if the loss is due to the following:
- Damage from a car or aircraft
- Falling objects
- Fire and smoke damage
- Frozen plumbing or heating pipes or elements
- Water leak or overflow
- Weight of snow or ice
- Wind and hail
You can make a claim under your insurance policy if water from another tenant’s unit leaks into your home and damages your personal property.
Does Renter's Insurance Cover Personal Injury?
Renter's insurance also covers personal injury claims. You can’t use it to make a claim if you get hurt inside your own home. It’s used to pay for claims made by visitors who become injured while inside your rented house or apartment.
In a situation where the injured person decides to file a lawsuit to collect damages for medical bills, lost wages and other amounts he may be entitled to, your insurance company will provide an attorney to represent you. The insurer pays for this cost as one of the benefits you receive, up to your policy limit.
Does Renter's Insurance Cover Slip and Fall Injuries?
Renter's insurance does cover slip and fall injuries inside a house or apartment where the tenant is at fault. Examples of the types of accidents where the tenant is likely to be found liable are as follows:
- Spilled water or grease in the kitchen that wasn’t wiped up right away
- Rug being placed on a bare floor without an anti-slip underlay
- Exposed cord in a living room or bedroom creates a falling hazard
- Excess clutter or furniture placed in areas of the rented space normally used as a path through the home
Landlord’s Liability for Slip and Fall
In some cases, your landlord would be considered liable (at fault) for a visitor’s slip and fall injury, even though it took place in your rented home or apartment. If the cause for the visitor’s injury was something that the landlord should have been responsible for, then he or she would be liable for the injuries caused.
For example, the floor in the rented unit is uneven. A visitor to the unit slips and falls, leading to an injury requiring medical treatment and time off work. If the landlord knew about the uneven floor, had agreed to repair it but didn’t look after the repairs within a reasonable time, the landlord may be held liable for the injured person’s injuries, lost wages and any other damages.
Protect Yourself with Renter's Insurance
You never know when an accident may occur in your rented home. Despite your best efforts to keep your home safe, a visitor may slip and fall, needing medical attention. Investing in a renter's insurance policy to protect you from having to pay for expenses in connection with a claim personally is money well spent.
This type of coverage will also protect the contents of your home against theft and damage from several types of losses. To find the best rates, get quotes from more than one company and compare your coverage options carefully before making a decision about where to buy your insurance.
Jodee Redmond is a freelance writer, blogger and editor who has been working full-time for over 15 years. She is a graduate of Centennial College and has worked as a tax consultant and a legal assistant. Her previous experience and boundless curiosity is a distinct advantage when writing about such varied topics as income tax, insurance, commercial property, business, construction, addiction, freelance writing and more.