Does Renters Insurance Cover Accidental Damage

On the Major Benefits of Renter’s Insurance

Does renter’s insurance cover accidental damage? The short answer is yes! What kinds of accidents will be covered, and in what amounts, depends on the specific policy. Still, as a general rule, this type of insurance exists to protect renters from the sudden, un-budgeted-for costs stemming from accidents in or associated with the home. That’s good for the renter. Still, it’s also useful for the owner. After all, if the renter incurs costs (say, water damage from a leaking fish tank) and can’t pay out of pocket and doesn’t have insurance, the owner will ultimately be stuck with the bill. The right insurance policy protects both the renter and the owner from unexpected costs associated with the rental of the space. Renter’s insurance usually is not mandatory—the owner may require it, but many do not—but it is widely considered a good idea.

Renter’s Insurance and Homeowner’s Insurance

Some may be saying, wait, doesn’t the owner of the home have insurance? Why does the renter need insurance also? Certain costs are indeed the owner’s responsibility, including the fees of most kinds of accidents, such as fires caused by faulty wiring or inadequate plumbing maintenance. But homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover damages caused by the renter, such as a fire started by an unattended candle or theft using an unlocked door. Owners take on a particular risk by renting their property to others. The homeowner’s insurance policies keep premiums affordable by not covering that additional risk. That is what renter’s insurance is for. While it cannot cover damage caused by the renter deliberately, renter’s insurance covers accidental damage that the owner’s insurance policy will not.
does renters insurance cover accidental damage

What Does Renter’s Insurance Cover?

Depending on the policy's details, renter's insurance may be able to cover costs beyond merely repairing or replacing accidentally damaged items in the rented space. For example, in the event of a fire, the insurance will not only pay for repairs but may also be able to pay for a hotel where the renter can stay until the repairs are finished. Insurance can also replace stolen items, sometimes including items stolen from somewhere other than the apartment—for example, if the policyholder takes jewelry on vacation and it is stolen. Insurance can pay for the medical bill of a guest injured in the rented house or apartment, perhaps by a territorial pet. Even damage caused accidentally to a neighbor's home—by the policyholder's baseball-loving child, for example, may sometimes be covered.

renters insurance cover accidental damage

Choosing Renter’s Insurance

Renter’s insurance is almost always a good choice for the owner, except for the fact that requiring it may limit the number of people who can afford to rent the space. Whether it’s a good idea for the renter depends on many factors, including the details of the policy and of the renter’s financial situation—not to mention whether the owner of the rental in question requires it. Those who choose to take out renter’s insurance do incur a small, predictable cost. Insurance is not free. In exchange, renters get the assurance that their savings will not be wiped out by large, unexpected costs should something bad happen. The choice may come down to whether the renter finds a policy that works for them in their situation. But one thing is clear; does renter’s insurance does cover accidental damage? Yes.