Renters insurance is used for your protection as well as for the protection of your property and belongings when you are renting an apartment, house or other living space. The factors that affect the rate of renters insurance include the type of coverage selected, the amount of coverage purchased and the deductible amount. For an affordable price, you can be protected from property damage as well as potential legal liabilities.
This hurricane season, it’s important to review your renters insurance policy to check if you have coverage for water damage. ServiceMaster of the Upstate discusses the basics of renters insurance below.
What Does Renters Insurance Cover?
The coverage of a renters insurance policy depends on the insurance provider and the policy purchased by the renter. Basically, a standard renters insurance policy may cover property losses resulting from the following:
- Accidental discharge or fire sprinkler failure
- Accidental water discharge from plumbing or appliance
- Fire or lightning
- Freezing of plumbing systems
- Weight of sleet, snow and/or ice
- Windstorm or hail
It is important for renters to check their policy often to review their scope of coverage and at the same time secure additional coverage as needed.
Will Renters Insurance Cover Water Damage?
Renters insurance typically covers water damage resulting from normal scenarios that renters face, such as water discharges or overflows.
Water Damage from Flooding
- Flood damage is not covered by basic renters insurance. A renter has to secure a separate policy for flood damage especially if the area is a high-risk flood zone.
- The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) managed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency provides flood insurance to property owners, renters and businesses to help them recover faster after floodwaters recede.
Water Damage from Ceiling Leaks
- Renters insurance covers water damage caused by ceiling leaks.
- Alert your landlord as soon as you notice structural issues which may cause potential damages in the future, such as ceiling leaks, so that you will not be liable for them, assuming that you did not cause them. Your landlord is responsible for building maintenance, including leak prevention and repair.
Water Damage from Toilet Flood
- Toilet flooding from accidental overflows or discharges is covered by renters insurance. Overflows from a clogged toilet left unattended may not be covered, however.
- Water damage from sewage backups or underground water seepage may not be covered by renters insurance.
If you find yourself facing a water damage emergency, you should alert your insurance company immediately and take photos and videos of the damaged area. Afterwards, you should contact a professional water damage restoration service provider to mitigate losses and bring your property back to pre-damage condition.