tropical storm home damage

photo credits: commons.wikimedia.org

This past week the Greater New Orleans area, as well as the north shore, were hit with a number of tornado and water spouts. As our city and its residents are accustomed to inclement weather, these events were unusual in that they are impossible to prepare for.

After any catastrophic event, the questions begin to run through your mind: how do I fix the damage, who pays for this, am I covered?

Assumptions renters make with their insurance policies

 

Most people assume since all passengers in a car are covered under the driver’s policy, why wouldn’t my belongings be covered under my landlord’s homeowners insurance. The landlord’s policy is designed to protect the interests of the landlord, from the building, property and rental income if the building becomes unlivable due to storm damage. Items in your apartment belonging to the landlord, such as appliances and hardware are covered, but your personal property is not.

Renters insurance covers your property in the event of theft, fire, water damage or wind driven rain, and weather events such as tornadoes and hurricanes.

Renters insurance provides you with coverage to protect your belongings against the things in life that are out of your control. Coverage extends past the 4 walls of your home and includes minor coverage of loss of property due to a car break in, storage units and property lent to friends. Lastly, if your rental is not in livable condition, your policy covers Loss of Use which reimburses you for temporary housing until repairs are completed in your rental.

Solid coverage should not fall under $10,000 for the goods of a 1 bedroom apartment, with plans starting around $200. Pricing factors include location, age of the building, year of building updates and security features of the property. Renters insurance is the perfect solution to life’s “what if” situations when you don’t own the property you live in.

Here are a few tips on Renters Insurance:

  1. Speak to a rep that knows your area.  Renters are often new to the neighborhood.  A local representative will have a good perspective.
  2. Save receipts and take pictures. This will keep claims easier and ensure you are given current value for your goods.
  3. Knowing what is not covered is often a better way to understand the policy rather than looking at what is covered.
  4. Know how and when to make a claim.  Remember that as time goes by your claim can lose value.
  5. Do not stress.  If done correctly, the renters’ policy is designed to take care of your property so you can handle the situation.
  6. Your renters policy will not cover your property in the event of a flood.  A separate flood policy is needed to protect your belongings against water coming from outside the home such as street flooding or overflowing canals and rivers.

Being a renter, doesn’t exclude you from any liability, including unexpected damages from storms. Know your risks and get to know how you can protect yourself.