Renters insurance generally covers personal belongings, liability (in case you are sued for negligence) and any additional living expenses you might have (for example, due to repairs in the building). However, depending on the cost of the policy and the company you choose to buy insurance from, you may have additional coverage.
In terms of personal belongings, the policy will cover the contents of your unit. The most common protections renters insurance policies (typically known as standard HO-4 policies) offers are against:
- Fire, lightning, smoke and explosions
- Electrical and plumbing malfunctions
- Damage caused by some weather-related events like windstorms or hail, the weight of ice, snow or sleet.
- Damage caused by vehicles or aircrafts
- Riots, civil commotion and vandalism
- Volcanic eruptions
Standard policies reimburse in case of loss or destruction of clothing, jewelry and electronic devices under any of the circumstances mentioned above.
In terms of liability, policies protect you against lawsuits due to accidents or injuries in your unit for up to a certain amount of money. It will also pay for damages or injuries you cause to others. These policies typically cover between $100,000 and $300,000.
Additional living expenses generally cover the costs of living somewhere else while your unit is being repaired due to any of the events mentioned above. This means hotel bills, meals and temporary rentals
If you want to expand your coverage, depending on the insurance company, you might be able to add any of the following:
- Replacement costs for the total value of the items you lost
- Total coverage for expensive items such as jewelry, electronics or firearms (most standard policies have a cap on these costs)
- Identity theft coverage