You may have heard of homeowners insurance, but did you know that there’s special insurance for renters insurance too? Even if you’re not required to have renters insurance, you can find some of the most low-cost renters insurance rates in Dallas. In fact, if you’re a renter, you should get started with renters insurance today.
But, if you’ve just started looking into renters insurance, you might be wondering exactly what renters insurance is and why it may be right for you. This article will walk you through the most common questions that renters in Dallas, TX, have about renters insurance.
What is Renters Insurance?
Renters insurance is a type of insurance policy that covers tenants’ personal property against events like fire and theft. It also offers liability protection and reimbursements for expenses if it’s no longer safe to live in an apartment or rental house.
In other words, renters insurance provides you with many benefits of homeowners insurance when you don’t own your home. And, like other types of insurance, you can control how much your policy covers so that you can get the best affordable renters insurance to help recoup your losses in the event of a fire or theft.
What Does Renters Insurance Cover?
Renters insurance typically offers three types of coverage: personal property, loss of use, and personal liability.
This is the most familiar part of renters insurance. Personal property coverage compensates you for repairing or replacing your personal belongings. Here are some examples of how personal property coverage can protect you:
- Someone breaks into your apartment and steals your TV
- A burst pipe leaks water from the ceiling on your desk, computer, and printer
- A tree falls on your rental home and destroys everything in your living room
Loss of Use
If it’s no longer safe to live in your rental home for a while — for example, due to smoke damage or major repairs — then loss of use coverage reimburses you for living expenses such as:
- Hotels or other temporary housing
- Meals, including grocery and restaurant bills
- Moving and storage costs
- Pet costs
Liability coverage protects you when you damage your landlord’s property. And if someone is injured while visiting you, liability coverage also helps pay for the injured person’s medical bills, as well as your legal costs if someone sues you.
Here are a few examples of when renters liability coverage would protect you:
- A visitor falls down the stairs in your home and is injured
- Your child accidentally breaks your neighbor’s window
- You cause a small kitchen fire that damages the walls and cabinets of your rental home
What Events Does Renters Insurance Cover in Dallas?
Events that are eligible for a renters insurance claim are called covered perils. Typically, covered perils in a renters insurance policy include:
- Accidents such as fire and smoke, falling objects, water damage from plumbing, or vehicle impacts
- Weather impacts such as windstorms, hailstorms, snow, and freezing rain
- Malicious acts such as theft, burglary, vandalism, intentional damage by others, and rioting
The exact list of covered perils can vary between different policies. Keep in mind that most renters insurance policies are “named perils” policies. This means that the policy must specifically mention the covered peril to be eligible for a claim. If it’s not in the policy, your insurance won’t cover it. This includes hurricane and flood damage.
Is Renters Insurance Required in Dallas, TX?
Unlike auto insurance, there is no legal requirement for tenants to carry rental insurance, although it is required by some landlords. If this is the case, the details will be in your lease agreement.
How Much is Renters Insurance in Dallas, TX?
Fortunately for renters in Dallas, TX, affordable renters insurance isn’t hard to find. The average cost of renters insurance is about $240 per year or $20 per month. That’s far less than the average cost of car insurance in Texas.
That said, there are still plenty of ways to save money on renters insurance in Dallas, including:
- Bundling your renters insurance policy with other insurance policies
- Increasing your deductible
- Lowering your policy limits
- Adjusting your policy to only cover what you truly need
Do You Need Renters Insurance if Your Landlord Has Insurance?
Yes, even if your landlord has insurance, you should get renters insurance. That’s because your renters insurance policy provides different coverage than your landlord’s insurance.
Typical insurance for landlords covers damage to the home or building — in other words, your landlord’s property. On the other hand, renters insurance covers damage to your personal belongings — your own property. When an accident happens, both your landlord’s insurance company and your renters insurance company will step in to cover different types of damage.
Suppose that a pipe bursts in your apartment. The water damages your TV and furniture in addition to the walls and floor around the pipe. Your landlord’s insurance will cover the pipe replacement along with repairs to the floors and walls. That’s it.
But, what about your TV and furniture? Your renters insurance would cover the costs to replace these items. And if the damage is so bad that you need to leave the apartment until it’s repaired, then your renters insurance would also cover your hotel stay and meal expenses.
Do You Need to List Your Landlord on Your Renters Insurance Policy?
When landlords require tenants to carry renters insurance, they may also want you to list them as an “Interested Party” or “Additional Interested” on the policy. This means that your landlord will be notified whenever there’s a change to your renters insurance policy — a renewal, cancellation, lapse in coverage, or any other update. This is so your landlord can make sure you comply with the renters insurance requirements in the lease.
When you list your landlord as an “Additional Interested,” it isn’t the same as making your landlord an “Additional Insured.” As an “Additional Interested,” your landlord can only see what’s going on with your renters insurance. It does not mean that your renters insurance company is covering your landlord, and it doesn’t give your landlord permission to act on your behalf with the insurance company.
What Happens When You Don’t Have Renters Insurance?
If your lease requires you to maintain renters insurance and you don’t have an active policy, your landlord may be entitled to take out a renters insurance policy for you and send you a bill for the premium.
Needless to say, your landlord won’t be looking to get the cheapest renters insurance policy. That’s why it makes the most sense to search for a policy yourself so that you can be sure you’re getting the most affordable renters insurance available in Dallas, TX.
If you’re not required to carry renters insurance in your lease, then there’s no direct penalty for not having a renters insurance policy. However, keep in mind that your belongings — including clothing, computers, furniture, and other essential possessions — will not be protected against fire or theft. You’ll be on the hook to replace everything.
In addition, not having renters insurance exposes you to liability risk. If a visitor is injured while in your home they can sue for damages. Without a renters insurance policy, you’ll have to pay for attorneys and court fees yourself — not to mention the damage amount if you’re found liable.
So, before deciding not to move ahead with renters insurance, you should ask yourself, “Am I ready to pay for tens of thousands of dollars to replace my property or go through a lawsuit?” With an average annual cost of $240, renters insurance in Dallas, TX, can save you thousands in the long run.
Does Renters Insurance Cover Family and Roommates?
Most renters insurance policies automatically cover blood relatives, your spouse or domestic partner, and adopted children who live with you. Your renters policy doesn’t automatically cover roommates, but it’s possible to add them in.
Adding Roommates to Your Renters Insurance
Even if your roommate or significant other is listed on the lease, you’ll need to include them as an “Additional Insured” on your renters insurance policy. However, it’s strongly recommended that each roommate carry their own renters insurance policy. That’s because your claim history is affected by anyone who files a claim under the policy, even if you’re not responsible.
For example, if your roommate is responsible for a fire that causes $100,000 in property damage, the liability claim will be made under your policy. When you renew your policy, the insurance company will likely increase your premium due to the $100,000 claim — even if it wasn’t your fault. Your roommate’s actions can affect your chances of finding affordable renters insurance.
Where Can I Find Cheap Renters Insurance in Dallas, TX?
Remember that your landlord’s insurance won’t cover your personal belongings if you rent your home. Without renters insurance, fire or burglary can leave you on the hook for thousands of dollars to replace your belongings.
But it’s never been easier to find cheap renters insurance. People all over Dallas work with Baja Auto Insurance to protect their property and give themselves peace of mind. All it takes is a few minutes to get started with an online quote for low-cost renters insurance in Dallas, TX. Or, feel free to visit one of our offices or give us a call at (800) 401-6870.