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By Sarah Anderson
A good renter's policy will cover most damage. When you purchase insurance, ensure that fire and water damage is specifically mentioned in the policy. Check if your landlord has a property insurance policy. If not, purchase a policy that will cover both your damaged belongings and the cost to repair the rental unit itself.
A common exception is the exclusion of the cause of water damage. For example, if your water damage was caused by a leaking icemaker hose, the damage will be covered, but the leaking hose will not.
The landlord is usually responsible for the damage to the structure. A landlord's insurance will provide coverage for damage to the building itself, but not the damage to your personal property.
Some landlord's policies only provide coverage for the building's exterior damage and will not cover the cost of replacing carpeting, wall coverings, etc.
Check your renter contract or lease. Under some conditions, your landlord may still be liable for repairs, even if the damage is not covered by insurance.
The renter is usually responsible for his or her personal belongings and the content of the rented unit.
Read your policy carefully and look for the following:
- Alternative Housing
Most renters insurance policies will provide coverage for additional living expenses if your rental unit is unlivable during restoration. Compensation is up to the value of the old premises.
- Water Damage as a Result of a Flood
Basic renters insurance does not cover water damage that is a result of a flood. Residents of flood-prone areas will most likely need to purchase an additional policy or add appropriate riders to their renter's policy for flood-related coverage.
The expenses of a restoration process after a flood can be high and lead to serious debts unless you have flood insurance. Most insurance policies will not cover damage caused by floodwater. However, federal flood insurance is available through most insurance providers.