Does tenant insurance cover damage caused by flooding?


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Home insurance is a type of home insurance that replaces your belongings if they are damaged by fire, storm, or theft. Your landlord has insurance that covers the building and structure, but your property inside the rental unit is your responsibility.

When it comes to water damage, the tenant insurance will cover you, but only if the damage results from a covered event (peril insurance). Flooding is not a covered event and requires an additional insurance policy.

Does tenant insurance cover damage caused by flooding?

Renters insurance covers water damage if it is an insurance risk mentioned in your policy, but flooding is excluded. To protect your belongings from flood damage, you will need to add flood insurance – a separate coverage.

Renters’ insurance covers your belongings if they are damaged by a covered event called insurance risk. Common insurance risks are fire, theft, storms, hail and lightning. Floods are not included in the insurance risks covered and require separate flood insurance.

What is flood insurance?

Flood insurance covers damage to your belongings caused by flooding. Flood insurance is a separate policy that you add alongside your renters insurance.

A flood is defined as the entry of surface water into the interior of your home’s structure through existing openings that are above ground level. Flood insurance specifically excludes water damage caused by sump pumps, sewage, broken pipes, rain from an open window, and rain caused by windstorms.

Unlike tenant insurance policies which typically use “replacement cost” when paying for covered damage, flood insurance uses “actual cash value” (ACV) to replace damaged property.

Replacement cost is the cost of replacing the item with a new or used product. If a leather sofa is damaged by flooding, the actual cash value takes into account the depreciation of the item. The actual cash surrender value is usually less than the replacement value.

How is flood insurance different from tenant insurance?

Flood insurance only protects your belongings against damage caused by flooding. However, Yael Wissner-Levy, vice president of communications at Lemonade Insurance, told Insider that tenant insurance covers three things:

  1. Things that happen to your business
  2. The things you are responsible for
  3. Events that require you to vacate your rental

Wissner-Levy noted that as a tenant you are protected from anything that suddenly causes water damage without any previously known issues, such as accidental overflow of water or steam from plumbing, heating systems. , air conditioning or sprinklers. You are also protected if the sprinklers in your apartment go off and soak all your belongings, or if your pipes freeze in the winter and burst.

* Available as additional coverage

** Renters flood insurance is separated

If you rent in disaster prone areas – where flooding, hurricanes, tornadoes, forest fires, mudslides, hail or earthquakes are common – you will have higher premiums, because these natural disasters are not included in the basic coverage and require additional policies, called riders.

Will tenant insurance cover the move?

The “Loss of use” guarantee, also called “additional living expenses” or ALE, is included in most tenant insurance policies and provides for reimbursement of temporary accommodation when a peril causes damage to your accommodation. habitable rental.

For “loss of use” and “additional living expenses” it all depends on your insurance company and it varies by provider. Some carriers will reimburse you for temporary accommodation. Others may have a list of housing alternatives.

If you plan to vacate your rental due to damage, first contact your rental insurer and take detailed photos of the damage. Also make sure to lock down and secure the premises.

How much does flood insurance cost?

Flood insurance will be added to your tenant insurance policy. The average cost of tenant insurance is around $ 15 per month, or $ 180 per year.

Renter flood insurance is available from approved National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) providers such as National Flood Services for approximately $ 99 per year.


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