Why Do Renters Need Liability Protection?

Renters’ insurance provides tenants with similar benefits as homeowners’ insurance. Being covered protects your personal property in the apartment, condo or home that you rent in case you experience an unexpected catastrophic event such as a fire, burglary, or damage caused by a sewer backup. The purpose is so that you will be reimbursed for lost or damaged possessions.

Despite the growing population of renters in the U.S., just 37 percent of them have renters insurance, according to Policygenius. Yet this is crucial coverage that protects you from many different possible scenarios. In a litigious society like ours, liability is an important consideration with various types of insurance. You could be asked to cover claims resulting from injuries or damage related to countless events that are impossible to predict. And considering that renters tend not to have access to a whole lot of cash, a lack of coverage leaves them financially at risk.

If you are renting, not only should you be sure to have renters’ insurance when you move in. In most cases, you’ll also want it to include liability protection to shield you from liability if someone is injured on your property.

What Is Liability Protection?

Also referred to as tenants’ insurance, renters’ insurance typically includes three types of protection:

  1. Liability
  2. Personal possessions
  3. Additional living expenses

To understand why your plan should include liability protection, it helps to gain some clarity on what is meant by this type of protection. Liability insurance is a very common form of protection in the insurance industry and is included in various types of insurance. In the case of renters’ insurance, it serves to protect the renter from monetary damages if that person is sued for claims that are covered in their policy.

Having this coverage makes it possible for your insurer to help you financially – up to your policy’s limit – if you’re held responsible for bodily injury to someone or for damaging another person’s property. In other words, the liability part of your policy will generally pay for the cost of defending you in court, as well as for court awards. According to the Insurance Information Institute, liability limits on a standard policy generally start at around $100,000.

Why Would Someone Sue the Renter?

Personal liability is intended to cover legal costs that the renter might otherwise have to pay out of pocket – which many people wouldn’t be able to afford. A standard policy in some areas includes up to $100,000 in liability coverage, but each plan is different. Examples of the kind of scenarios it may cover:

  • Pays your neighbor’s medical bills if your dog bites them and covers other damage caused by your pets
  • Covers medical expenses if a guest slips and is injured while visiting
  • Includes protection if you are blamed for damaged property
  • Covers the cost of a hotel room if your apartment is broken into
  • Pays for losses if you or a family member cause damage to someone else’s property

What Does Liability Protection Not Cover in Your Rental Insurance?

You’ll want to inquire about the specifics of any given plan so you’re also aware of what types of liability won’t be included. For instance, liability coverage for injuries related to certain breeds of dogs may be excluded from the plan. Furthermore, keep in mind that your renters’ insurance typically won’t cover:

  • Items that your landlord should cover, like property damage to the buildings (such as roof and siding)
  • Repair costs if your kids or pets destroy your own property
  • Water damage caused by flooding
  • Damage caused by earthquakes, landslides and other events

Your landlord may make carrying liability insurance a condition of signing a lease agreement for a unit in the building where you plan to live. Be sure to speak to an agent to find out your amount options. For example, your family might need an “excess liability” policy that provides higher limits and broader coverage.

Our agents can inform you about liability coverage, as well as other types of coverage a renters’ plan will include. Call Amigo today at 773-847-9000 for a FREE quote on renters’ insurance and more details about your options.

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