5 Surprising Things Your Renters Insurance Will Cover in California
You think you know all about renters insurance, right? It’s a pretty easy concept. It covers your personal belongings if you live in an apartment, condo, house, or any other rented space — even your college-age kids’ dorm or off-campus housing. Your inexpensive coverage protects personal items from fire and smoke, theft and vandalism, windstorms and hail, internal water damage, and many other unexpected and potentially costly events.
The policy offers cash settlements for covered loss or damage to your furniture, clothing, electronics, art, jewelry, and other valuables that might cost you thousands of dollars — and years — to fully replace.
In fact, coverage for renters is so important that many California landlords won’t let you rent space in their properties without a policy in effect. After all, they don’t want you to end up in a financial situation where you’re not going to be able to pay your monthly rent.
There are several ways the right policy can safeguard you, your loved ones, and your finances. Here’s a closer look.
1. Your Guests and Visitors Are Covered by Your Renters Policy
Let’s say you’re entertaining the neighbors, and a guest falls on the stairs while on a bathroom break. An ambulance must be called, and your poor neighbor must receive an X-ray and stitches.
Who pays for this?
With renters insurance, all immediate and follow-up medical care is covered, minus your deductible, and up to your policy limits for liability, which is usually at least $100,000. Even funeral expenses are covered (though we’re certainly hoping it doesn’t come to that).
2. Protection Against Liability Exposure in CA
Let’s look closer at that unfortunate staircase accident we just outlined. In addition to the medical costs mentioned, your neighbor must take several days of unpaid leave from her employer, and undergo months of physical therapy. Yes, this is covered too.
In addition, if your neighbor takes things a step further by suing you because the reason she fell on that stair was that you negligently left a kids’ roller skate on it, you’re still covered. That same $100,000 personal liability benefit that covered your neighbor’s medical costs also pays for you to hire a lawyer and defend yourself against a lawsuit and offer a legal settlement.
3. Your Stuff Is Protected Even When Off-Site
When some of your personal possessions are being kept in a California storage facility instead of your home, they are also covered. If your storage unit is broken into or damaged due to fire or smoke, water, or other mishaps, you’re covered. Check your plan carefully to ensure you are aware of what you are protected from.
Your renters policy will also cover you if your possessions — or, in worst cases, the entire truck — are stolen or damaged during your move into or out of your covered living spaces. Coverage does not apply if the damage is due to your own fault, such as if the truck was left unlocked.
The bottom line is that renters insurance can cover your personal possessions even when they’re not actually in your rented space.
4. Coverage for Californians Housing Expenses When They Experience Loss of Use
Let’s say your living quarters catch fire. Don’t worry, as long as everyone is safe, your personal goods are covered, up to specified limits. Good news, right? However, your apartment is now a mess. Your landlord must hire a contractor to completely renovate your living spaces. That could take months. What will you do in the meantime?
You’ll put your renters insurance policy to good use again! In addition to receiving a settlement for the loss of your destroyed or smoke-damaged goods, your coverage will pay your expenses for the weeks or months in which you and your family must live elsewhere.
Think about the cost of temporary housing in pricey California. How long could you pay for that without assistance? Or would your family be couch-surfing with friends and family for as long as it took to get your apartment back?
5. You Can Get Extended Protection in California, Too
Standard policies can be purchased at multiple face values, from a few tens of thousands of dollars to $100,000 or more. Liability limits tend to go even higher. Conduct an inventory of your possessions to get a ballpark figure of their value and your insurance needs.
You don’t want to pay for more coverage than you need, but it can be just as unwise not to get enough protection.
Don’t be concerned if your renters insurance needs exceed standard policy limits. Simply discuss your unique requirements with your insurance agent. For instance, if you purchase art, jewelry, antiques, electronics, or other valuables with a higher worth than standard limits, you can buy a policy with a rider covering those items separately.
You can also get a policy that covers California earthquakes or other natural disasters not traditionally included in a standard policy. Again, this is a conversation to be held with your trusted insurance agent.
If you hold that discussion with an independent insurance agent, it can open up all sorts of opportunities. That’s because independent agents represent insurance lines from multiple major carriers. Therefore, the two of you can shop for the best deal on rates and coverage benefits from a range of competitive sources.
In general, it is quite affordable to get coverage as a renter, even in California. Depending on your location, the deductible amount you’ll assume, and other factors, you might pay just $15 to $30 a month to protect all of your belongings and keep yourself financially protected.
Find Affordable California Renters Insurance Today
Just contact an independent insurance agent at Cost-U-Less. Call us at (800) 390-4071 or go online for a quick renters insurance quote. You can also find a location close to you to meet with an agent who can help you shop for very affordable California renters insurance and home insurance.