Rental Living: Who’s Responsible for Damages in Your Unit in San Bernardino, California?

keys in apartment door

Who’s responsible for damages to an apartment unit? Here’s the quick and easy answer: What is yours is your responsibility, and what the landlord owns is the landlord’s responsibility. There are exceptions, but that’s a pretty good rule of thumb. And that’s why it’s so important to have renters insurance as a San Bernardino, CA, tenant. 

But first, let’s delve a little deeper into the laws on this topic. 

Who Is Responsible for Damages to the San Bernardino, CA, Unit I Rent? 

All rented apartments, condos, homes, and other units experience normal wear and tear. This is considered to be the financial responsibility of the landlord. However, the landlord can charge you, generally from your security deposit, for damage considered to be your fault and above and beyond the normal wear and tear the property will undergo over time. 

That only concerns the space itself, though — the walls, ceilings, and floors, the HVAC, plumbing, electrical systems, and other elements of the unit are what belong to the landlord. 

But what if we’re talking about damage sustained to the property that you own and keep in that rental space? This includes your personal possessions, furniture, electronics, jewelry, collectibles, and other goods. What happens if they’re damaged or destroyed by fire or high winds? What if they’re stolen or vandalized? 

And what if you’re sued by visitors for accidents that take place on your rented property? 

In typical situations, all of that would be charged to you, not your landlord. You’d see no financial reimbursement by the party who rented you that living space. 

Why Do I Need Rental Insurance for My San Bernardino Apartment? 

As stated above, the short way to think about your financial responsibility in this area is that you’re (usually) responsible for the damage or loss of your own property while landlords are (usually) responsible for the damage or loss of their property, the building’s structure. 

That means that replacing your personal property due to theft, vandalism, fire, strong winds or other activity is usually your responsibility. 

woman with bucket on the phone with leak in ceiling

Additional reasons for buying rental insurance in San Bernardino, CA, include liability protection and temporary housing if you were to be displaced from your rental home or apartment for any reason that is not the fault of the landlord. 

Let’s take a closer look at each of these protections offered by rental insurance for your San Bernardino, CA. rented home or apartment unit. 

Personal Property Replacement or Repair 

Think of the many calamities that could result in the loss of virtually everything you own. 

  • Burglars take all of your expensive electronics. 
  • A fire sweeps through your unit, and the flames, smoke, or water damages or destroys virtually everything you own. 
  • A pipe bursts and dumps water on all of your work-from-home equipment, literally putting you out of business until you can afford to replace the laptops, smartphones, printers, and everything else you need to get the job done. 

These are just a few examples of calamities that can leave you almost financially destroyed if you don’t have insurance. If you are covered, however, you can count on receiving a settlement that will put your life back on the right track in a short time. 

Temporary Housing 

Let’s say you and your family are suddenly displaced by a fire in the middle of the night. Fortunately, no one was hurt, but…now what? If it was just you alone, you might be able to survive a few nights on a friend’s couch. 

But what if it takes more than a few days to restore your rented space to a livable condition? And what if it’s not just you, but it’s your family. You need to think about your children. Where are you all going to live for several days or weeks or even longer? You need somewhere with comfortable beds in a decent neighborhood and near their school. 

That kind of housing is expensive, especially long-term. But if you have renters insurance in San Bernardino, CA., your policy will likely cover an extended stay in temporary housing while your rented space is being restored. 

Personal Liability Protection 

Another way to think of personal liability is your legal responsibility. It’s your potentially very high costs associated with being sued in a court of law. That includes the cost of hiring a lawyer, the financial damages of a lawsuit if you lose, and any and all court costs. 

A good renters insurance policy in San Bernardino, CA, will cover the cost of your personal liability if a visitor to your rented house or apartment is injured and sues you, and it’s determined that you are at fault. 

For instance, if the inside stairs are blocked by your children’s toys and the visitor trips and falls — if you’re sued for that or any other similar reason, you will be covered for those costs up to your policy limits. 

What Does Renters Insurance Cost in San Bernardino, CA? 

You’re in luck. Renters insurance is quite affordable, no matter where you live in the state. A typical policy can cost as little as $15 a month, or $180 a year. 

Your deductible will also help determine your cost. The higher your deductible — the dollar amount you’ll be responsible for before your insurer assumes financial responsibility — the lower the cost of your premiums. Conversely, the lower your deductible, the higher your premium will be. 

Figure out what you can afford, both in terms of what you want to pay for coverage and the amount you could pay out of pocket in the event of a significant loss. 

And finally, you’ll need to determine whether you want your policy to be for actual or replacement cost value. Here’s the difference between these two types of policies. 

Actual Cost Value 

The actual cost value is when your renters insurance policy pays you the actual cost of the stolen or damaged item. So, if it’s a seven-year-old laptop, your policy will pay what a seven-year-old laptop of that make and model is now worth. 

Replacement Cost Value 

The replacement cost value is what it would cost to replace your damaged or stolen laptop with today’s version of that make and model. 

A replacement cost policy will cost you somewhat more than an actual cost value policy since the settlements are more generous. However, the cost difference isn’t substantial, so it might make more sense to get a replacement cost value policy. 

Rely on Cost-U-Less Insurance for Your Renters Insurance in San Bernardino, CA 

Now that you know how affordable and critical renters insurance in San Bernardino, CA, can be, reach out to your independent Cost-U-Less insurance agent today. 

Simply call us at (800) 390-4071 or go online for a quick quote. You can also find a location near you for a face-to-face meeting with your Cost-U-Less Insurance agent.