The Few Objects and Situations Your Renters Insurance Won’t Cover in San Diego
If you’re renting a home, apartment, condo, or other residential space – or even a storage unit – in America’s Finest City, you hopefully already know the many advantages of obtaining renters insurance. Nevertheless, in addition to knowing all the many ways renters coverage can save you money and protect your finances, you should also know what your policy won’t cover.
A higher percentage of San Diego residents rent their housing than those who live in almost any other U.S. city. That’s why you owe it to yourself to get the full picture and find out how to get the most out of your renters insurance.
What your San Diego renters insurance won’t cover is a pretty short list, actually.
Anything Owned by the Landlord is Not Covered
Your renters insurance is meant to cover your own possessions kept in the place where you live or store it (and other stuff as well). Property owners have their own policy. This covers the roof, walls, floors, HVAC and electrical systems, water pipes — in short, everything that’s attached to and part of the structure. In other words, the stuff you don’t own.
Some of this might seem pretty obvious to you, but the property also includes such appliances you might use every day, and even consider “yours.” This might include the dishwasher, stove, refrigerator, washer, and dryer — unless these or other appliances really are owned by you.
Any Possessions Kept Outside the Covered Residence Are Typically Not Covered
This can sometimes vary, so be sure to ask your agent for details. In general, your car and items kept in your car aren’t covered. This is true even if you generally keep those personal possessions in your living spaces but accidentally left them in the car for the one night on which your vehicle is broken into.
On the other hand, some renters policies cover your items in a self-storage facility. So be sure to read your policy carefully or ask your agent for help.
Damage Caused by Major Weather Events in San Diego
We used to call such events “acts of God.” Whatever you call them, we’re referring to such cataclysmic events as floods, sinkholes, earthquakes, and mudslides. Unfortunately, California, as a state, is pretty familiar with most or all of these events. And yes, earthquakes can occur even in San Diego.
The good news is that your policy is likely to offer protection from smoke or flames from the state’s notorious wildfires. Also, damage from strong winds is generally covered. Once again, read your policy carefully and ask important questions before signing the paperwork.
If you live in a part of the San Diego metro that’s considered to be a flood zone, it might be a very good idea to get additional flood insurance. This will cover any personal possessions that end up lost, damaged, or ruined if you’re flooded out, and it will provide you with paid temporary housing while your place is being restored.
Keep in mind, flooding as part of San Diego weather events generally isn’t covered in your standard renters policy. However, if the flooding occurs from an internal source, such as a broken pipe or leaking toilet, whether from your residence or a neighboring unit, the destruction of your personal goods caused by one of those occurrences is typically covered, as well as the expense of a home away from home while your space is being renovated.
Your Policy Does Not Cover Personal Items That Belong to Your California Roomie
If you have a roommate, you should each get a renters policy of your own. That’s because, if your home is burgled and the roommate’s electronics are stolen, that will not be covered as part of your policy.
Similarly, if smoke damage from an out-of-control stove top destroys a dinner guest’s coat, it won’t be covered. On the other hand, your guest’s medical and therapeutic bills might well be covered as part of your policy’s liability coverage if they are injured at your home.
Loss or Damage beyond Your San Diego Renters Policy Limits
Two important terms that will come up as your agent prepares a quote for renters insurance are deductibles and coverage limits.
Your deductible is the amount you’ll pay for covered damages before your insurer takes on the rest of the claim. Let’s say you have a $500 deductible. If you suffer $5,000 in losses or damages, your insurer will pay the $4,500 that remains once your $500 deductible has been subtracted.
The higher your deductible, the lower your premiums. That’s because your company can pay less for a claim if you’re paying more for a deductible. The reverse is equally true. If you have a lower deductible, the advantage is that your insurer will pay more on a claim. However, you’ll pay a higher monthly premium for your coverage because of this higher rate of responsibility on the part of the insurance company.
One strategy might be to set your deductible as high as you can afford in order to keep your premiums low. After all, you’ll have to pay your premiums every month, but you’ll only pay coverage cost out of pocket if a covered event occurs. However, you might take the opposite approach if you think the risk of having to make a claim is relatively high.
Your coverage limit is the maximum amount your company will pay for damages. The higher you set the coverage limits, the more you’ll pay for premiums.
You’re best off conducting an informal audit to get a ballpark figure of what it might cost to replace everything you own. If your entire inventory of possessions is only worth $10,000, it wouldn’t make much economic sense to obtain a renters policy with a $20,000 coverage limit. You’d never receive close to that amount, even if everything you owned was lost.
Note: Another decision you’ll make when you sign a renters insurance policy in San Diego is whether you want actual cash value or replacement cost for your belongings. Actual cash value will cost you less in your premium, since it pays out the depreciated value of an item. So, if your laptop is 2 years old, you’ll receive that it would cost you to buy a two-year-old laptop of that make and model. You’ll pay more for a replacement cost policy, since it will pay for you to purchase a brand new laptop of comparable make and model.
Learn More about Affordable Renters Insurance in San Diego
We invite you to contact an independent insurance agent at Cost-U-Less at (800) 390-4071 or get a quick quote online. You can also find a location close to you in San Diego to meet with an agent who can help you shop for very affordable coverage.