Does renters insurance cover storm damage?
Last updated: January 1
Renters insurance may help pay to repair or replace your belongings if they are damaged by certain types of storms. It's important to understand what risks renters insurance may and may not cover so you know what to expect if your stuff is ruined in a storm.
What types of storms does renters insurance cover?
The personal property coverage in a renters insurance policy helps cover belongings from certain risks, often described as "perils."A renters insurance policy may help pay for damage caused by perils such as:
- Weight of ice, snow or sleet
Suppose items you own are damaged by wind from a hurricane or tornado, for instance. You may find that renters insurance helps cover the cost of repairing or replacing those belongings. When you buy a renters insurance policy, you can typically choose whether you want replacement cost coverage or actual cash value coverage. Replacement cost coverage helps reimburse you for the amount it would cost to buy a similar item today, while actual cash value coverage helps reimburse you for the depreciated value of item before it was damaged. The type of coverage you have will help determine how much your policy pays toward a covered claim.
Keep in mind that limits and a deductible may apply. Your personal property coverage limit is the maximum amount your insurer will reimburse you for a covered loss. It's important to consider the value of your belongings and set a coverage limit that fits your needs. (You may find that renters insurance provides less coverage for certain valuables, like expensive jewelry. You can typically purchase additional coverage for those types of belongings.)
Your deductible is the amount you're responsible for before renters insurance helps reimburses you for a covered claim. For example, if your deductible is $500 and $5,000 worth of your belongings are damaged by a wildfire, your insurer would likely pay $4,500 to help you replace the damaged items.
Read your policy or contact your insurance agent to learn what types of storms your policy covers and how much protection it offers.
What other ways does renters insurance help?
Renters insurance may help pay for other expenses that result from storm damage. For instance:
Additional living expense coverage.
This may help pay for certain increased costs, such as hotel or restaurant bills, if the residence you're renting is left temporarily uninhabitable from an event like a windstorm or wildfire.
If a storm turns your covered belongings into debris, renters insurance may help pay to remove it.
Emergency removal of property.
If you remove your belongings from your home in an effort to protect them from a storm, and they end up damaged in a covered claim, renters insurance may help pay to repair or replace those items.
Temporary repairs after a loss.
If your belongings are damaged in a covered loss and are at immediate risk of additional ruin, renters insurance may help pay for the cost of temporary repairs to help protect your personal property from further harm.
If a storm knocks out the power in your neighborhood, renters insurance may help pay to replace spoiled contents of your refrigerator or freezer.
Read your policy to talk to a local agent to learn what storm-related coverages your renters insurance includes. Remember, terms and coverage limits will apply to each type of protection in your policy.
What storm damage is not covered by renters insurance?
Your renters insurance policy states what types of perils it does not cover. According to the Insurance Information Institute, renters insurance typically does not cover:
While renters insurance may help cover some types of water damage, it's important to note that flood damage is not covered. For instance, if your rented home is damaged by a hurricane, damage caused by wind may be covered while flood-related damage would likely not be covered. You may be able to purchase a separate renters insurance policy through the National Flood Insurance Program to help cover your belongings if they are damaged in a flood, the Federal Emergency Management Agency says.
Earth movement is generally also excluded from renters insurance coverage. So if your belongings are damaged by an event such as an earthquake, landslide or volcanic eruption, renters insurance probably won't help pay to replace them.
Your agent can help answer questions about your coverage and inform you about separate policies that may offer protection in scenarios not covered by a standard renters insurance policy.
What if a storm damages the home I'm renting?
It is your landlord's responsibility to insure the structure of the home you're renting. If lightning causes a fire or hail damages the siding, landlord insurance may help pay for repairs. Your landlord's insurance, though, will not extend to your belongings, which is why renters insurance is important.
From wind to hail, storms can cause a lot of damage. By understanding what renters insurance may and may not help cover, you'll be more prepared as you get back on your feet after a storm.