Published: March 2016
You're probably aware that renters insurance may help protect your belongings if you rent a house or apartment. You probably also know that property insurance doesn't cover your doctor's visits and prescriptions — you need health insurance for that. But you might not know that a renters insurance policy may help provide coverage for other people's medical-related expenses in certain situations.
Renters insurance typically includes liability protection. Liability coverage typically includes two different types of protection, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). Those coverages are family liability and guest liability protection.
Family liability protection may offer protection if you or a family member who lives with you accidentally injures someone else and you're found legally responsible. If this happens, you may be held liable to pay damages — including the injured person's medical bills. Family liability protection may help cover those bills, according to the III.
Even if an accident happens outside your home, family liability protection may help protect you. For example, if your child throws a ball through a neighbor's window and someone inside is injured as a result, family liability protection may help pay the neighbor's medical bills.
Family liability protection typically does not offer coverage for damages related to motor vehicle accidents, says the American Institute of CPAs. You'd likely need auto liability insurance for that.
The III also explains that family liability coverage is subject to limits, meaning there is a maximum amount your policy will pay out for a covered event. If you're not sure whether you have enough family liability coverage, talk to your insurance agent.
The III states that renters insurance policies typically include a certain amount of no-fault medical coverage for guests. If a guest is injured in your home, this guest liability protection may allow the injured guest's medical bills to be submitted directly to your renters insurance company for payment.
However, guest liability protection doesn't cover your own medical bills, or the medical bills of people who live with you, says the III.
Landlord insurance may help cover medical bills if the landlord's negligence — for example, failure to repair a broken step — results in injury to a tenant or their guests. A landlord's insurance policy typically doesn't cover a renter's liability. So if a guest at your rented home trips on your throw rug and sustains an injury, renters insurance may help cover the resulting medical bills — but your landlord's insurance probably would not.
A local agent can help you understand the different renters insurance coverages available and answer any questions you may have. Then, you can go forward with the peace of mind that comes with knowing you have certain protections in place for both your belongings and yourself.