tenant-insurance-gbs-insuranceIf you’re renting your home, one of the most important things your can do is get tenant insurance. Often called renters insurance, tenant insurance help protect your personal property, such as furniture, clothing, and electronics. You may think that a landlord’s insurance policy covers your personal items, but it doesn’t – you landlord’s insurance only covers the physical house or apartment that you live in. In some cases, your landlord or property manager may require you to have tenant insurance upon signing you lease.

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Need a little more information about tenant insurance?
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Insurance companies sell several types of renters policies in Texas, each with a different level of coverage. Here are the two types of insurance policies that are available to you:

  • Named perils policies (or specified perils policies) – this will insure your property against losses specified in the policy, such as fire or theft. Losses not specified in the policy are not covered.
  • All risk policies (or comprehensive or open perils policies) – insures your property against every type of loss, unless the policy specifically excludes it. These policies are more expensive than named peril policies because they cover more types of losses.

Is there a limit to the amount of dollars my tenant insurance policy can cover?
Yes, all policies have a total dollar limit. Depending on the total cost of your assumed property within your rented dwelling, you will want to have a policy with a high enough dollar limit to replace it if it’s stolen or destroyed.
Tell me more about what tenant insurance covers

Tenant insurance policies generally include three types of coverages: personal property, loss of use, and personal liability.

  • Personal property coverage – this will assist in repairing or replacing your own personal property up to your policy’s limit. Common limits for tenant insurance are $100 for cash, $2,500 for property used for business, $500 for valuable paper, and $500 for jewelry, watches and furs. Tenant insurance also covers your travel items such as luggage. In general, the coverage is usually limited to 10% of the amount of your policy, or $1,000 – whichever is greater.
  • Loss of use – in the event that your rented dwelling is unlivable, your tenant insurance will pay for additional living expenses such as food and housing. The loss of use coverage is generally limited to 20% of your policy’s personal property coverage.
  • Personal liability – should someone get injured in your home, your policy will protect you against a claim or lawsuit placed upon you. Typical tenant policies provide $25,000 in liability coverage and pay for your legal costs.
My child is going off to college. Does he need tenant insurance?
College students living away from home are normally covered under their parents’ or guardians’ homeowners policies. A parent’s homeowners policy will usually cover a dependent’s personal property for up to 10% of the policy’s personal limit. For example, if the parent’s insurance policy has a personal property limit of $100,000, their dependents automatically have $10,000 in coverage while living away from home. They are also covered up to 100% of the liability.