Incidents like burglary, larceny and theft are prevalent just about everywhere in the United States, and Pennsylvania is no exception. According to Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) statistics, there were 210,316 property crimes committed in 2018, a rate of more than 1,644 per 100,000 citizens. If you rent an apartment or home, carrying property insurance is crucial for covering your belongings after a loss.
Why Do You Need Renters’ Insurance?
Many renters mistakenly believe that their landlord’s insurance policy will cover their property if it’s damaged or stolen. In reality, these plans only protect the property and not its contents. If you sustain a loss from events such as burglaries or burst water pipes, you’ll have to bear the total cost of replacing your personal items. Additionally, in many cases, the building owner will require you to carry insurance as a condition of renting the property to you.
What Does Renters’ Insurance Cover in PA?
A renters’ insurance policy allows you to protect your property without breaking your budget. According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the average cost of a plan is around $15-30 monthly. For this small price, your program provides the following:
List of Covered Perils
In insurance terms, a peril is an event that damages property and causes a financial loss. A renters’ insurance policy covers losses resulting from these perils:
- Fire and lightning
- Volcanic eruption
- Falling objects
- Ice, sleet or snow weight
- Damage caused by water heating systems
- Freezing of plumbing or the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system
- Water or steam leakage or overflow
- Short-circuiting of electrical appliances
- Damage by aircraft or a vehicle not owned by the policyholder
- Windstorm and hail
Liability and Medical Expenses
If someone is injured while in an apartment or rental home, renters’ insurance will cover the costs you might be responsible for up to the policy’s limits. Therefore, you’ll have protection in the event of a lawsuit, and the plan will also pay the individual’s medical expenses. An example would be if your cat or dog bites a visitor and causes a severe injury.
Coverage While Traveling
Do you travel frequently for business or pleasure? When you’re away from home, renters’ insurance will protect your personal possessions from theft or other covered losses listed in your policy. Therefore, if someone breaks into your hotel room and steals your laptop, your plan should cover you anywhere in the world.
Loss of Use
Suppose that damage from a covered peril causes you to find temporary housing until your landlord makes the necessary repairs. In this case, your policy will pay for a hotel and other additional living expenses until you’re able to move back into your apartment.
A renters’ insurance policy may also provide some or all of these supplemental coverages:
- Debris removal: A policy may cover the expense of removing debris and destroyed items after a covered loss.
- Additions/alterations: Have you paid to make additions or upgrades to your apartment? A policy can cover the damage caused by a listed peril up to a specific percentage of your personal property limits.
- Credit card/forgery protection: If a thief breaks into your apartment and steals your credit cards or checkbook, your policy can cover any subsequent losses resulting from their fraudulent use.
- Food spoilage: A prolonged power outage can cause the food in your apartment’s refrigerator to spoil, so your policy may cover the cost of the loss.
What Does Renters’ Insurance Not Cover in PA?
While renters’ insurance offers affordable protection for many items, it doesn’t cover every situation a tenant may face. Examples of typical policy exclusions include:
If you live in a flood zone, you shouldn’t expect your renters’ insurance policy to cover damage caused by rising waters. Instead, you’ll need to purchase a separate flood insurance plan to protect your belongings. Additionally, you won’t have coverage for events such as earthquakes, wildfires, hurricanes and tornadoes.
Have you spotted or heard rodents scampering around your apartment or seen their droppings in your kitchen cabinets? Unfortunately, renters’ insurance doesn’t pay for any damage these and other household pests cause.
Most renters’ insurance policies place limits on items such as fine jewelry, art collections, electronics and antiques. If you keep these or any other expensive goods in your apartment, you may need to purchase extra protection to cover a loss fully.
Since the September 11 terrorist attacks, most renters’ policies now exclude damage to personal property resulting from a terrorist or nuclear attack. However, some carriers may only offer it for an additional premium.
Policy Options to Consider
Several factors affect the available coverages and the price you pay for a renters’ insurance policy:
Actual Cash Value vs. Replacement Cost
Decide whether actual cash value (ACV) or replacement cost coverage is a better fit for your situation and budget.
ACV is less expensive, but it limits the payout you’ll receive for a covered loss. For instance, if someone steals an item from your apartment that’s eight years old, you’ll only receive its depreciated value and have to make up the difference out of your pocket.
On the other hand, if you select a plan with replacement cost, your payout will cover the full price of a similar item. While your premium will be higher, you won’t have to worry about extra expenses when a loss occurs.
Named Perils vs. All-Risk
Are you looking to minimize your upfront insurance costs? A named perils renters’ insurance policy can result in a lower premium. As the name implies, these plans only cover the specific perils listed on the policy. On the other hand, an all-risk policy covers all perils, except for those listed as exclusions. The latter provides more comprehensive protection but at a higher price tag.
Triple Crown Corporation Has the Right Apartment for You
Are you looking to rent an apartment or home in or near Harrisburg, PA? Triple Crown Corporation offers a choice of several beautiful rental communities to meet any need. Please note that we require our tenants to carry renters’ insurance to enable them to protect their personal belongings from theft, fire and other perils.
Start your search right now by browsing our rental communities. If you want more information or wish to schedule a showing, call us at 1-877-TCC-HOME today.