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Renters Insurance Liability - Who Is Responsible For Coverage?

By Compuquotes Team on March 27th, 2008

Renters Insurance

Liability insurance covers you from other people injuring themselves on your property, whether inside or out. Discussing liability insurance with your landlord is one of the very first things you should do - before either of you agree to you taking the rental apartment or home. When you talk to your landlord about liability insurance, you need to ask a few questions:

1.Do I need to have liability insurance?
Chances are, the answer is yes, you do need to have liability insurance with your renters insurance. Most often, liability is part of your renter's insurance package, but double check with your insurance agent to find out if you have liability insurance, and how much coverage for liability you have.

2.Do you have liability insurance?
Chances are, the answer is no. However, some landlords carry liability insurance with their dwelling insurance anyway, in case it is because of a fixing issue that there is a liability concern. For example, if the landlord needs to replace the broken walkway and someone falls down before it is fixed, the landlord is likely responsible for the claim. Similarly to inside your home - if something happens to you or a guest due to improperly installed or un-fixed damage in your home (that the landlord is aware of), then the landlord is responsible for the liability claim.

3.Who is responsible for clearing the walkways?
In most cases, it is the renter that is responsible for clearing the walkways if you are renting a home. In apartment buildings, it is often the landlord`s responsibility. Always ask if you are required to clear debris, snow and ice off the walkway, or if they have someone to do it for them. This will impact whether or not you need liability insurance for outside the home or not - if you are responsible for the walkways, you need to have liability insurance for outside. If the landlord is responsible for the walkways, you do not need to have liability insurance for outside.

4.Who is responsible for taking care of the yard?
In most cases, it is the renter that is responsible for caring for the yard if you are renting a home. In apartment buildings, it is often the landlord`s responsibility. Always ask if you are required to clear debris out of the yard and care for it, or if the landlord has someone to do it for them. This will impact whether or not you need liability insurance for outside the home or not - if you are responsible for the yard, you need to have liability insurance for outside. If the landlord is responsible for the yard, you do not need to have liability insurance for outside.

5.Do you cover liability that happens outside the walls of the home?
If the landlord expects you to take care of the outside, the yard and the walkways, they may not carry any liability insurance. However, there are instances of liability where the landlord is responsible, such as failing to repair walkways, stair rails, stairs, etc. They likely have some liability insurance with their dwelling insurance to cover these instances.

6.Do you cover liability that happens inside the home?
Landlords are not responsible for liability that happens in your home, unless it is a failed-repair issue.

7.Do you have any requirements for the level of liability insurance I need to carry?
The landlord may require you to have a certain level of renter's insurance liability coverage - double check to make sure.

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