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Renters Insurance: What Is My Landlord Responsible For?

By Compuquotes Team on March 27th, 2008
Renters Insurance

If you are renting a home, apartment, condominium or town house, it is important to cover your assets and ensure that your landlord is covering theirs. There are certain things that you are responsible to cover and things that you aren't responsible to cover. What you are responsible to cover is simply explained--you are responsible to insure your belongings and in many cases, liability for incidences on the property you are renting.

So what is your landlord responsible to insure? Practically everything else.

Your landlord is required to have insurance on the dwelling itself, that is the actual home, apartment, condominium or town house that you reside in. He is also responsible to cover the interior goods that he owns (that come with the house) such as appliances in the home. If the house comes with a fridge, stove, dishwasher, clothes washer and dryer, then he is responsible to cover those items with his house insurance policy. However, if you brought your own washer and dryer to the house, your landlord is not responsible to cover those items or any items that you brought to the home with you.

If your landlord is responsible for the upkeep of the property, such as keeping the sidewalks clear of debris, ice, sleet and snow, then your landlord is also responsible to have liability insurance on the property. Liability insurance pays for incidences on the property that happen to other people, such as falling on ice that is due to negligence (failing to clear the pathway).

Basic home owners insurance comes in eight varieties, one of which is renters insurance, which is what you are responsible for. The other types of insurance are for your landlord to purchase and insure the property and his belongings. There is insurance that simply covers the dwelling itself, that is the building and only certain attachments, like appliances.

If you are unsure of your responsibilities for insurance, talk to your landlord. They can tell you what they expect you to cover. If you are responsible for clearing the walkway, your landlord can hold you responsible for liability insurance. After all, if you fail to clear the walkway and someone falls, your land lord, who doesn't live at the house, shouldn't have to pay for a liability claim because you failed to clear the path.

When you talk to your insurance agent about renters insurance, they may ask you what you need to have covered. Ensure you tell them about your needs, and if you have any special materials in your home, such as jewelry, antiques or paintings.

You can also ask your insurance agent about discounts that may be available to you. Often, offering all of your insurance to one company will get you a discount, such as your vehicle and renters insurance policies. Also, anything that helps reduce the loss in the house, such as fire extinguishers, smoke detectors and alarms can also reduce your premiums as a renter and for your landlord.

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