Abigail, who has renters insurance in Silver Spring, MD, writes us with a question a bit more specific than we usually get. It’s great to know that people are actually reading their policies! She writes,
What does “duty to mitigate” mean on renters insurance? What does it require of me?
That’s a great question, Abigail. Let’s dive into it. First of all, your insurance company has a duty to indemnify you (protect you and hold you harmless) from certain risks shown in your insurance policy. Their duty is in return for your payment of premium. But your insurance carrier (naturally) has no duty to fix something that you knew or should have known about but took no action to correct. Your duty to mitigate on a renters insurance policy is simply the duty to use reasonable care to make sure damage doesn’t continue to happen.
As an example, let’s take an experience we had recently. Someone had renters insurance in Silver Spring, MD and the air conditioner in his apartment (provided by the complex) began leaking into his closet at the beginning of the summer. The insured knew this almost immediately. Three months later, the insured tries to make a claim for the damages and mold. The claim is denied. Why? The answer lies in…
What Does Duty To Mitigate Mean On Renters Insurance?
Duty to mitigate on renters insurance means that you took steps to reduce the potential for loss as soon as you knew of a hazard. Closing your eyes every time you pass the loss as it occurs does not mean you didn’t know or shouldn’t have known, for example. Took steps to reduce the potential for loss means that you did what you reasonably could to stop the loss from occurring as soon as you were aware of it. That might be calling the fire department, or taking steps to stop the leak causing long term water damage and mold.
If you don’t take reasonable steps to mitigate the loss, what happens? Either the claim gets denied, or the damage is only paid for up to the point where damage should have stopped had you taken the necessary steps. Ultimately, what does duty to mitigate mean on renters insurance comes down to what a reasonable person would do as soon as he became aware. You’re not responsible to fight the fire. You’re neither trained nor equipped to do that. You’re not responsible to fix the AC to stop the dripping. Again, you likely have neither the training nor the proper tools. But in either example, you’d be responsible to contact someone who could fix it.
Before a loss occurs, the best thing you can do to mitigate the risk to yourself and your property is to contact Effective Coverage for the best renters insurance policy for your needs. Effective Coverage has experts available at (800) 892-4308 who can explain what duty to mitigate means on renters insurance. You can also click above for an instant online renters insurance quote.
There’s no reason to be without this valuable coverage, especially when it’s so inexpensive and can make such sweeping changes in your life when the worst happens. Work with the renters insurance experts to get covered today!