Are you fully covered? Are you sure?
As the only national full-service insurance agency focused on the insurance needs of renters, Effective Coverage is a firm that bills itself as the renters insurance experts. With expertise and reputation come responsibility, and we work hard to focus on education about Renters Insurance.
There are many things that people don’t consider when they’re purchasing renters insurance, and those issues can result in significant coverage gaps. This is why we make available renters insurance experts to help you get the right coverage for your own personal risk profile. The needs of someone with a twelve-year-old telling lies on Facebook are entirely different from the needs of someone who has no one to insure but themselves. Read on to see the top five renters insurance coverage gaps, plus a bonus coverage gap.
So what are the top ten renters insurance coverage gaps?
#5 – It’s Raining Injured Men And You Don’t Have An Umbrella
In this day and age, we have more ways than ever before to cause bodily injury or property damage to someone else. People walk down the street with their cell phone in hand paying no attention at all – you could trip someone, spill your coffee on someone, or even just bump into someone who just had surgery and is more frail than you might expect. Any of those things would qualify as bodily injury due to your negligence. Property damage is easy, too – you could be planting flowers outside, and if the neighbor just got fiber internet installed and you dig through the fiber, you’re on the hook for a ton of money.
Especially when it comes to injury, a personal umbrella liability policy is crucial. That’s what protects you if a liability claim causes a larger loss than the underlying renters insurance policy will cover. If you have $300,000 of liability and cause someone bodily injury, you’re quite possibly on the hook for more than that because medical care is expensive. An umbrella policy is generally sold in increments of $1,000,000 and sits on top of your renters insurance liability coverage. It has what’s called “risk retention,” which can be thought of like a deductible. The umbrella policy kicks in when the underlying policy limits (the amount of risk retention) is exhausted, and covers things beyond that. An additional million dollars of liability coverage might cost you just $150 a year in many cases, so it’s well worth having. Never forget that both renters insurance and liability also cover defense costs, as well.
#4 – Your Social Media Presence Is Not Insured!
We’re not talking about rebuilding your profile, of course. We’re talking about coverage for libel and slander. If you know (or should have known) that something you say on social media is false and likely to cause injury to the person about whom you’re speaking, you’ve committed a civil tort. Litigating libel and slander claims is a long, arduous, expensive process. Your renters insurance excludes “personal injury” such as libel and slander from coverage. You can endorse that coverage back on, often for a mere ten or fifteen dollars a year.
Why would you want personal injury liability when you’re smart enough not to spread a lie about someone on the internet? Do you have kids? Do they understand what libel and slander are? They might have a vague concept, but perhaps not enough to avoid doing it. Since renters insurance liability covers your kids, the personal injury liability endorsement would apply to them as well. That means they’re covered (as are you, and as are the costs of defending that suit) when they say something they know is false about someone online. Because kids never gossip, and certainly never gossip about falsehoods, right?
#3 – It’s None Of Your Business!
Well, it was your business. Even if it’s only part-time and you work from home, if someone sues you it might be “none of your business” after they get a settlement! We live in an overly litigious society, and business pursuits are generally and broadly excluded from your renters insurance. That may mean that you need separate coverage for your business, even if it’s small. The good news is that good commercial insurance agents are plentiful and they can help you to get the business insurance that you need. Remember that it may be your business today, but it could be someone else’s tomorrow if you don’t have the right coverage!
#2 – And Not A Drop To Drink…
Renters insurance water backup is a crucial coverage. Water backup of sewers and drains is excluded from the standard policy form, but you can add it back, generally for about twelve dollars a year. Under the basic policy form, your personal property is not covered if there is water or sewage backup from a sink, toilet, sewer, or drain. Consider the cost of replacing or cleaning personal property from a loss like that, and then consider how affordable water backup coverage is.
#1 – Inadequate Medical Payments Coverage
Sometimes things happen that are no one’s fault per se, but still result in injury. If a guest in your home trips over their own two feet and twists and ankle, that’s not a liability claim because you weren’t negligent but that person is likely to look to you to pay the costs of the injury anyway. Medical payments to others coverage is designed to take care of those injuries which are fairly minor and where there is no fault involved. Often you can raise the limit to $5,000 at a minimal cost, which is sufficient to cover most injuries of that sort without resorting to liability coverage.
If you have kids, medical payments coverage is even more important. Kids have friends, and they have their friends over to your home frequently. If one of those friends gets injured while a guest in your home, you’ll want the medical payments coverage to make the issue go away quickly and without fault. That helps to resolve the issue, as well as maintaining the friendships involved. Medical payments to others is also very affordable, usually adding just a few dollars a year.
Bonus Renters Insurance Coverage Gap
Burning through the top five renters insurance coverage gaps was quick and easy. There are many more to be found, so it’s important to work with renters insurance experts. Another example of a coverage gap would be an apartment leased by a company. The person living in the apartment still needs renters insurance for them as an individual, even if the company leasing the unit has a commercial policy.
If you have questions about coverage gaps on your renters insurance, or just want a review of your coverage, it’s easy to take care of that. Just call Effective Coverage at (800)892-4308 or click to get covered - whether you need renters insurance quotes online or coverage anywhere else!
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