Ask an Agent: What does my renters insurance policy cover, exactly?
Q: If I plan to sub-lease my apartment, will their renters insurance policy automatically take over if something happens? What if they don't have renters insurance and I do?
A: When you sublet your apartment, keep in mind that your regular renters insurance has two components: coverage for your personal possessions and liability coverage. While you want to have coverage in case the items you left in the apartment are stolen or damaged, it’s almost more important to have liability coverage in place in case something happens to someone in the apartment, since they could say that it was your fault.
While renters insurance might offer you some liability coverage plus protection against damage or loss due to fire, it may not cover a theft while a subtenant is living in the residence because it would be easy for that person to steal. You will need to check with your insurance company. But if you find out you won’t be covered for theft, then you may want to put more of your belongings in storage.
Sometimes, a subtenant has another permanent home, but enters into a sublet arrangement during a temporary out-of-town work assignment, an extended vacation, or an educational stint. In those cases, a homeowners or renters policy at the permanent residence may cover a computer and other personal possessions at the sublet. But there might be a limit - such as just 10 percent property coverage on belongings when they’re away from the person’s main home. That means subtenants with $20,000 in renters insurance where they normally live would be covered up to only $2,000 at a sublet apartment. The subletter can purchase an annual renters insurance policy and then cancel it when they move.
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Melinda Laurie, Account Manager
20 years’ insurance experience
3 years at BHS Insurance
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