Does Renters Insurance Cover Fire?
Because the property owner's insurance does not cover the personal property of tenants, it is important for renters to purchase their own coverage. The short answer to the question of whether renter’s insurance covers fire is that it does. However, different types of coverage apply to fire damage in different ways.
Different Types of Renter Insurance Coverage for Fire Damage
The primary reason for renters to purchase fire coverage is to replace personal property damaged or destroyed in a fire. Examples of personal property include:
- Home decor
Some types of property may be specifically excluded or have different limits, such as jewelry, cash, guns, and musical instruments. Most policies cover personal property at replacement value, but some may cover it at actual cash value, which is the replacement value less depreciation. If you need a fire restoration service, to clean your smoke-damaged property, this may be covered by your policy.
Another coverage provided by most renters insurance policies is a liability. This means that if you accidentally cause a fire in your rental unit, your liability coverage may pay for any damages to the building or injuries to other tenants or guests that you are legally liable for.
Medical Payments to Others
Most renters’ policies provide a small amount of coverage for medical payments to others. This is no-fault coverage, so it applies, even if you didn't cause the fire. This coverage might apply if you had a guest in your apartment and that person needed medical attention due to smoke inhalation from a fire in your kitchen.
Loss of Use
If a fire makes your apartment uninhabitable, loss of use coverage may apply. This coverage may reimburse you for additional living expenses, such as paying for a hotel room.
Renters insurance provides a variety of coverages for various types of fire damage. If you are unsure what your policy covers, your insurance professional can review your policy with you and make adjustments as needed.