Does Renters Insurance Cover Natural Disasters? | The Insurance Center

With natural disasters growing in severity and frequency as a result of climate change, now is a great time to think about what you would do in the event of one happening where you live. If you’re a renter, you should have renters insurance to protect your belongings and help you afford alternative accommodations if something happens. Learn what disasters your policy will cover.

Most renters policies cover common disasters like tornadoes, fires (including wildfires), damage from rain (but not flooding), hail, and damage from snow. This means that if the property you’re renting sustains enough damage to harm your belongings or prevent you from living there due to one of the covered disasters, then your renters insurance policy should kick in and provide some financial compensation for your losses.

Be aware that loss-of-use coverage isn’t included in every policy, so check yours to see if you would be provided funds for housing if your rental becomes unlivable after a tornado or fire. Replacing your $300 Craigslist couch won’t mean much if you can’t afford to rent another apartment. During widespread disasters like hurricanes or wildfires, housing that is undamaged is often much more expensive. If you live in an area frequently affected by wildfires, tornadoes, or hurricanes, strongly consider adding robust loss-of-use coverage to your policy.

Why do you need renters insurance?

If you’re renting a property, the landlord has insurance on the property, so why do you need renters insurance? The landlord’s insurance covers the building itself and the landlord’s belongings, but it doesn’t cover your property, your use of the building, or any liability on the property that may be your fault (such as if your dog bites a guest). Covering these things is where a renters policy kicks in.

The bottom line – disasters are becoming more common, more severe, and more devastating. If you are a renter who can’t afford to replace all of your items after a disaster or find alternate housing, consider getting a robust renters insurance policy. While renters insurance doesn’t cover disasters like earthquakes and floods, FEMA may be able to help if you find yourself in trouble from these events. Be sure to research your options.

Contact one of our agents to update and make sure you have the right coverage for your needs. We are an independent insurance agent meaning we can provide coverage from many insurance carriers so you receive the home insurance for your budget and needs!