Does Renters Insurance Cover Water Damage?

Renters insurance can help to cover all sorts of damages and losses to your property. But does it cover water damage and sewer backup? If your apartment is damaged by water, your renters insurance may be able to help you cover the costs of replacing your belongings. It all depends on the type of water damage. But when it comes to sewer backup, your renters insurance most likely won’t cover damage caused by this type of event.

So what kind of water damage does renters insurance cover? We’ve got the info to help you understand just how renters insurance can help.

What Types of Water Damage Does Renters Insurance Cover?

Your renters insurance water damage coverage is meant mainly to protect your personal belongings and the property of others in your apartment, not the actual structure of your unit. Water damage caused by building maintenance issues that cause stains on your walls or mold growth is the responsibility of your landlord, not you. So if you notice this type of damage in your unit, notify your landlord immediately.

Here are a few types of water damage that your renters insurance may cover:

Water leaks

Many people store toiletries and beauty products in the cabinet under their sink. But if your apartment’s sink springs a leak and damages expensive hair care tools and cosmetics, like that $200 curling wand, your renters insurance may be able to help you recover that financial loss.

Burst pipes

Your landlord usually specifies a minimum thermostat temperature setting to prevent the pipes from freezing in the winter. But if you go on vacation and set it too low, like 60 degrees instead of 65, and the pipes freeze and burst while you’re gone, your renters insurance may help cover damage to your personal property.

Damage to other people’s belongings

If water damage to your apartment seeps into another unit, damaging the resident’s belongings, your renters insurance liability coverage can help protect your finances from the cost of replacing their things.

Does Renters Insurance Cover Sewer Backup?

If sewer backup happens in your apartment, you may be wondering if your renters insurance will cover damage to your personal property. Unless you’ve purchased sewer backup, septic backup and sump overflow coverage in addition to your standard renters policy, your renters insurance won’t cover your personal property should a sewer backup occur. And while your landlord’s insurance will cover damage to the apartment itself, it won’t help pay to replace your things if they’re damaged.

Paying Your Renters Insurance Deductible

One thing to keep in mind before filing a renters insurance claim is your deductible. If the value of the items you’re trying to recoup isn’t enough to meet your deductible — which is typically between $500 and $2000, depending on your policy — you may want to think twice before filing a claim. Not only will your insurance not pay out for anything below the deductible, you may see a premium rate increase for filing a claim.

What Types of Water Damage Does Renters Insurance Not Cover?

Not all types of water damage are covered by your renters insurance. In some instances, damage caused by water will be covered by your landlord’s insurance. For example, if your landlord has flood insurance for the building and a flood damages the carpet in your first floor apartment, you wouldn’t have to file a claim with your renters insurance.

In other instances, certain types of water damage need their own coverage or insurance policy or just may not be covered altogether. Make sure you know what’s covered by your renters policy before filing a claim.

Renters coverage won’t help with floods

If you live in a floodplain or somewhere prone to flooding, consider purchasing a separate flood policy. You can protect your belongings from flood water damage, and having your own flood insurance policy can make a big difference — because your renters insurance won’t cover your personal property in the event of a flood.

If your belongings have been recently damaged by water or sewer backup, contact your American Family Insurance agent to see if you should file a renters claim. They can help you navigate the details of your deductible and get all the information together that you need to file a claim.

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Related Topics: Renters , Insurance Needs