When renting a home in a flood-prone area, it’s in character to worry about flood damage. It can be disheartening to lose your possessions to flood damage. You are likely seeking an insurance solution for this risk. Some people might have advised you to get renters insurance to protect your possessions from flood damage. Now, you are probably wondering – does renters insurance cover flood damage? Here’s a breakdown of renters insurance and how you can protect your belongings against flood damage as a renter.
What Is Renters Insurance, and What Does It Cover?
Renters insurance is a kind of property insurance that works somewhat similarly to homeowners insurance. However, unlike homeowners insurance, renters insurance doesn’t cover the structure of the rented home. Renters insurance covers the following.
This policy covers loss or damage to your personal belongings, whether it was inside or outside your rented space. This personal property can include furniture, appliances, jewelry, art, electronics, etc. For instance, whether your laptop was stolen from your rented space or while you were on the streets, you will be compensated by renters insurance.
However, you need to constantly update the catalog of your personal belongings with your insurer whenever you purchase a new costly item. This will ensure you are compensated for all your personal property when a covered peril occurs.
Temporary Living Expenses
There are times when the rented space that you are living in will be undergoing renovations. During such times, it’s likely that you will have to look for an alternative temporary living space. Your renters insurance will cover expenses related to your temporary living arrangement.
Liability and Medical Costs
You are liable for injuries your visitors sustain while in your rented space. Moreover, if you live with a pet in your rented space, and one day it strays outside and bites, you will be liable. If you have renters insurance, it will cover both of these liabilities and the associated medical expenses.
What Is Flooding Classified As For Insurance?
When seeking to understand does renters insurance cover flood damage, you must first know what floods are. Probably, the word “floods” might seem pretty straightforward to you. However, in the context of insurance, flooding is the overflow of water that causes the submerging of the land. The water overflow has to result from a natural occurrence. This natural occurrence can be a tsunami in coastal areas, a storm surge caused by a tropical cyclone, heavy rainfall, and rapid snowmelt.
This means that an overflow of water caused by human error or as a secondary isn’t considered flooding in insurance. For instance, if you forget to close a tap and your home becomes filled with water, this isn’t considered a flood. Subsequently, if an earthquake happens and breaks the water pipes in your home, causing an overflow of water, this isn’t a flood.
What Are the Different Damages That Can Be Caused by Flooding?
As a renter, the damage that flooding can cause for you is very different from what the landlord/homeowner will experience. As the renter, you should expect the following damage after a flood:
- Furniture can become soaked in water and get moldy. The cushion and the wood will absorb the flood water, and mold will start growing on them. Furthermore, the wood on your furniture will likely become crooked as it absorbs water.
- Appliances and electronics will likely not work again once exposed to water from the flooding. The flood water will cause the short-circuiting and rusting of microprocessor components in your TV, home theatre, microwave, fridge, etc.
- Beddings and clothes may pick up tough stains from the dirty flood water. In some instances, the clothes and bedding will degrade from extended exposure to water.
- Your painted art might grow molds, and in extreme cases, the paint will be dissolved by the floodwater
Does Renters Insurance Cover Flooding?
No, renters insurance doesn’t cover damage to personal property caused by a flood. This means that having renters insurance still leaves you at risk of suffering significant personal property loss after a flood. However, most renters insurance policies cover water damage that is not associated with flooding. This encompasses water damage resulting from accidental overflows and system failures, such as:
- Washing machine with a failed gasket
- Busted water heater dumping its contents inside your rented space
- Overflowing toilet
- Leaky pipes dripping water inside the house
How Do You Protect Your Personal Belongings From Flood Damage as a Renter?
Since you now know that the answer to – does renters insurance cover flood damage – is no, you might be wondering how you can protect your personal property. Firstly, you should know that the landlord’s insurance policy won’t cover the loss or damage of your personal belongings due to a flood. You will need to get a separate flood insurance policy. Here’s everything you should know about getting separate flood insurance coverage.
What Is Flood Insurance?
A flood insurance policy is a stand-alone policy that will cover your personal belongings in case the house you are renting is affected by flooding. The coverage will take care of flood damage to your furniture, clothes, electronics, appliances, and other personal property. This policy covers all flood damage caused by natural occurrences such as flash floods and storm surges.
While there is a federal government-run flood insurance program, most insurance experts advise that you go for private flood insurance. What is private flood insurance? Private flood insurance is flood insurance that is offered by private insurance companies with no backing from the federal government. One of the best insurance companies offering private flood insurance is ONIT Home.
What Are the Advantages of Getting Private Flood Insurance?
A Shorter Waiting Period Before Coverage Kicks In
If you get flood insurance under the federal government-run program, you will have to wait 30 days after approval for the coverage to become effective. On the other hand, most private flood insurance policies have no or a very short waiting period. This means that you will start enjoying flood protection a couple of days after you purchase flood insurance coverage.
Flexible Coverage Options
If you get private flood insurance, you have the freedom to fine-tune the policy to meet your coverage needs. This means that you will get adequate flood insurance coverage. On the other hand, the federal government-run flood insurance program only offers standardized flood coverage. Therefore, you might still have some of your personal belongings at risk.
Lower cost in Lower Flood Risk Areas
If you reside in a lower flood-risk area, you can expect the cost of your private flood insurance policy to be notably lower. In contrast, the cost of the federal government-run flood insurance program for lower flood risk areas has very little disparity with the cost of the same policy in higher flood risk areas.
Tips to Lower Your Private Flood Insurance Costs as a Renter
Just like any other insurance policy, there are several things you can do to lower the cost of your private flood insurance coverage. These are:
Rent a Dry Flood-Proof Home
Before asking – does renters insurance cover flood damage – you should seek to rent a home that has dry flood-proofing. These are sealant and barrier installations that prevent floodwaters from getting inside a home. Some homes for rent with dry flood-proofing have a drainage system that diverts water away from the house. If you are renting a home with dry flood-proofing, the cost of your private flood insurance will be lower.
Seek an Elevation Certificate
An elevation certificate indicates how much water is likely to get into your rented home. This calculation is based on the floodplain of the area and the elevation of the house you are renting. Getting an elevation certificate before seeking private flood insurance will ensure you are not paying for more flood risk than you’re exposed to.
Elevate Your Appliances
Given how floods work, the closer your appliances are to the ground, the more likely they will be damaged even by minor floods. Elevating your appliances means that a more severe flood has to occur for them to be damaged. Once you have elevated your appliances, you can present pictures as proof of the reduced risk when purchasing private flood insurance.
Do You Need Renter’s Insurance or Private Flood Insurance?
Does renters insurance cover flood damage? No, but at ONIT Home, we have exclusive insurance deals for you, including renters and private flood insurance deals. We do the heavy lifting for you, all you need to do is visit us online and we’ll do the work from there! Or, give us a call right now at 1-833-433-0331.