WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 6, 2023
If you rent a home or apartment, you will likely be required by the landlord to carry some form of renters insurance. Renters insurance covers your personal belongings and liability risks when you are renting somewhere to live. However, you won’t always remain in the same home. So can you transfer your renters insurance policy when you move to a new home?
Most of the time, you can transfer your renters insurance from one property to the next. However, you can’t do so arbitrarily or without taking a few precautionary steps. Your goal, at the end of a move, is to make sure your renters insurance still applies in your new property in the critical ways it was able to in your old residence.
What to Know About Renters Insurance
Renters insurance protects both the financial risks a renters both faces within that rental property, and the risks they pose to others. Most policies contain coverage like:
- Liability Insurance: Liability insurance applies if you cause harm or property damage to other parties, such as neighbors or friends who visit the home.
- Possessions Insurance: Possessions insurance or personal belongings coverage will pay in the event your belongings get damaged in such events as fires, vandalism, robberies, or similar occurrences.
- Living Expenses Protection: Living expenses protection, also known as additional living expenses, cover the costs of hotel bills, dining costs or similar expenses. Coverage will kick in if you have to temporarily vacate the rental after a damaging peril occurs.
However, what your renters policy likely does not cover is damage the home’s structure itself. That’s because you don’t own the rental home; it belongs to the landlord. Therefore, they are the party that needs the coverage for the dwelling.
On one hand, renters insurance doesn’t tether itself explicitly to a single property, as a homeowners insurance policy might. That makes it easier to take the policy with you when you move to a new home. However, you can’t just pull up stakes and go to a new property without giving a second thought to your policy. Moving means taking a deliberate step to update your coverage.
Changes You Need to Make to Your Renters Insurance Coverage
All rental homes have different insurance risk factors, even if you are still the same person in the new property as you were in the old one. When you move from one rental home to another, you must update your policy to reflect your current residential situation.
Keep a few of the following tips in mind when updating coverage:
- If you plan to move states, make sure your agent knows. Different insurance laws apply from state to state, so changes might have to occur with the finer points of the policy.
- Always update the address listed on the policy. If your renters insurance policy still reflects your old property, then, for all intents and purposes, it still insures the old property. If you fail to update your coverage, your new property might have no coverage at all afterward. Even if you just move one unit over in the same apartment building, you need to update the unit number.
- Ask your landlord if they require certain liability insurance limits. You’ll need to update your liability coverage to offer at least this coverage. Usually, you’ll have the opportunity to buy more coverage if necessary.
- Take the time to review your personal possessions coverage limits. If you haven’t updated your limits in a few years, coverage might not adequately reflect the true value of your belongings.
Always keep an open line of communication with your insurance agent. If you are moving out of state or even far from your original city, your insurance provider may not cover the new area, in which case you may need to shop for another insurance provider.
Can I Transfer Renters Insurance to My Roommate?
Say you are moving out but your roommate is remaining in the same apartment. If you’re both on your insurance policy, you may wonder if your roommate can keep the policy since they’re staying in the original rental space.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. You cannot transfer the same renters insurance policy to another person, since it is in your name. Instead, your roommate will be responsible for purchasing their own renters insurance policy. Make sure you and your roommate check your lease to get the right coverage when you are no longer on the same renters insurance policy.
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