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Can I Get Home Insurance if I Lease?

There are many different types of insurances that you can purchase. You can buy insurance to protect your health, your life, your vehicle, even your pets. But can you buy home insurance if you lease or rent your home? The answer is yes and no.

Do I Have to Have Homeowner’s Insurance?

If you own a home, you own the title or the deed to the home if a the mortgage has been paid off and the bank has ceded ownership to the payees. Most people carry a mortgage, and therefore the bank that has extended their loan will hold the title to the property until the mortgage is paid off. However, in this case, banks will require a homeowner to carry insurance in order to protect their investment.

What Does Homeowner’s Insurance Cover?

Homeowner’s insurance is a type of policy that insures the physical structure. Your roof, your walls, your windows, and other surfaces that form your home are all usually covered under this type of policy. You can also add your personal possessions, up to a predetermined dollar amount, under this coverage. However, if you rent the home, you are not responsible for the physical structure and do not need homeowner’s insurance. In fact, unless you are on the mortgage or deed, you cannot get homeowner’s insurance.

Homeowner’s Insurance VS Renter’s Insurance

People who lease their homes are offered a different type of insurance called Renter’s Insurance. These policies will cover all of the possessions you own inside the home as long as there is an inventory and proof of purchase. In addition, this form of coverage will protect those items from damage due to flood, fire and theft as long as corresponding evidence is provided. You can design your renter’s policy very similarly to the way a homeowner’s policy is designed.

What Should I Include in my Policy?

Virtually anything you own that is not part of the physical building can be covered under a renter’s insurance policy. Furniture, electronics, clothing, appliances, and even collector’s items can all be assigned a replacement value and covered if they get damaged or stolen. However, if you have expensive electronics or valuable jewelry, you may want to purchase a separate rider that specifies a more detailed description and replacement value for those particular items.

Do Homeowner’s or Renter’s Insurance Cover Items Not in my Home?

Sometimes a policy will cover your personal belongings even when they are located outside your home, such as in an outbuilding or storage area. You may get coverage up to a predetermined dollar amount for items you have in storage. Or, you may be able to get a replacement of valuables that have been stolen out of your car by filing a claim with your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance company. Be sure to ask these questions when you are looking at different policies.

If you lease, you should always carry your own renter’s insurance. Not only will you be protecting your possessions, but you will also be covering yourself in the event that your landlord lets his homeowner’s policy lapse. If a catastrophe hits and the homeowner does not have insurance to replace the damage to your items, at least you can rest easy knowing that you are protected. In addition, many policies will even allow for temporary housing should the worst occur.

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