Here goes something! Before we begin, we're required to remind you that the info below is a general guideline—specific limits of your coverage can vary based on your plan (if you're a member). To view info about your personal coverage, head over to your Account, where you can download your policy document for your records.
As discussed elsewhere, Basic Renters Insurance Plans come with four (or five, respectively) main features:
- protection if something happens to your things
- protection if your place becomes uninhabitable
- protection if you cause injury to another person or damage to their things
- protection if you have to cover someone's medical bills
The specific reimbursable situations for each of these varies a bit based on the feature, but can be grouped into two main categories.
Situations where we'll reimburse you if something happens to your place or your things (i.e., property coverages)
Under a Basic plan, you're protected under a very wide range of scenarios (though it's not infinite) if something happens to your place or your things. These include the following (we'll use the technical terms but explain them where we think they're not obvious):
- Fire or lightning
- Windstorm or hail
- Riot or civil commotion
- Aircraft (i.e., that crash into your property)
- Vehicles (i.e., that crash into your property)
- Vandalism or malicious mischief
- Falling objects (e.g., like a meteor)
- Weight of ice, snow or sleet (i.e., which damage the building and, with it, your property or your place)
- Accidental discharge or overflow of water or steam (i.e., what you might call a 'flood,' or 'neighbor's-bathtub-overflowed-into-my-apartment' style floods, not 'ocean-in-my-apartment' floods)
- Tearing apart/cracking/burning/bulging of a boiler, heating system, AC etc.
- Freezing of plumbing/heating/AC etc.
- Power surges caused by lightning.
- Volcanic eruption (yikes!)
Situations where we'll reimburse you if you cause an issue or have to cover someone's medical bills (i.e., liability coverages)
Under a Basic plan, you're protected under a wide range of scenarios (though it's not infinite) where you accidentally end up harming others or damaging their property; think, "My dog bit someone," "Someone fell and got injured at my place" or "I let the tub overflow and destroyed my downstairs neighbor's bedroom."
If something like this happens (and it's more common than you might think), we'll even defend you if you're sued and pay for any damages, up to the amount of protection you buy with your plan for these features.
If you live in NY, NJ or CA, you're also automatically covered for certain "Workers Compensation" situations; typically, a regular, part-time, non-resident employee, like a bi-weekly housekeeper. The exact specifics vary by state.
What's not covered?
Insurance is intended to pool together similar amounts of risk among individuals, so extreme or unusual circumstances are excluded from our plans (again, this is typical of all insurance policies, and if you want more info on why this is the case, we talk about it in our Insurance 101 section, too).
- Valuables & Personal Electronics — these are protected up to a point. To ensure items like these are fully protected, purchase Power-Ups (technically called 'endorsements'), which are recommended for valuables worth over $1,000 or for personal electronics like smartphones, tablets & laptops. We have a whole section explaining these, so be sure to read up there if this is a concern.
- Floods — if you’re concerned about flood risk, your best bet is to visit FEMA’s website to learn more about the National Flood Insurance Program. We also explain all about why floods aren't covered in our Insurance 101 section. PS: We're talking about 'ocean-in-my-apartment' style floods, not 'overflowing-bathtub' style floods. The latter are absolutely covered (and aren't considered floods in insurance world)!
- Earthquakes — these aren't covered, for reasons similar to floods.
- Dangerous dogs — although every dog is an individual and we heart all breeds, insurance world classifies certain breeds (listed below) as higher-risk than others, and so a few breeds are excluded from liability protection. (Hips don't lie, and neither do statistics, and the numbers do support this view.) The breeds that are excluded are: Akita, Alaskan Malamute, Pit bull, Rottweiler, German Shepherd, Doberman Pinscher, Chow Chow, Presa Canario, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Great Dane, St. Bernard, Mastiff, Cane Corso, Siberian Husky, and Husky or Wolf mix. We like those dogs too, but unfortunately we can't provide liability coverage for incidents resulting from these breeds. :-(
- Intentional acts — we would hope this goes without saying, but it's worth mentioning that intentional acts are definitely not covered. We of course protect you from fires, including horrible accidents, but torching your place for fun is way out of bounds!
Same thing goes for liability. If a guest breaks her toe on a doorstop, that's an unfortunate accident and we're all over it. But a violent fistfight with your neighbor which ends in your giving him a black eye is also way over the line and not covered!
More questions? We're here!
Make no mistake, this stuff is complicated and there's nothing wrong with you if you still have questions. Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org with anything we may not have addressed; we'd be happy to help.