Renters insurance secures tenants’ families, assets, property, and futures. However, it’s estimated that less than 50 percent of tenants in Illinois have renters insurance. Because of this, a number of people run into legal problems every year when their property is damaged or when someone is hurt at their house or apartment.
If you rent in Illinois and do not have insurance, it’s important to understand what renters insurance covers and why it’s important to have the coverage in the event of an accident.
The Importance of Renters Insurance
While Illinois has strong tenant protection laws, those aren’t always enough to protect a person when an accident occurs. That is why it is important for all renters to have insurance. Some tenants may think that their landlord’s policy protects them, but that is incorrect. Typically, a landlord’s policy only protects them and the property they’re renting out. Additionally, depending on the language of the lease, a renter may be responsible for certain parts of the premises, including stairs, decks or other areas of the property that one would think the landlord would be responsible for.
With 37% of Illinois residents renting their homes, it is important for those individuals to have the proper coverage in the event of an accident. In urban areas like Chicago, Springfield, Carbondale, and Champaign, the number of people renting is higher than in other areas of the state.
Some people may decide to go without renters insurance. Most of the time this is because renters assume they cannot afford a policy or they believe policies only exist for homeowners. In regard to cost, it appears that the average price of Illinois renters insurance is less than $200 a year, or about $15 per month.
Renters Insurance Coverage in Illinois
Most renters insurance policies in Illinois cover personal property and liability. Personal property coverage refers to protection of your things from fire, theft, vandalism, and more. Typically, if property is damaged the insured person will receive compensation for the cost of replacement. Liability pays for bodily injury or property damage that the renter causes to someone else by being negligent. Liability coverage also pays to defend a renter against a claim brought against them by an injured individual.
Depending on the policy, loss of use and medical payments to others may also be available. Loss of use pays for additional living expenses after a covered loss. If someone’s apartment burns down, they would have money to stay in a hotel and pay for other expenses if their renter’s insurance provided for it. If someone is injured, medical payments may be available even if there’s no fault involved.
It’s important to note that there are accidents and incidents not covered by renters insurance. Common examples include:
- Business liability
- Criminal acts which result in loss
- Intentional acts which result in loss
- Water backup of sewers and drains
- High-value jewelry or other assets that require additional coverage
- Personal property of anyone not named on the policy—which could include a spouse or relatives
To ensure your assets and property are covered in the event of an accident, it’s important to fully understand your policy and know your rights.
Renters Insurance and Premises Liability
A renter’s insurance policy provides defense coverage in the event your neighbor or a visitor sues you for injury or property damage. This can happen if they believe you are responsible for their accident, injuries, and associated losses. Depending on the situation, the case may not go anywhere, but your insurance coverage should protect you in the event it does.
If, for example, a guest falls down the stairs or you accidentally cause a kitchen fire in your rental that results injury, the personal liability coverage under the renter’s insurance policy should protect the renter and ensure financial liability is taken care of.
It’s important to note that renters who seek additional liability coverage beyond their renters insurance policy limits may be able to purchase a personal umbrella policy. With umbrella insurance, coverage kicks in after the limits of the underlying policy have been reached. This helps to provide greater liability protection in the event of an accident resulting in serious injuries or death.
Legal Guidance for Premises Liability Accidents
If you’ve been injured on someone’s property, we understand that navigating insurance policies and your legal options is challenging. We have the experience to evaluate the circumstances and guide you through the process. Not only will we ensure you understand your rights, but we may be able to take steps to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free, no obligation consultation.