What Happens If My Apartment Was Destroyed and I Didn’t Have Renters Insurance?

According to the Insurance Information Institute, just 37 percent of renters have renters insurance. That leaves a large majority, 63 percent, of people who rent without protection from potential disasters. If you don’t have a renters policy, here’s a look at what might happen if your Vermont apartment is ever destroyed.

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If I Didn’t Have Renters Insurance and My Vermont Apartment Was Destroyed, What Would Happen?

Your Landlord’s Policy Wouldn’t Provide You with Coverage

Your landlord may have an insurance policy for the building you live in, but this would be of little use to you if the apartment were destroyed. Your landlord’s policy will probably be designed to insure what they own -- the building, and perhaps some appliances inside your unit. The policy likely wouldn’t cover anything you own.

You Might End Up Accepting Hand-Me-Downs

To start with, you’d likely have to replace any personal possessions that were lost in the incident. Without personal property coverage through a renters insurance policy, you’d have to pay for any new belongings yourself.

For most renters, replacing everything they own is financially unfeasible. Unless you’ve amassed significant savings, you’d likely have to rely on the charity of others to help you replace what you lost. Be prepared to accept hand-me-downs from family and friends. How does a bright pink laptop or a well-loved couch sound? When relying on others, you can’t be too picky about style and condition.

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You May Need to Move in With the In-Laws

If your apartment is destroyed, you probably would either be provided alternative accommodations by your landlord or released from your lease. After all, if they don’t have a place for you to stay, they likely can’t charge you rent.

Having your lease terminated would seem to give you money to put towards rent somewhere else, but it could be some time before you had the finances necessary to rent another place. You’d likely have to save up enough for at least the first month’s rent and a security deposit, and you may need the last month’s rent, too. Even if your landlord refunds your current security deposit, you might not get it right away. Moreover, you’d have to save up while also replacing lost belongings -- some of which you may need for work or school.

You’d likely end up needing a cheap or free place to live for at least a few days, and you might have to forestall moving into a new apartment for several months. Without money for another place, be prepared to move in with family or friends -- perhaps even the in-laws if you’re married. How’d several weeks or months in their place sound?

Learn About Your Options You Might Be Held Responsible for the Damage Your Vermont Apartment Sustains

If you’re found to be responsible for the incident, you might be held financially responsible for the damage caused. Without renters liability insurance, you’d probably have to pay for any legal defense and settlement yourself.

Assuming your entire unit was damaged, the costs associated with the incident could easily total $100,000 -- and possibly much, much more. With no renters liability insurance coverage, such expenses may force you to declare bankruptcy. If you do, purchasing new belongings and finding a new apartment in Vermont would be difficult, to say the least. Be prepared to continue accepting hand-me-downs and living with the in-laws for some time.

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Renters Insurance Helps Protect Against These Risks

To avoid these potential dangers, become one of the renters who has a renters policy. Most renters policies include:

  • Personal Property Coverage, which could help pay for belongings that were destroyed

  • Loss of Use Coverage, which could help you afford alternative accommodations

  • Renters Liability Insurance Coverage, which could help you pay legal fees and settlements associated with covered claims filed against you

For help finding renters insurance, contact an independent insurance agent in your area. In just a few minutes, an independent agent can have several quotes from Vermont insurers for you to compare and choose from. Signing up for one of the policies usually takes just another few moments.

Topics: Renters Insurance

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