Does Renters Insurance Cover Me for Accidental Fire Damage?

If you accidentally start a fire in your apartment, your renters insurance can pay to replace/repair your damaged belongings. The policy is designed to protect you from loss if the possessions you keep in your rented house are lost or damaged due to covered events like lightning, vandalism, and fire. However, there are some coverage exceptions you should know about.

Does Renters Insurance Cover My Apartment After a Fire?

Your renters policy doesn’t cover the physical unit, including walls, cabinets, and countertops, in case of fire damage. Instead, your landlord’s commercial property insurance provides this coverage. However, if you’re liable for the fire, such as by negligence, the apartment owner may seek compensation for the damage from you. In that case, you could utilize the liability component of your renters insurance for protection. If you’re liable for fire damage to the landlord’s property or injury to someone else, the policy will cover the required repairs, legal fees, and bodily injury compensation.

Losses not Covered by Renters Insurance

Your renters insurance policy may not reimburse you after a fire in your apartment in some scenarios. These include:

  • Valuable belongings like furs, fine art, and jewelry (you can cover these items by purchasing appropriate insurance endorsements)
  • Possessions not listed on your policy (such as an expensive appliance you bought after purchasing insurance and didn’t request your insurer to adjust coverage accordingly)
  • Intentional fire damage (except for when a minor started the fire)

Liability Insurance Coverage After a Fire

Your renters insurance liability coverage may kick in when a fire that starts in your apartment spreads to your neighbors. It can cover losses/damages such as:

  • Damaged personal belongings
  • Third-party bodily injuries
  • Medical bills for the injured
  • Settlement/compensation to the injured
  • Your attorney fees and court fees if you’re sued

Does Renters Insurance Cover Arson?

A renters policy should cover your losses due to someone intentionally setting your apartment on fire. To be sure, read your policy’s fine print as coverage limits, and exclusions vary from insurer to insurer.

Who’s Liable for an Electrical Fire?

Sometimes, nobody is at fault for a fire in your apartment, such as when a fault in your house’s electrical wiring caused it. In most such cases, your renters insurance would cover your personal properties. Also, you could seek compensation from the apartment owner for any losses not included in your renters policy.

Tips to Prevent Fires in Your Apartment

Generally, it’s best to do everything possible to prevent fires in your apartment. Your renters insurance is a crucial safety net, but preventing a disaster and avoiding the need for a claim is much better. Try these tips to minimize the risk of a fire starting in your apartment:

  • Extinguish candles before leaving your apartment
  • Turn off the oven immediately you’re done using it
  • Once you detect a gas leak, leave your house right away and notify someone
  • Have a fire extinguisher in your house

If you live in an apartment, you can protect your personal belongings against fire with a renters insurance policy. You may also get an additional floater to cover any valuable possessions you keep in your house. In case you have any questions about finding the right coverage, contact us at Kneller Insurance Agency today. Our team is happy to help you audit and meet your renters insurance requirements.

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