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Renters Insurance|Student Legal Services - ASUW

Renters Insurance


The fact that a tenant has given the landlord a deposit does not limit the tenant's personal liability to the landlord for damage that exceeds the amount of the deposit. In fact by statute (W.S. 1-21-1211(b), the tenant also is liable to the landlord for not only any damage beyond the damages paid by the deposit, but also for 10% interest on any unpaid amounts. Likewise, the fact that the landlord has purchased insurance that may pay to repair a particular kind of damage that the tenant has caused does not excuse the tenant from reimbursing the landlord's insurance company. A tenant will be responsible to the landlord (or her insurance company) for the actual damages she sustains as a result of the tenant's intentional or unintentional, but negligent, conduct.

While personal liability insurance will not protect a person from the financial consequences of his intentional misconduct, it will cover 
liability arising from certain kinds of negligence up to the limits specified in the insurance policy.

While it is impossible to foresee the future, insurance does, in exchange for a relatively modest premium, protect against the risk of having to pay a larger personal judgment. For example, few people could afford to personally pay the actual damages sustained if they caused a serious accident, such as failing to watch a kettle on the stove resulting in a fire, but with adequate liability insurance, this would be covered.

If a student still maintains a permanent residence with his parents, his parents' homeowners policy may provide coverage to some extent for his temporary residence away from home. Students should look into this in advance and if you do not have appropriate coverage, you should purchase a policy of your own.

Fire and Extended Coverage

A landlord is not responsible to the tenant for damage to property not caused by his own fault, and the landlord's property insurance policy does not protect the tenant's belongings from loss caused by fire, hail, wind or other insurable perils. For this, tenants must purchase their own insurance. Generally, tenants can obtain adequate fire, extended coverage, and liability insurance for a reasonable premium.

Theft Coverage

Coverage for theft may or may not be available under a standard policy. When purchasing a Renter's Insurance Policy, the tenant should specifically inquire about this coverage, its limits and deductibles.

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