Lee Nelson
Lee Nelson
May 25, 2018 - 4 min read

What Does Renter’s Insurance Cover When You’re a Travel Nurse?

New travel nursing assignments can be exciting – new restaurants to try, new adventures to experience and new people to meet. But the apartment you rent is your haven from the stressful job and a soft place to land after all your fun.

But what if something happens to your stuff – a fire in the building, a burglar or a tornado? Does your landlord’s insurance cover all this?

The answer is no. The landlord’s insurance covers repairing the building – not replacing your belongings.

If something bad does happen, could you afford to replace everything on your own?

Fortunately, there are insurance policies that protect your stuff, even when you’re on assignment and living in a rental or agency-provided housing.

How many people buy renter’s insurance?

The sad part is so many people don’t buy renters insurance even though it’s not that expensive. In fact, a 2016 Insurance Information Institute (III) poll conducted found 95 percent of homeowners had homeowner’s insurance but only 41 percent of renters said they had renter’s insurance. At least the percentage of those getting this type of insurance went up from 29 percent in 2011.

Does your renter’s insurance cover your permanent apartment or house and your temporary residence simultaneously?

Yes, says Lynne McChristian, communications consultant at III. Home insurance providers coverage for both your structure and its contents. Renters insurance provides protection for contents. In both types of coverage, your possessions are covered no matter where they are.

“This is known as off-premises coverage. So, when you travel, whether for work or please, your personal possessions are covered when you have an insurance policy on your permanent residence,” McChristian explains.

It is always a smart idea to read your insurance contract to understand how it works before you need it.

How much does renter’s insurance cost?

The cost of renters insurance depends on how much you buy, and you decide on the amount by figuring out how much it would cost to replace your personal belongings, says McChristian. Coverage typically ranges from $15-$20 a month for around $30,000 worth of protection, with a deductible of $500 to $1,000.

What is a deductible?

Most insurance plans, even for car insurance, have deductibles. This is the cost you are responsible for if something has to be replaced or fixed. So, if a tornado destroys $10,000 of your stuff in your rental apartment and you have a $1,000 deductible, your insurance company will cover $9,000 of stuff while you pay the first $1,000. The III states that in general, the larger your deductible, the lower your insurance premium. But don’t pick a really high deductible if you won’t be able to cover it yourself.

Is it possible to get temporary rental insurance for your new place while traveling, and who actually sells it?

Yes, McChristian adds. “You can purchase a short-term renters policy if you do not already have this coverage. The first place to check is with the insurer who provides your automobile insurance, as you may get a better deal with a packaged policy.”

What disasters are covered and not covered?

Wherever you travel as a nurse, you will be heading into Mother Nature’s hands. But renter’s insurance will not cover floods unless you get flood coverage from the National Flood Insurance Program and a few private insurers. You can also get a separate policy for earthquake insurance or have it added as an endorsement to your renter’s policy, depending on the location you are traveling to. The usual things covered include fire, smoke, lightning, vandalism, tornado, theft, explosion, windstorm, and certain types of water damage like a pipe burst with your renters insurance.

What does a renter’s policy cover?

The III website says that your renter’s policy will insure you against coverage for personal possessions, liability protection and additional living expenses.

Personal possessions – You can buy two types of renter’s insurance for your nursing travels. Replacement cost coverage is a little more expensive than an actual cash value policy because it will actually pay for the cost to replace items such as your television, furniture and clothing. The actual cash value includes a deduction for depreciation as items lose value over time.

Liability – This helps you from allegations of negligence for injuries or property damage. Let’s say you have a wine-tasting party at your apartment and someone slips on your steps. They need to be rushed to the hospital. You could be held financially liable to pay for their medical bills. Plus, the policy also would pay for your legal defense if it came to a legal situation. McChristian says a renter’s policy often includes a no-fault medical coverage as part of the liability protection. This means if someone is injured inside your apartment while you are a new destination, he or she can send medical bills directly to your insurer.

Additional living expenses – We’ve all watched the television news when an entire apartment building is damaged by fire. Where do you go and how do you pay for it? Renter’s insurance will pay for your hotel bills or temporary rental, your restaurant meals, clothing and other essentials to get your life back to a resemblance of normalcy.

How do you get renter’s insurance?

First, research all the companies out there that offer renter’s insurance. You can find a local insurance agent or a company online, and then compare quotes. You answer a few questions, and voila, you have a policy.

Do you need a floater on your policy?

Your Aunt Clara left you a ruby and diamond ring valued at $4,000. You take it everywhere that you travel. Is it covered on your renter’s insurance? Most likely not unless you get a separate policy called a floater that will cover if it is lost or stolen. Sometimes, you also need an appraisal on items such as expensive jewelry or a collection of rare books or sports memorabilia.

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