Who Pays for Fire Damage in Your Rental Home?

September 23, 2020 · Personal Lines

Blog Who Pays for Fire Damage in Your Rental Home?

Rental homes are the property of the landlord, but they are the homes and dwellings of the tenant. Therefore, when problems occur in the property, they are likely to impact both parties.

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One of the most devastating and scary household occurrences is a fire. These can be both unpredictable and hard to control once they start. Luckily, if you are a tenant of a rental home, then your renters insurance might provide coverage for you to replace your belongings. It can also help you compensate others for their property damage. The cause of the fire might factor into whether you will use your own renters policy to pay for your losses.

The Damage is Your Fault

Suppose that while cooking in your rental home, you cause a fire that gets out of control quickly. Not only your own belongings, but also part of the rental home sustain damage. Therefore, both you and the landlord might face some costly recovery bills.

You were the person cooking, and as a result, the fire might be your fault. Legally, you might have an obligation to pay for the damage of your own possessions and those of others. Your renters insurance includes possessions insurance that can help you replace your belongings. Home insurance policies also include liability insurance that will cover damage to the property of others. It will help you compensate the property owner for damage that is your fault. That is why most landlords require tenants to buy renters liability coverage. If the fire also extends to other peoples’ property, such as a neighbor in an apartment complex, then this coverage can compensate them, too.

The Damage is Someone Else’s Fault

Perhaps the fire is someone else’s fault. Suppose that your landlord has neglected to fix some faulty wiring in the house, and the fire starts there. The landlord’s negligence led to the fire. Therefore, they might have an obligation to repay you for your own property’s damage. Most landlords carry liability insurance for this reason.Sometimes, it is hard to determine who was at-fault for a rental home fire. In some cases, neither the landlord nor the tenant is responsible, such as if lightning strikes the home and causes a blaze. Both parties can rely on their own coverage to protect their own belongings.

Damage to the structure of the home is the landlord’s responsibility (unless the damage is your fault). The landlord owns the home, which is why your renters policy will not cover the structure. This is often what makes the renters policy much more affordable than the standard homeowners policy.