Renting a home or property is a popular vacation idea. A lot of families rent shore or mountain properties by the week, and sometimes groups of people gather together to rent larger properties for a week or two at a time. When renting a property, there are a lot of questions about what is covered and what is not when it comes to damages and theft.
Covering Your Personal Property
In general, your insurance coverage for personal property extends to any location in the world. This means your clothing, electronics, and all of the extras you are carrying for vacation (sheets and bedding, bathroom and kitchen items, etc. you might not take to a regular hotel) are covered. In most cases your personal property damage coverage also applies to property that is owned by someone else but that you are using. So if you were to break the microwave in the rental’s kitchen it would be covered under your policy as well.
Your landlord should, however, have insurance coverage of his own for the structure and landlord furnishings and other possessions. If the loss to the landlord’s property was related to a theft, it is more likely his own policy would respond to the loss of his property, while yours would pay for your own damages.
General Liability for Damage and Injury
Your homeowner’s insurance policy includes coverage for Personal Liability (Coverage E) and for Medical Payments to Others (Coverage F). While both generally apply to incidents that happen on the insured property (your home), they also extend to locations where the insured is staying and activities or events caused by the insured.
With that in mind, if you were to start a fire at the rental property, your personal liability would have to pay for the owner’s damages. If a person visiting the rental property tripped and fell because your child left his bike on the sidewalk, your personal liability, or possibly your Medical Payments, depending on the severity of the injury would respond. Anything that causes property damage, physical injury, or bodily harm is covered under the personal liability section of your policy.
A lot of insurance companies offer special policies and endorsements to cover unique situations regarding travel, especially out of country. Talk to your insurance professional about any concerns you may have about your upcoming summer rental. The solution may be as simple as buying an umbrella policy to increase your personal liability limits to better protect yourself.