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Earlier this week, I ran across an interesting article over at Investor Junkie. In it, Larry described the destruction of his Long Island rental property by Hurricane Sandy.
One of the most interesting points in all of this (at least to me) was that his renter did have a renter’s insurance policy, but their losses weren’t covered since they were due to a flood.
As most of you are likely aware, tenants typically need renter’s insurance to protect their belongings. The reasons for this is that the landlord’s insurance policy is intended to insure the structure itself, not the contents.
At the same time, many of you know that standard homeowners insurance policies don’t cover losses due to flooding. Rather, you’ll need to buy a separate flood insurance policy for that.
We have, in fact, carried both renters insurance and flood insurance at various points in the past. But never at the same time. When we’ve rented, we’ve been high and dry. But the first house we owned was (somewhat) near a river. While that house wasn’t in the flood plain, it was close enough that we carried a flood insurance policy.
Honestly, it never really occurred to me that, if you’re renting in a flood-prone area, you need to carry both renter’s insurance and flood insurance. But you do — if you want to insure your belongings against all possible losses, that is.
And please keep in mind that it takes 30 days for a flood insurance policy to kick in, so you can’t wait until the storm starts brewing to buy coverage.