By nature, children can be destructive. They’re curious, energetic and learning to push the limits on what they can and can’t do—both physically and socially. It’s not uncommon to walk into your child’s room and find them coloring on the wall, their toys, or even themselves. But what about when they cause damage to the apartment itself? What if the permanent marker they use on the wall won’t come off with regular cleaner?
Unfortunately, damage your toddler causes to the rented property isn’t covered by renters insurance. Fortunately, most damage a toddler causes can be easily fixed. Toddlers aren’t known for their strength. It’s unlikely they’ll be able to cause extensive, irreversible damage all on their own. Simple things like broken handles or wall art can be fixed with a call to the maintenance man or a quick dab of paint. If your toddler somehow does cause intense damage, however—such as taking scissors to the curtains or the wall—you’ll unfortunately be on your own in paying for the damages. At most, your landlord will have to file a claim with their insurance company and ask for compensation in return.
What Does Renters Insurance Cover for a Toddler?
Renters insurance does cover other incidents involving your children, however. If they cause bodily injury or property damage to someone else, your renters insurance policy will cover them. This applies for teenagers as well as toddlers and pre-teens, though teenagers are more apt to cause the most damage. Children under 13 can even be covered if their acts were intentional. This is because it’s understood that children at this age don’t completely comprehend the meaning or repercussions of their actions.
Keep in mind that you can’t add a child to your renters insurance policy, nor do you need to. Children will automatically be covered once you purchase a renters insurance policy. You may be asked to disclose whether or not you have children. It’s important to be honest so you can be sure that you have the right coverage. Renters with children will need more coverage than renters on their own. This also makes it slightly more expensive.
How Much Renters Insurance Do You Need?
Everyone’s living situation is different, as are their needs. Most families have multiple electronic devices that would be extremely expensive to replace without insurance. Calculate the replacement cost value of the items you’d like to insure before purchasing a policy. The replacement cost value is the cost it would take to replace these items out of pocket. There are two ways you can receive compensation: actual cash value or replacement cost value. Actual cash value takes the original cash value of the insured item and subtracts depreciation. This means that as the value of the item goes down, so does the amount that you will receive in compensation if the item is lost or damages. Replacement cost value replaces the item with one of similar or identical make and value without accounting for depreciation. As expected, replacement cost value policies are more expensive, but they’re also more likely to replace your lost items in total.
Also keep in mind that landlords may have a minimum amount of renters insurance required for each tenant. A basic renters insurance policy covers about $100,000 in personal liability coverage and around $30,000 in personal property coverage. With toddlers, you’ll likely want more coverage for their items, such as iPads and other electronics.
Some items, such as expensive electronics and art, need extra floater policies added to your renters insurance to guarantee coverage.