Find Cheap Renters Insurance Quotes in Your Area
As coronavirus continues to convulse financial institutions across the country, most renters will likely feel the impact of the virus from work stoppages that make it hard for tenants to pay their rents. But responses from federal and local governments mean that there are a few ways renters can mitigate their lost wages.
As for your renters insurance, there aren't many ways that typical coverage will be changed by coronavirus. For the most part, your billing is the most likely aspect that may change. You might also have to navigate an online-only claims process if you suffer a loss.
How will COVID-19 complicate renters' lives and renters insurance?
- What if you can't pay rent because of coronavirus?
- Can you reduce your rent payments because of COVID-19?
- How will coronavirus affect your renters insurance?
- How can you save money on your renters insurance?
- Does renters insurance cover your office supplies if you work from home?
- What is the impact of coronavirus on Airbnb renters?
What if you can't pay rent because of coronavirus?
If you can't pay rent because COVID-19 has not allowed you to work, some states have instituted eviction moratoriums.
While the measures taken by the US government to stimulate the economy during the coronavirus-induced downturn carry many protections for homeowners, renters received comparatively fewer safeguards. However, if you're a tenant who can't pay your rent because of COVID-19, you might have some recourse.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act provides $1,200 in financial aid to many Americans. As Congress continues to work on new legislation, it could be useful to know that existing increases to unemployment insurance mean you could soon start receiving up to $600 per week in addition to your state's maximum unemployment insurance.
Which states have eviction freezes in place due to coronavirus?
In the meantime, multiple states and municipalities have implemented eviction freezes as a result of widespread work stoppages:
|State||Eviction freeze?||Date enacted||Details|
|Alabama||No||--||Order expired 1 June|
|Alaska||Yes||23 March||Halts eviction proceedings until at least 30 June|
|Arizona||Yes||24 March||120 days for people affected by COVID-19|
|California||Yes||27 March||Moratorium lasts until the end of CA's state of emergency|
|Colorado||Partial||20 March||Evictions resumed, but local resolutions may apply|
|Connecticut||Yes||10 April||No evictions from nonpayment until 25 August|
|Delaware||Yes||24 March||No evictions or late fees for nonpayment until the end of the public health emergency|
|Florida||Yes||17 May||No evictions or late fees for nonpayment until 1 July|
|Georgia||Partial||17 March||Evictions have resumed, but local resolutions may apply|
|Hawaii||Yes||17 March||No evictions until the end of June|
|Illinois||Yes||20 March||No evictions for nonpayment until 31 July|
|Indiana||Yes||19 March||No evictions for nonpayment until 1 July|
|Kansas||Yes||18 March||Evictions suspended during state of emergency|
|Kentucky||Yes||25 March||Evictions suspended during state of emergency|
|Louisiana||Depends||16 March||Eviction proceedings have resumed in some local courts|
|Maine||No||--||There are no hearings until 30 days after the end of the state of emergency|
|Maryland||Yes||16 March||No evictions for renters affected by coronavirus until the end of statewide emergency|
|Massachusetts||Yes||27 March||Evictions court is suspended until at least 18 August|
|Michigan||Yes||20 March||No evictions for nonpayment until at least 15 July|
|Minnesota||Yes||23 March||No evictions until the end of MN's state of emergency|
|Missouri||No||--||Court is suspended except at the discretion of the judge|
|Montana||No||--||Evictions have resumed, but MT's renters can apply for aid on the state's website|
|Nevada||Yes||29 March||The current eviction ban will be phased out in August|
|New Jersey||Yes||19 March||No evictions during the course of the statewide emergency|
|New Mexico||No||--||Residents can contact their local courts to prove they can't pay rent|
|New York||Yes||22 March||No evictions for nonpayment until at least 20 August|
|North Carolina||No||--||Evictions restarted 20 June|
|North Dakota||No||--||Evictions have resumed|
|Ohio||Partial||1 April||Governor recommended that evictions stop. Cleveland, Columbus and Dayton have eviction freezes in effect.|
|Oregon||Yes||22 March||No evictions for non-payment until at least 30 September|
|Pennsylvania||Yes||1 April||Eviction hearings are paused until 10 July|
|Rhode Island||No||--||Evictions have resumed|
|South Carolina||No||--||Evictions have resumed|
|Tennessee||No||25 March||Evictions resumed on 1 June|
|Texas||Depends||--||Your eviction protections vary depending on local laws|
|Vermont||Yes||25 March||Stops eviction hearings, effectively ending evictions during the emergency.|
|Virginia||No||--||Virginia has offered its residents help avoiding evictions|
|Washington||Yes||17 April||Stops evictions until 1 August|
|Wisconsin||No||27 March||Evictions have resumed|
|Wyoming||No||--||Evictions have resumed|
Because new developments related to the government's response to coronavirus emerge everyday, it's best to verify with your statewide legislation if you aren't sure whether your state has any protections in place for its renters.
Can you reduce your rent payments because of COVID-19?
Since there are no laws excusing rent from tenants or providing relief specifically to landlords, working out a deal with your landlord is likely the best way to reduce your rent payments right now.
If you can't pay your rent, it's a good idea to ask your landlord if you can transition to a payment plan where you commit to a partial amount of rent each month. You should contact your landlord as soon as possible. Explain why you can't pay along with what you could realistically pay and for how long.
An agreement like this could be beneficial to both parties, especially if your property is managed by a landlord with fewer properties. They still have to pay property taxes and depend on the income they receive from their tenants.
How will coronavirus affect your renters insurance?
Renters who have insurance are most likely to see changes to their billing and the claims process.
Coronavirus stands to affect most renters insurance policies similarly to homeowners insurance coverage. Many insurance providers have waived late-free penalties for policyholders impacted by COVID-19, including stopping cancellations for missed payments. Some insurers taking this approach include:
- State Farm
- Liberty Mutual
Notably, some customers of Erie renters insurance can get coverage for gift cards that go unused as a result of COVID-19. If you have a gift card for a locally owned and operated business that closes within a year, you could be reimbursed up to $250 per card, or up to $500 overall. This feature will be added to typical policies at no cost.
If you have to make a claim, you'll have to use the online directions provided by your insurer. Since in-office work has halted across the country, agents now handle your claims electronically from their homes. You may be unable to get an insurance adjuster to your home in most cases, but your provider may ask you to utilize photographs and video to complete any claims.
How to save money on renters insurance
There are a few ways to generate savings on your renters insurance if you already have a policy or are looking for cheap coverage. Unlike homeowners insurance, you're not required to carry renters insurance by a lender. This means that you can let your policy lapse if you need money from your monthly premiums for rent or food expenses.
However, you don't have to go without coverage — and we don't recommend it, especially since many companies are excusing late fees. Rather, you should consider shopping around for a cheaper policy by comparing quotes or adjusting your policy's protections and deductible to lower your premiums.
If you have car insurance, you could qualify for a stay-at-home payback. Coronavirus has resulted in far fewer drivers on the roads. This has led a few companies, like Allstate and American Family, to return a fraction of their policyholders' premiums. If you qualify for such a payback, it could offset your monthly cost of renters insurance.
Does renters insurance cover my office supplies if I have to work from home?
Property that's used for business is covered by your renters insurance — up to a point.
Under most policies, property that's primarily used for business or a professional occupation is allotted some protection against covered perils. For example, you might receive $2,500 of coverage for business equipment that's at home, or $500 if you take it out of your house.
While you probably won't have to worry about your laptop getting stolen since you'll be spending more time at home, it could be a good idea to increase your coverage that's available for business property if you brought a lot of stuff from your office. If your $1,500 laptop gets damaged, your policy might cover it. But if you damage your laptop, monitor and your portable keyboard, you might be stuck paying for things yourself.
What is the impact of coronavirus on Airbnb renters?
The proliferation of coronavirus has disrupted all stages of the travel industry. If you're someone with an Airbnb reservation or who rented a room through another home-sharing service, you may be wondering whether you have to cancel your rental.
As an Airbnb renter, you can get a refund if you've booked your stay before March 15th, as long as your stay is no later than May 31st. The company is easing its cancellation penalties in an effort to lessen travel and stop the spread of the virus.
However, if you're someone who lets their home through a home-sharing service, you may be facing a loss that's not included in the loss of use coverage afforded by a typical renters insurance policy. Most renters insurance agreements only cover your property if you make less than $2,000 per year on home-sharing, so you couldn't recoup your lost rent.