As the coronavirus pandemic has impacted life in the United States, many people have faced unprecedented financial challenges. Due to businesses being closed and people losing their jobs, one of the biggest problems is people trying to figure out how to pay their rent. Since it will only create more problems should mass evictions take place, renters insurance is coming into play as a way for renters to gain protection during the pandemic. As to the specifics regarding this issue, here are some important details you should keep in mind about your renters insurance.
With the passage of the CARES Act by Congress, renters now have federal protection if they are unable to pay their rent and are currently residing in subsidized housing backed by the federal government. Applicable through July 24, 2020, this protection will apply only to nonpayment of rent, and will not be applicable to other reasons that may cause a landlord to serve an eviction notice.
Utility and Phone Disconnections
During the pandemic, renters insurance will allow you to make sure your utilities and phone service are not disconnected due to nonpayment. Since many people are working from their homes or are in need of online and phone services to have appointments with doctors, attorneys, or others, this is considered to be an essential service by the government.
Enforcing Eviction Orders and Judgments
If you have renters insurance during this pandemic, you should be able to have protection against your landlord enforcing evictions orders or judgments currently outstanding against you. In addition, it should also help in stopping court hearings related to your eviction notice.
If your landlord is currently receiving mortgage relief from the CARES Act, this will also combine with your renters insurance to help you in several ways. The most important include your landlord being unable to start eviction proceedings against you for nonpayment of rent, charge you late fees or payments for nonpayment of rent, and give you only 30 days to move from your home or apartment. Should your landlord be receiving this form of financial relief, you may be entitled to eviction protection for a longer period of time. But to make sure of this, speak to your landlord as quickly as possible.
Since renters and insurance personnel cannot meet face-to-face due to the pandemic’s stay-at-home orders, many insurance companies are now offering greater uses of technology to assist in processing claims filed by policyholders. Therefore, should you find yourself having to file a claim for damaged property or other reasons, you should be able to do so virtually and still have the claim processed in the same manner.
Breaking Lease Agreements
While you will have many protections afforded you thanks to the CARES Act and your renters insurance, there are situations where none of this will apply to your situation. For example, if a lawsuit was filed against you for eviction prior to March 27, 2020, CARES Act provisions will not apply. However, by having renters insurance, your state or local courts may offer you protection from eviction. Yet to be sure you will have protections, always make sure you know the details of your renters insurance policy.
Landlord Payment Plans
If you have renters insurance during this pandemic, most states have created moratoriums where it is a requirement your landlord work with you to create reasonable payment plans should you fall behind on your rent payments. However, it is important to note that even though your state may have a moratorium in place that will work in conjunction with your renters insurance, you are still expected to make your regular rent payments if you are able to do so without it creating an unnecessary financial hardship. Should you have questions about this or any of the other above-mentioned matters, it is recommended you speak to your landlord and insurance company at once.