Renter's Insurance in Puerto Rico

Renter’s Insurance in Puerto Rico

dynamicinsuranceGeneral Insurance

Renter’s insurance is a type of coverage whose main purpose is to protect a renter’s belongings in the event of an accident. This type of coverage is very common in the United States, but the same terminology is not often used in Puerto Rico. This typically causes new arrivals to the island a great deal of confusion as they may sometimes get the impression that renter’s insurance is not available or hard to get in Puerto Rico. 

This insurance, as a matter of fact, is actually very easy to get in Puerto Rico most cases. There are some exceptions, which we will go into later, but for the most part anybody will be able to get some coverage. 

What differences are there between renter’s insurance in Puerto Rico and the mainland US?

There are several standard differences between all property insurance policies in Puerto Rico and the US, but one of the main ones comes in the form of term and payment. In Puerto Rico, all insurance policies are done for a yearly term as compared to the standard six month term available in the US. Additionally, most companies will require payment in full, especially for your first payment with the company. 

The big difference; however, between renter’s insurance in the US and renter’s insurance in Puerto Rico is that in Puerto Rico there is really no such thing as renter’s insurance, but rather it is a coverage component of what is called a Personal Package. A Personal Package, as the name suggests is a set of coverages meant to cover various risks associated with a specific person. 

What are the minimum limits for renter’s insurance?

The minimum amount you will be able to insure is $12,500 worth of content. If you have less than that in content to insure, you will still have to choose this as your property limit.

How much does renter’s insurance cost in Puerto Rico?

This will depend on many factors, but the main factor will be the coverage limits requested. For a typical policy with $12,500 in content and standard limits, you can expect to pay $150-$300 per year.

What insurance companies offer renter’s insurance in Puerto Rico?

Basically every insurance company in Puerto Rico offers this coverage – just remember that they call it a Personal Package. The only companies that won’t offer it are the handful of companies that are exclusively dedicated to providing compulsory auto coverage such as PointGuard and Guardian.

How do I buy renter’s insurance in Puerto Rico?

You can buy renter’s insurance either by going directly to the insurance companies, or you can use a broker like us to get you quotes from various companies and save some money. If you are planning to buy a car in Puerto Rico or ship your car over, then our advice is to wait until you have that sorted out as car insurance in Puerto Rico is almost always less expensive when combined as part of a Personal Package (i.e. renter’s insurance). Should you find yourself in a situation where you need the renter’s coverage because your leas requires it before you sort your vehicle situation out, then that is ok, you can add car insurance to a Personal Pcakage later on as an endorsement

Can I add my landlord or building owner as additional insured?

This is a topic that often comes up as many lease contracts usually have wording requiring the renter to add the landlord as additonal insured on the policy. This is a standard practice in the US, but in Puerto Rico, insurance companies will NOT allow an additional insured to be named on a Personal Package. They will do it for a commercial policy, but not for a personal one. How does it all work out then? Well, communicate with your real estate agent on whether they would accept a certificate of insurance. A certificate is a document made out to your landlord that certifies you have the coverage required, but does not name an additional insured. Once you communicate that to them, they will say “that works”, and you can proceed.

What does renter’s insurance cover?

Renter’s insurance in the mainland United States covers damage to your personal property in the premises you are renting. A Puerto Rico personal package will cover the same risk, but the coverage is actually more expansive. Below we detail what are the most valuable risks covered and the nuances that you should be aware of.

Will renter’s insurance cover losses caused by a hurricane?

Yes, subject to some specific limits and deductibles in your policy.

Will renter’s insurance cover me in the event of an earthquake?

Yes, subject to some specific limits and deductibles in your policy.

Does renter’s insurance cover flooding?

It may surprise you to know that most personal package policies do include a smaller limit for flooding damage, typically in the range of $2,000-$3,000.

What kind of risks does a Puerto Rico Personal package cover that a typical mainland renter’s insurance policy does not?

The Personal Package is a much more expansive and powerful policy than a typical renter’s policy. As the name suggests, a renter’s insurance policy covers your content and liability only while on the rented premises, whereas the Personal Package covers you anywhere you go. Below are two examples of typical cases where a Personal Package will cover you but a renter’s will not:

  • Somebody breaks a window in your car and steals the laptop you had on your passenger seat. This is covered under the Personal Package.
  • You rent a venue to throw a party for your family and friends (personal party, not for commercial purposes). You provide food for the attendees, but it turns out the Mayonnaise was bad and half the attendees end up in the hospital. Your Personal Package will cover your liability if the attendees decide to sue.

What factors will affect my ability to obtain renter’s insurance?

The risk for your belongings is almost entirely based around where you live. Due to this, you can expect to have a much more difficult time obtaining insurance if you live in an oceanfront property. In fact, many insurance companies actually have strict cutoffs where they will not insure content if it is within a certain distance from the coast. 

In Summary

Hopefully, if you’ve gotten this far, you now understand more about the coverage options available to you. If you are in need of renter’s insurance, we encourage you to contact us for a quote, and we will be more than happy to assist you and guide you through the process.