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  1. Renters Insurance in the US is an outgrowth of the regular Homeowners Insurance policies that have been in use in many states since the mid 20th Century. In fact for many companies the forms in use continue to be variations ( with appropriate state approvals) of forms developed by the Insurance Service Office, ISO. The Insurance Service Office is not alone in developing contractual homeowners and subsequently renters policy forms in use in the various states. There are other product development groups and larger companies often develop their own product offerings. 

    With all  that said, there are some common elements to homeowner and renters policy and by far the use of annual ( 12 month terms predominates). Decades ago there were companies using forms that lasted as much as three years for homeowners, but the reality of getting appropriate approvals from the regulators, responding to loss results and getting mortgage companies to accept the policies has all led to a fairly standardized approach in the US that homeowners and renters  policies are primarily annual contracts. 

    But don't throw away all your old policies when you get to the end of a year if you are all aware of an event that might give rise to coverage during that time period. For example suppose during the term of your renters policy your dog bit a neighbor. That occurrence then would be associated with the payment of loss for the infliction of bodily injury even though the damage is only assessed completely for years to come. Her  is why I mention dog bites. In many states you have absolute liability for your dog's aggression. And, dogs who maul a victim are often attacking children ( easier prey to the dog) and the damages are usually to the child's head. Therefore as they age there can be a need for repeated surgeries to address the scaring. Since the renters policy is typically an occurrence policy, the policy which will respond is not the current insurer several years out, but the insurer at the time of the event or " occurrence "
    Asked February 26, 2014 
    Answered on February 26, 2014
Posted 8:10 AM  View Comments

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