Renters Insurance

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What is renters insurance?

Your renter's insurance is designed to protect you and your belongings from covered losses. Because all insurance providers insure their HO-4 renter's products as HO-4 named peril policies, all covered losses will be explicitedly stated on your policy. We'll explore the major threats a typical renter's policy will protect against as well as the additional coverage options and average premiums from top insurance providers. Let's get started.

  1. What is covered by my policy?
  2. What is not covered by my policy?
  3. Additional coverages and considerations
  4. Renters insurance: cost

 

Renters insurance: what is covered

In a typical HO-4 policy, your renter's insurance will have 4 main coverage options: your liability, your personal property, your additional living expenses, and medical payments to others. As we stated, all renter's insurance policies are named peril policies — meaning your policy will cover you for the threats specifically listed on your policy. A peril is a source of damage.

In a named peril HO-4 policy, the following causes of loss will be covered against:

  • Fire
  • Lightning
  • Wind
  • Hail
  • Explosions
  • Civil unrest
  • Aircraft
  • Vehicles
  • Smoke
  • Vandalism or malicious mischief 
  • Theft
  • Volcanic eruption
  • Falling objects
  • Weight of snow, ice, or sleet
  • Accidental discharge or overflow of water or steam from an appliance, or a plumbing, heating, or air conditioning systems
  • Sudden and accidental tearing apart, cracking, burning, or bulging of a steam or hot water system, an air conditioning, or automatic fire-protection system
  • Short-circuit damage caused by electrical appliances 
     
Liability coverage

Renters liability insurance provides coverage if you are found legally liable for damages or injury occurring on your property. This comprises someone suffering an injury on your property, your pet biting someone on the premises, or structural damage caused to neighboring apartments. Renters liability coverage typically starts at a coverage level of $100,000 but can be increased.

 

Personal property

Personal property includes anything you own — your clothes, furniture, artwork, etc. This coverage does apply outside of your listed residence (such as your car or if you're traveling) but for much less coverage. Typically, your coverage will only apply to theft and you will receive less in financial compensation. A big thing to keep in mind is the limitations to certain high-value items. See here to learn about the sub-limits on personal property coverage.

 

Additional living expenses

If your apartment is unlivable due to a covered loss, for example, a fire, this coverage would pay for you to live elsewhere. This coverage will usually be limited to a certain duration or reimbursement limit.

 

Medical payments to others

If a friend or family member hurts themselves in your apartment, this coverage can pay for their medical expenses.

 

If you'd like a more in-depth analysis on renter's insurance coverage options, see here.

 


 

What does renters insurance not cover?

It’s important to keep in mind the events renters insurance does not cover. Renters insurance doesn't protect anything you don’t own. The structural aspects of your apartment or home aren't covered by renters insurance, only your belongings. Renters insurance also doesn’t cover damages caused by earthquakes or floods. Some insurance companies offer additional earthquake insurance, while flood policies are typically handled through FEMA.

Landlords typically do not provide renters insurance. It's a product you should shop for and purchase yourself. 

 


 

Additional renters insurance coverage types and things to keep in mind

Prior to purchasing renters insurance, consider the factors below:

1. Determine your coverage needs

Take inventory of your belongings. This will help you determine how much coverage you require and speed the claims process in the event of an incident. 

2. Decide if you want to share your renter's insurance policy with a roommate

If you’re sharing an apartment, consider sharing a renters insurance policy with your roommate. Sharing a renters policy splits the bill — although renters insurance is often relatively affordable to begin with. If the policy is in your name, any claim your roommate files would be on your policy as well. If your roommate files multiple claims, you could face a rate hike or policy cancellation. For more information on car insurance with roommates, consult our guide.

3. Explore additional coverage options

If you own high-value belongings, inquire about coverage for those items. You may want to consider an endorsement or rider. An endorsement is a coverage add-on for a high-value item that exceeds normal policy coverage limits.

If you own a piece of jewelry appraised at $15,000, you would need a floater to protect that item above-and-beyond the typical renter's insurance jewelry value cap of $10,000. Floaters and endorsements extend to other items, including works of art, firearms, or film equipment.

4. Consider replacement cost coverage 

Most insurance providers will reimburse you for your personal property based on an actual cash basis — which deducts depreciation from your payout. However, replacement cost coverage reimburses you for the amount it would take to buy the same item at its current market value. Many insurance companies will allow you to add this coverage via an endorsement. 

 


 

How much does renters insurance cost?

The cost of renters insurance depends on the value of your property. In order to give you an estimate, we averaged personal property limits of $25,000 and $50,000 from top companies across the US.

The average annual rate for a renters insurance policy is $188.

Insurance ProviderAvg. Yearly Renters Insurance Premium
Allstate$187
American Family$156
Farmers$181
Liberty Mutual$285
MetLife$188
Nationwide$236
State Farm$140
USAA$128

In addition to protecting your belongings, renters insurance can lead to discounts on other lines of insurance — namely, auto insurance. Consider bundling your renters and auto insurance insurance policies to obtain a multi-policy discount. Bundling renters and auto policies can save you an average of $76 per year!

bundle status 2019

There are a couple of ways you can purchase a renters insurance policy if you need one. Lemonade is a relatively new insurance provider in the US. Lemonade offers customized coverage without all the additional fees a standard insurance company requires. You can quote yourself online here for free and get a quote in minutes. If you're not set on one insurance company, we recommend shopping around. Call us at 888-444-2833 and we can help get your started. 




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Below is a state by state breakdown for the cost of renters insurance.

StateAverage Rate for Renters Insurance
Alaska$111
Alabama$245
Arkansas$200
Arizona$157
California$223
Colorado$175
Connecticut$163
Washington DC$262
Delaware$210
Florida$227
Georgia$235
Hawaii$174
Iowa$124
Idaho$134
Illinois$156
Indiana$170
Kansas$213
Kentucky$186
Louisiana$340
Massachusetts$217
Maryland$255
Maine$155
Michigan$155
Minnesota$163
Missouri$189
Mississippi$327
Montana$155
North Carolina$175
North Dakota$117
Nebraska$165
New Hampshire$116
New Jersey$168
New Mexico$184
Nevada$179
New York$233
Ohio$166
Oklahoma$253
Oregon$165
Pennsylvania$124
Rhode Island$310
South Carolina$185
South Dakota$116
Tennessee$218
Texas$253
Utah$135
Virginia$166
Vermont$117
Washington$138
Wisconsin$119
West Virginia$177
Wyoming$107

 


 

Renters insurance FAQs

Review a few of the most commonly asked renters insurance questions — and answers — below.

Is renters insurance required?

Not by law. Renters insurance is not legally mandated in the United States. However, a landlord may stipulate a renters insurance requirement at their discretion. Renters insurance may not be required by state law — like auto insurance is, for example — but it's a smart purchase to make. It's an affordable way to keep your landlord happy and your property safe.

Does renters insurance cover hurricane damage?

It depends. Renters insurance typically covers many of the damages that may occur as a result of a hurricane, including wind, fire, hail, or lightning. However, most renters policies do not cover damage caused by water damage via floods or storm surge. When you file a claim following a hurricane, your renters insurance company will investigate to determine which damages were caused by "covered perils" and which happened as a result of water damage. 

Does renters insurance cover flood damage?

No. Renters insurance typically does not cover water damage caused by flooding or storm surge. If you live in a flood- or hurricane-prone location, you should consider purchasing a separate flood insurance policy to account for the possibility of losses caused by flooding. 

Can I get renters insurance if I have a dog?

Yes, unless your dog appears on your renters insurance company's list of excluded breeds. Renters insurance is a wise investment if you own a dog, as liability coverage will cover your expenses in the event your dog injures someone at your home. But insurance companies often restrict the types of pets they cover, withholding coverage for renters who own a Pit Bull, Rottweiler, German Shepherd, or other dog breed deemed too risky to insure.

 

View renters insurance rates by state:

AlaskaAlabamaArkansasArizonaCalifornia
ColoradoConnecticutWashington, D.C.DelawareFlorida
GeorgiaHawaiiIowaIdahoIllinois
IndianaKansasKentuckyLouisianaMassachusetts
MarylandMaineMichiganMinnesotaMissouri
MississippiMontanaNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaNebraska
New HampshireNew JerseyNew MexicoNevadaNew York
OhioOklahomaOregonPennsylvaniaRhode Island
South CarolinaSouth DakotaTennesseeTexasUtah
VirginiaVermontWashingtonWisconsinWest Virginia
Wyoming

 

Taking the plunge and purchasing a home? Learn more about homeowners insurance.


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