Renters Insurance

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What is renters insurance?

Simply put, renters insurance covers damage to your personal property anywhere in the world. A renters insurance policy covers your clothes, your couch, and even your kitchen appliances. If your apartment were to burn down, renters insurance would cover your personal belongings. Moreover, renters insurance also offers liability and additional living expense protection. It would cover damages or injuries suffered by someone else on your property. In the event of a covered loss, renters insurance would cover temporary living expenses.

  1. What is covered by my policy?
  2. What is not covered by my policy?
  3. Additional coverages and considerations
  4. Costs and discounts

 

Renters insurance: personal property and liability

Personal property and liability coverages cover damages caused by:
  • 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.

 


 

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 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 renters 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 a floater — or an endorsement. A floater 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 renters insurance jewelry value cap of $10,000. Floaters and endorsements extend to other items, including works of art, firearms, or film equipment.

 


 

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

 


 

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.

 

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


Recent Questions:

Renters Insurance

Do I have coverage against damage caused by a fish tank?

Sep 10, 2018
Denver, CO

Does renters insurance have coverage for my fish tank? My fish tank burst damaging my apartment. Do I have coverage ...

Does my renters insurance coverage damage to my vehicle?

Jul 28, 2018
Bakersfield, CA

I had missed a payment due to an address error made by my insurance company. I was under the impression ...

My motorcycle wasn’t covered in a non-fault accident

Jul 05, 2018
Woodstock, VA

I borrowed a trailer to haul my personal belongings and the trailer tire blew, causing the truck to crash into ...

My musical equipment stolen from friend’s house covered by insurance

Jun 22, 2018
El Paso, TX

If my musical equipment like guitars amplifiers and PA system is stolen from friends house is it covered by his ...

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