Would my renters insurance cover THAT?

Test your insurance knowledge

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Susan Meyer

Senior Editorial Manager

Credentials
  • Licensed Insurance Agent — Property and Casualty

Susan is a licensed insurance agent and has worked as a writer and editor for over 10 years across a number of industries. She has worked at The Zebr…

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Ross Martin

Insurance Writer

Credentials
  • 4+ years in the Insurance Industry

Ross joined The Zebra as a writer and researcher in 2019. He specializes in writing insurance content to help shoppers make informed decisions.

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If you don’t own your home and you’re not a van-lifer, there’s a good chance you rent. And if you rent, it’s a good idea to have renter’s insurance to protect all your stuff in case something happens to your rental. 

Here are some quick stats on renters insurance[1]:

  • 55 percent of U.S. renters, or 61 million people, currently have renter’s insurance policies. 
  • It’s often not their choice, as 75% of covered renters are covered because of a requirement by their landlord.
  • The average renter’s insurance premium was $211 per year, or about $18 a month. 

Do you have renters insurance? Are you thinking about getting it? Do you just love reading insurance content? Test your knowledge of renters insurance and what it would actually cover.

What renters insurance covers

  • Personal property coverage (also known as: your stuff). 
  • Loss of use. This pays your expenses while you’re living somewhere else if your rental is unable to be occupied because of a covered loss.
  • Personal liability. This protects you against damages for other people injured in your home. 

Okay, now let’s dive into some scenarios.


The collection

Since you were a child, you’ve collected Edwardian silverware. You know, as most children do. Your collection has grown and is now fairly valuable. Unfortunately, your apartment is broken into one day, and the thief clearly has a good eye for antiques.

 silverware
Yes

It will help up to point. Your personal property coverage will generally be a fraction of your liability coverage. And you will have personal property limitations that will vary based on your policy. For example, a common one for silverware is $2,500. However, if the value of your collection exceeded that, you might have added additional coverage at the time you purchased the policy. Either way, while nothing can replace the sentimental value of your losses, you can be well on your way financially to starting a new collection.

The great flood

Some historic rains washed a flood of water into your building. Only the first floor of the building was affected, but unfortunately, your apartment is in on the first floor. Your rugs, books, electronics and more were all affected by the deluge. Plus, you can’t stay there until the water is gone and the flooring repaired…so you’ll be staying in a hotel.

 flood
No

Unfortunately, flood damage is not covered by most renters insurance policies. If you suspect you will need flood insurance, you will have to get that through a government program or flood insurance company.

The most dramatic season ever

Your roommate bought a giant TV, but he’s never actually home to watch it. Naturally, you use it to watch your favorite reality show The Great Australian Bake-off. In the middle of a very tense pavlova judging, a baseball flies in the open window crashing right into the 80-inch screen.

 tv
No

Your renters policy will not cover the loss of the television. Your policy will only cover your personal property, not those of other occupants in the apartment. If your roommate has a renters policy, he will need to file through his insurance company for the loss.

The spunky shih tzu

Your shih tzu Dolly Parton is not nearly as loveable as her namesake. One day when your roommate’s uncle visits. He looks at Dolly the wrong way and receives a serious ankle bite for his trouble.

 iStock-172844974
Yes

 Your renters insurance policy will cover dog bites, although there are some limitations. Some insurance companies won’t cover certain breeds such as pitt bulls or wolf hybrids (although a shih tzu isn’t on those lists). If your dog had a known bite history, they also might exclude her.

Additionally, some insurance companies limit the amount of liability coverage that goes to dog bites. So for example, if you have $100,000 in liability coverage, there might be a stipulation that dog bites specifically are capped at $25,000. Make sure to read your policy carefully, especially if you own a less-than-friendly canine.

As you can see a renters insurance policy covers quite a few scenarios (with some exclusions). If you're a renter and want to add a little more peace of mind, consider getting a renters insurance policy