In this guide

  1. What is Renters Insurance?

  2. What does Renters Insurance cover?

  3. More about Renters Insurance

  4. Get a quote

What is Renters Insurance?

Renters insurance is a form of property insurance that covers losses to personal property and protects the insured from liability claims. This includes injuries occurring in your rental that aren’t due to a structural problem. Injuries due to structural problems are your landlord’s responsibility. Renters insurance protects anything from a studio apartment to an entire house or mobile home.

Even if you’re just starting out or living in a place for a year, getting a renters insurance policy—probably the least expensive and easiest-to-obtain insurance you’ll ever own—could be a wise investment. You may not think you’ve got anything of great value, but you probably do—more than you could comfortably afford to replace in case of a bad burglary or fire.

In addition, no matter how careful you may be with your apartment (the sort of residence most renters have), you can’t control your neighbors. They can leave your security gates open, buzz ill-intentioned strangers into your building, or fall asleep with a cigarette in hand and start a severe fire.

While your landlord’s property insurance may cover the building itself, that insurance will not cover the contents of your apartment, nor will it cover the damages for which you could be sued by someone who had an accident within your apartment or rented space.

What does Renters Insurance cover?

A typical renters insurance policy provides three types of coverage: personal property coverage, renters liability insurance, and additional living expenses. Different insurance companies sometimes give other names to these coverage types, but they all function the same way.

Personal property or personal belongings coverage is what most people think of when it comes to renters insurance. Personal belongings include furniture, clothing and shoes, electronics and devices, appliances and kitchen equipment, home goods such as bedding and towels, and most sports and hobby equipment such as bicycles and musical instruments. Certain personal belongings may be excluded from a standard policy if they’re above a certain value, such as jewelry, artwork, collectibles, and specialized computer or hobby equipment.

More about Renters Insurance

Renters liability or personal liability coverage provided by a renters insurance policy covers the policyholder in case of a lawsuit resulting from incidents originating on the rental property, such as accidental injuries, injuries from household pets, or accidental damage to a neighbor’s personal property. Your personal liability coverage can be increased or augmented with an umbrella insurance policy if needed.

Additional living expenses coverage provides reimbursement if a covered disaster results in temporary relocation from the rental property. This ensures the policyholder is compensated for additional lodging, food, and other living expenses while living elsewhere. Covered disasters generally include smoke, fire, explosions, theft, vandalism, windstorms, lightning, and water damage from internal sources, such as plumbing or intrusion from a neighboring unit, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Common exclusions include earthquakes and floods from weather or other external water sources.

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