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What Does Renters Insurance Cover?

Renters insurance can help you replace stolen or damaged personal property – whether it’s in your home or with you when you travel. It also provides liability coverage for damage you may cause.

Many landlords require tenants to have renters insurance because a landlord’s insurance policy does not cover your property or your liability.

Renters insurance coverage is designed for those who rent an apartment, condo, or home. It typically has three different types of coverage:

  • Personal property:
    Protects your belongings such as furniture and electronics if they are accidentally damaged or destroyed by a covered loss.

  • Liability and medical expenses:
    Coverage for your liability if you damage someone’s property or someone is accidentally injured in your apartment.

  • Temporary living expenses:
    Provides for your reasonable and necessary expenses to live elsewhere if your rental home becomes temporarily uninhabitable.

Covered Causes of Loss

Personal property coverage protects against specific causes of loss detailed in your policy.

A cause of loss is an event that causes physical damage.

Commonly covered causes of loss include:

  • Accidents such as fire, smoke, or water damage from plumbing or appliances

  • Weather such as weight of snow, sleet, or ice; lightning, windstorms, hail; or water damage from freezing of plumbing systems

  • Malicious mischief such as vandalism or theft

Special Limits

Your policy may include special coverage limits for certain types of property.

  • Jewelry
  • Money, bank notes, and coins (including collections)
  • Securities, checks, gift cards, or phone cards
  • Theft of furs, firearms, silverware and goldware

Endorsements are available to increase coverage limits on these kinds of personal property.

What does renters insurance not cover?

Insurance policies also have exclusions, or types of risk that are not covered by the policy. Some common exclusions to renters insurance are:

  • Property damage to the buildings, roof, and siding (these are covered by your landlord)

  • Water damage caused by flooding or underground water

  • Damage caused by earth movement, such as earthquakes and landslides

How much renters insurance coverage do you need?

Each renter's coverage needs will vary. Follow these steps to determine the amount of insurance that's right for you.

  1. Take an inventory of all your personal property. List each item, when you acquired it, and the purchase price or current value.

  2. Total the amounts of these items for an estimate of what your property is worth.

  3. Consider adding videos or photos to your inventory — they can help expedite the claim settlement process in the event of a covered loss.

The content on this page is intended for informational purposes only. It is not an insurance policy, and does not, in any way, replace or modify the definitions and information contained in individual insurance policies. Terms and coverage availability may vary by state, and exclusions and deductibles may apply. Discounts also vary by state and may not be applied to all policy coverages. Coverage for an accident or loss is subject to the terms and conditions of the insurance policy applicable to a particular claim.