Have you recently moved into a new house or apartment? If you are a
renter, then you may be questioning if it's really necessary to
purchase your own insurance policy. Sure, you would have to buy
insurance if you were the homeowner – but do you really need it as a
renter? The truth is, renters insurance is incredibly important for
you as a tenant to make sure you're protected against financial
liability, damage, and more.
What Is Renters Insurance?
Renters insurance is a type of insurance policy that protects tenants
of houses and apartments who don’t own their living space. While
your policy will be based on your circumstances, renters insurance
usually covers the costs for personal property damage and some forms
of liability. Renters insurance bridges the gaps in liability where
you may be responsible for damages and loss, or instances where your
landlord’s insurance policy doesn’t cover your personal
How Does Renters Insurance Work?
Renters insurance is different from homeowners insurance. Depending on
the type of policy, your insurance plan can cover everything from
personal property loss to liability for injuries suffered by your
guests. Just like other forms of home insurance, you will need to file
a claim and undergo an investigation process to receive compensation
for your losses. It provides you a financial advantage, since you do
not have to pay out of pocket for your losses or damages.
For example, say that someone breaks into your home while you are away
and you return to find that the burglar took your new TV. Without
renters insurance, you will have to pay out of pocket to replace your
TV. With renters insurance, your insurance provider can cover the
expenses of a new TV.
Renters insurance can also cover injuries to visitors at your home. If
someone suffers an injury on your property, then they can file a claim
with your insurance company to recover compensation for losses such as
medical expenses and lost wages. If you did not have insurance,
you would be liable for these injuries.
The amount of compensation you receive will depend on the following
The type of loss you or the person filing the claim incurred
The amount of coverage you have in place
The deductible you have to pay before the company will give you a
A deductible refers to the amount of money you have to pay out of your
own pocket before the insurance company will give you a payout. For
example, say that you have a $500 deductible and the replacement cost
of your stolen TV is $1,000. After your deductible, the insurance
company will give you $500 to replace your TV.
Do I Need a Renters Insurance Policy?
You may wonder if purchasing a renters insurance policy is necessary
if your landlord or property owner has an insurance policy for your
home. This is a common misconception but homeowners policies only
protect your landlord’s property—not yours. If your
apartment were to flood, repairing the building would be covered by
your landlord’s insurance policy, but
you would be responsible for replacing any personal belongings that
were damaged. Renters insurance provides great peace of mind for the protection
of your possessions and your pocketbook.
Renters insurance is necessary if you meet the following criteria:
You are renting a house or apartment
You want to protect your possessions from damage, theft, or loss
You don’t want to be liable for injuries that people suffer in
While the law does not require you to carry renters insurance,
purchasing a policy is a smart financial investment. Depending on your
landlord, you may be required to purchase renters insurance when you
sign your lease. When you carry renters insurance, you protect both
yourself and your landlord from potential liabilities and damages to
the property. These policies help bridge the gap between the coverages
your insurance and your landlord’s insurance provide.
What Instances Does Renters Insurance Cover?
You can customize your renters insurance policy based on your needs
and circumstances. As we mentioned above, renters insurance typically
covers liability, loss, and damage – but there are other
compensation options you can receive with renters insurance. Below you
will find some of the most common types of coverage that renters
insurance can provide.
Liability coverage is one of the most important components of renters
insurance and an essential part of a standard policy.
comes into play in many circumstances but the most common type of
liability claim occurs when someone suffers an injury in your home.
Liability coverage provides compensation to the injured person for
costs such as lost wages, legal fees, and court judgements up to the
Liability coverage can also provide compensation for damage that
occurs to your property that your landlord’s insurance does not
cover. For example, if your child breaks someone’s window while
playing ball outside, your liability insurance can cover it. If you
accidentally cause a fire by smoking inside, your liability insurance
can pay to repair the damage.
Personal Property Coverage
Another essential component of renters insurance is protection for
personal property. If you leave your home for a weekend and come back to find that
someone broke in and stole your belongings, then you could replace
your items with the coverage provided by your renters insurance.
Without renters insurance, you’d be expected to pay for all of
your lost property out of your own pocket. For large-scale robberies
and other instances where lots of items are missing or damaged, these
costs can quickly add up – but renters insurance provides you
with comprehensive protection.
The types of losses and damages that your renters insurance will cover
is dependent on your specific policy. However, many renters insurance
policies will replace lost or damaged property under the following
Fire and lightning
Windstorms and hail
Snow, ice, or sleet
Plumbing, heating, or air conditioning damage
Natural disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes
Explosions or riots
Damage from someone else’s vehicle
Damage from certain appliances, such as steam-heating systems
Scheduled Personal Property
If you would like to extend coverage beyond your own renters insurance
or even your landlord’s insurance, you can invest in scheduled
personal property coverage. This supplemental insurance policy will
ensure that you receive
of expensive, valuable items in case of damage or theft. In addition,
you won’t have to pay a deductible on the items you want to
With a typical renters insurance policy, you can only receive coverage
for your personal property up to a certain amount. You can either
receive the actual cash value amount for a lost possession, which is
often less for the amount you paid for it, or you receive replacement
cost coverage. Valuable items typically have a limit that you can
receive to compensate for their loss, which is usually less than the
amount you need. You will also need to
pay a deductible before you can receive compensation.
However, when you choose scheduled personal property coverage, you do
not have to consider depreciation. You receive coverage for the full
value of the item you lost – scheduled personal property plans
usually include electronics, jewelry, firearms, business property, and
other high-value items. You may also receive coverage for the damage
to your property even if you lost or damaged the item yourself.
Reimbursed Living Expenses
In some circumstances, your home or apartment may become
uninhabitable. For example, you may need to leave your home for a few
days while you wait to have mold removed. One of your plumbing pipes
may burst and flood your home, requiring you to vacate for a period of
time while you’re waiting for cleaning crews or contractors to
repair this damage. During this time, you could incur costs for rent,
hotel stays, food, a rental car, and more – if you’re out
of your home for a week or more, these costs can add up significantly.
When you have reimbursed living expense coverage in your insurance
policy, you can receive compensation for these expenses. If you cannot
live in your home for a period of time due to damage for which you
filed a renters insurance claim, the insurance company will compensate
you for your cost of living. This way, you can safely live outside of
your home even in emergency circumstances.
Guest Medical Coverage
Guest medical coverage is another important component of your renters
insurance. In the event that someone suffers an injury on your
property, they may need to seek medical attention immediately and they
may then suffer from other ongoing issues caused by the injury,
requiring therapies and surgeries. To receive compensation for their
medical expenses, this person would submit a claim through your
As someone who resides in the property,
you are financially liable for these costs if someone suffers
an injury in your home. If you do not have insurance to absorb these
costs, then you could end up paying for these medical bills out of
pocket. Your landlord’s insurance won’t usually cover
these costs, so it is imperative that you have renters insurance to
Identity Restoration Coverage
Identity theft is a serious problem in the United States – it
can happen to anyone and the potential that it could occur to you is
quite high. Another unexpected form of coverage that your renters
insurance can provide is identity restoration coverage, which helps
protect you during instances of identity theft. Depending on the terms
of your policy, you may be able to claim compensation for the costs
you incur because of identity theft, such as legal fees, lost wages,
and other reinstatement costs.
How Much Coverage Do I Need?
Renters insurance is not a one-size-fits-all type of insurance
policy. Whatever coverage you invest in will depend on your circumstances
and the risks you could reasonably encounter. For example, if you live
in a high-crime neighborhood, you would want to invest in a higher
amount of personal property coverage than the average person. If you
entertain others at your home often, then you may want to purchase
higher amounts of liability and guest medical coverage. Whatever the
circumstances, speak to an insurance representative to discuss your
options and build a policy that works for you.
When you begin to choose your renters insurance, you will need to
consider three basic types of coverage and the coverage amounts you
want to have:
Personal property: You will usually need a minimum
amount of $2,500 for personal property coverage, but it is always a
good idea to purchase more than what you think you need. The average
person has over $20,000 worth of personal belongings, and you want
to cover as much as you can.
Liability coverage: You want to cover your bases
for liability claims and legal fees you may incur. While you can
choose your amount of coverage, a good baseline is $100,000 –
you may need more or less, depending on your situation. Your
adjuster can help advise you on this amount.
Additional forms of coverage: Do you have any
big-ticket items you want to protect in any circumstances? Scheduled
property coverage may be right for you. In addition, you may want to
check and see if the policy comes with living expense coverage and
guest medical expenses.
Of course, the more coverage you have, the more expensive your monthly
renters insurance cost will be. However, renters insurance is
typically an inexpensive policy – many people can pay as little
as $15 to $20 per month. To determine how much insurance you should
carry, make an itemized list of your belongings and consider the
potential costs of a liability claim. You should come up with a
ballpark figure to help you determine an amount that is right for you.
Get Renters Insurance
Renters insurance is a smart financial investment that all rental
property tenants should consider. You never know what could happen
– from break-ins to accidents to natural disasters, you do not
want to be financially responsible for replacing your belongings or
paying for someone’s medical bills.
Renters insurance helps reduce your responsibility
for these expenses, protecting your home and your pocketbook at the
Do you need assistance finding a renters insurance policy that works
for you? Acceptance Insurance can help! Our team specializes in
matching individuals with insurance policies that work for them,
including renters insurance.
Contact us today to speak
with one of our representatives and learn more about how renters
insurance can help protect you!