A working definition of renters insurance that explains how it works, what it covers, and why we think it’s so dang great.
Renters insurance is insurance for renters, that much you know. But do you know what it covers, how to get it, or why it’s a good idea to have? If that’s less clear, you’ve come to the right place. You won’t find this in Webster’s: it’s a definition of renters insurance that takes into account what it means for you.
Our illuminating guide to renters insurance will answer your questions including:
Renters insurance is one of the most straightforward types of insurance you can buy — in fact, you can buy renters insurance easily and cheaply online! But before you buy you need to know what you’re getting into, and that means understanding how renters insurance works.
Renters insurance is for people who want help replacing their personal belongings if they’re damaged or stolen. Whether you rent a penthouse, a split-level, or a closet under the stairs, you can buy renters insurance to protect your stuff.
Multiple people can be one policy — for example, it’s common for couples to both be named on the same policy — but if you have roommates, it’s a good idea for each roommate to have their own policy to simplify things in case of a claim.
Renters insurance covers your personal property — the building itself is covered by your landlord’s insurance. Your renters insurance policy covers your stuff during certain named perils. Check your policy, but most renters insurance policies offer coverage during these events:
Also covered: your personal liability in case someone gets injured in your apartment or an accident that you cause at home causes damage to other people’s stuff (like, you overflow the bathtub and it ruins your downstairs neighbors’ tie-dye ceiling tapestry: your renters insurance would cover that).
That very specific list of things that renters insurance does cover comes with a shorter-but-broader list of things that your renters insurance doesn’t cover. The list of peril exclusions includes damage from:
Most renters insurance policies also don’t cover your stuff if it’s lost (just if it’s stolen).
The renters insurance application process is one of the easiest and fastest in the insurance game. Here’s how it works:
Learn more about how renters insurance works..
Insurance is one of the few things we buy that we hope to never have to use (right up there with Pepto Bismol and drain snakes). But if you do need to make your renters insurance flex for you, filing a claim is super easy, especially if you’ve taken care of these two easy pre-steps:
So hopefully you’ll do those two pre-steps, your insurance on your insurance, and a Bad Thing never happens, and it's All Good. But in case a Bad Thing does happyen, here’s how you’ll file a claim:
Renters insurance is one of the most affordable insurance types you can buy. Policies can cost just a $10 to $20 a month, though specific costs vary on where you live and how much coverage you want.
For example: the most expensive state for renters insurance is Mississippi, where the average policy is $262 a year, while the least expensive state is North Dakota, where the average policy is just $114 a year. Find out out how much the average renters insurance policy costs in your state.
Additional riders for expensive tech equipment, high-carat bling, or priceless artwork can make that number creep up alongside the level of protection, while security enhancements like sprinklers can offer you discounts.
“Protecting your stuff” sounds like a good enough reason for most people to get renters insurance, but in case you need even more convincing, we’ve broken down the types of coverage that renters insurance offers:.
Just to bring it all home, four reasons renters insurance is important:
It protects your stuff. Your landlord’s insurance covers the building; a renters insurance policy will cover your personal belongings!
It protects you. If a guest gets hurt in your apartment or you accidentally hurt someone outside of your apartment, your own health insurance won’t cover it, and your landlord’s property insurance won’t either. Your renters insurance will, though.
It fills coverage gaps. Your car insurance will replace the windows if your car is broken into, but it doesn’t cover your laptop that was stolen out of the back seat. (Your renters insurance will.)
It’s an easy and affordable way to protect yourself. Renters insurance is one the cheapest ways to protect yourself from some of the perils that life can throw at you.
Disclaimer: Policygenius’ editorial content is not written by an insurance agent. It’s intended for informational purposes and should not be considered legal or financial advice. Consult a professional to learn what financial products are right for you.