How to Compare Renters Insurance Quotes for 2024
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What Does Renters Insurance Cover?

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Renters insurance covers your belongings and injuries or damage you may cause to someone else or their property.

Renters insurance isn’t required by law, but landlords often insist on it for tenants moving into an apartment, house or any other rental unit.

Find the Cheapest Renters Insurance Quotes in Your Area

Renters insurance typically covers:

  • Your belongings
  • Any liability claims against you
  • Guest medical expenses
  • “Additional living expenses” (ALE) if your unit becomes uninhabitable.

Most renters insurance companies also offer extra coverage endorsements, or riders, that you can add to your policy for additional protection.

Coverage for your belongings

The personal property coverage in renters insurance covers your belongings for theft or damage from a fire, as well as any other specifically covered causes.

The coverage comes with a deductible. If your property is stolen or destroyed, the insurance company subtracts your deductible from the amount it pays for your lost items.

Standard renters insurance covers your belongings at their actual cash value (their value after depreciation). However, many companies allow you to upgrade to “replacement cost coverage,” which replaces stolen or damaged items with new ones.

There’s also “contents coverage,” which takes care of your personal items when they are in your car, a storage unit or anywhere else outside your residence, although limitations apply.

  Renters insurance for jewelry

Renters insurance usually only offers limited coverage for valuables such as jewelry.

For example, many companies cap their coverage for jewelry at about $1,500 and have similar limits for collectibles and other high-value items.

However, you can usually purchase a rider to get extra protection for specific valuables you may own.

Personal liability protections for tenants

The “personal liability protections” in renters insurance covers injuries and damage you accidentally cause to other people or their property.

This coverage applies anywhere in the world, whether you are at home, outside in your community, or traveling abroad.

If you accidentally damage your rental unit, your renters liability coverage can also cover repairs. This is one of the main reasons why many landlords demand their tenants get renters insurance.

Renters liability also covers your legal fees in a dispute over your liability for someone else’s injuries or damage to their property.

Guest medical coverage for renters

The guest medical expenses in renters insurance pays for the medical treatment of a guest visiting your home, regardless of fault.

Coverage amounts typically range from $1,000 to $5,000.

Additional living expenses (ALE) for renters

Also known as “loss of use,” ALE covers your temporary living expenses if a fire or other covered disaster leaves your rental unit uninhabitable.

ALE only applies to costs outside of your normal expenses like rent, food and transportation. If a disaster requires you to live in a hotel for a month, for example, then your ALE covers the difference between your hotel bill and your normal rent.

It also covers the extra cost of meals and transportation in your temporary home. You will have to document the increase in these expenses to receive these funds.

Coverage of perils and risks

Most renters insurance is offered on a “named-peril” basis, which only covers the perils or risks specifically listed in your policy or quote.

However, some companies offer “open-perils” coverage, which protects against any peril that is not specifically excluded.

Regardless of whether you have a named- or open-peril policy, the dangers that renters insurance usually covers include:

  • Fire and lightning
  • Theft and vandalism
  • Pipes that burst during a freeze
  • Sudden, accidental water releases from a failed appliance or home system
  • Wind and hail (unless windstorm coverage is offered separately in your area)
  • Falling objects, such as trees

Your personal property and ALE coverage only kicks in if your belongings and/or unit are damaged by a covered peril.

Although renters insurance covers many things, there are some damages that renters insurance does not cover.

Flood and earthquake coverage for renters

Flood and earthquakes are the most common renters insurance exclusions.

However, you can usually purchase flood and/or earthquake insurance separately to protect your belongings from these risks. Some flood and earthquake insurance companies also provide loss of use coverage for tenants.

Most mold coverage

Renters insurance only covers mold on an extremely limited basis.

Some renters insurance companies don’t cover mold damage at all. Others only cover mold damage resulting from a covered peril, such as mold that forms in water used to put out a fire in your unit.

When you rent a home from someone else, your landlord is responsible for maintaining a mold-free environment. But you can be held responsible for a mold outbreak if you don’t report water leaks to your landlord, or if you allow excessive moisture to build up in your unit.

Unfortunately, renters insurance usually doesn’t cover mold cleanup costs in situations like these.

Pest infestation coverage for renters

Renters insurance also does not generally cover damage from pest infestations.

If bugs or rodents get into your unit, the damage they cause to your belongings is usually your own responsibility. Renters insurance usually does not cover the cost of pest removal, either.

  Renters insurance and car theft

Although it covers personal belongings stolen from your car, renter’s insurance does not cover theft of the car itself.

Even auto insurance only covers vehicle theft if your car insurance policy has comprehensive coverage, which is not always required.

Your renters insurance typically doesn’t cover roommates who are not related to you.

If you’re sharing a rental unit with one or more friends, it’s best for each roommate to get their own renters insurance.

However, most renters insurance companies do extend your coverage to your spouse and other relatives who live with you. A few companies will also cover both unmarried partners in a committed relationship.

A landlord’s insurance typically only covers damage to their own property and for potential liability claims against them, but not their tenants.

A landlord is usually just responsible for the building that houses your unit, any appliances provided for your use, and any common areas or grounds on the property.

For instance, if a tree falls on your rental unit, your landlord would probably be responsible for structural repairs and repairing or replacing any furnishings that belong to them. But neither your landlord nor their insurance company is responsible for your own personal belongings.

Meanwhile, your landlord’s liability and guest medical coverages will usually only apply to injuries that occur in common areas in your building or complex. For those that happen inside your unit, you would need your own renters insurance.

At the same time, a landlord might be liable for injuries inside your unit if that injury is the result of your landlord’s neglect.

It depends. If you damage a carpet in your unit that belongs to your landlord, the liability coverage in your renters insurance may pay to repair or replace it.

However, if you own the carpet and damage it yourself, your renters insurance likely doesn’t cover it.

Renters insurance can cover damage your pet causes to property belonging to your landlord or other people. Unfortunately, renters insurance does not cover damage your pet causes to your own property.

If you break someone else’s window by accident, the liability coverage in your renters insurance typically covers the cost of repairing or replacing it.

This includes a window in your rental unit, which technically belongs to your landlord, or a window in anyone else’s home.