How to Compare Renters Insurance Quotes for 2024
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What Is Renters Insurance and Who Needs It?

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Content was accurate at the time of publication.

Renters insurance is like homeowners insurance: Both cover your personal property, liability and (usually) additional living expenses.

However, renters insurance does not cover damage to the structure of your rental home — that’s handled by your landlord’s insurance.

Find the Cheapest Renters Insurance Quotes in Your Area

Also known as an “HO-4” or “tenants insurance,” renters insurance covers personal property damage and liability issues. It also often pays for relocation costs if something happens to the rental home.

For example:

  • If your rental home is damaged by a fire, renters insurance would pay to replace your damaged items.
  • If someone is injured at your rental home and it’s your fault, renters insurance liability would cover any medical and legal costs.
  • Medical expense coverage can also take care of medical costs, regardless of who is responsible.
  • If additional living expenses coverage — also called “loss of use” — is part of your policy, it would also handle extra costs to live somewhere temporarily while your rental home is repaired.

Renters insurance coverage takes care of accidental damages due to “covered perils” on your policy, usually including:

  • Fire and smoke damage
  • Wind, snow, hail and ice damage
  • Damage from burst pipes
  • Explosions
  • Theft and vandalism

Renters insurance policies are usually “named-peril,” which means only damages listed in writing in your policy are covered.

However, some renters insurance companies offer “open-peril” coverage. This means that unless something is excluded in writing, it’s covered. Open-peril coverage is more expensive than named-peril, but it also covers more.

There are usually four types of coverage in a renters insurance policy:

Personal property

Personal property coverage handles replacing your belongings if they’re damaged or destroyed by a covered peril up to your policy limit.

This includes:

  • Clothing
  • Furniture
  • Electronics
  • Stand-alone appliances

Expensive items such as art or jewelry may be covered at a lower limit than your regular policy limit. Make sure to check with an agent about your actual limits before buying a policy.


If you are responsible for injuring someone or causing someone property damage, the liability portion of your renters insurance policy covers the legal, medical and item replacement costs.

Medical payments

If someone is injured at your rental home, this coverage handles the medical expenses, as well as associated expenses like lost wages and physical therapy.

Loss of use (LOU)

Also known as “additional living expenses,” LOU covers additional costs that can occur when you have to relocate while your rental home is repaired.

LOU coverage includes:

  • Extra rent costs
  • Restaurant meals
  • Furniture rental
  • Laundry
  • Extra commute costs

Note that LOU only covers costs that are over your regular standard of living. For example, if your standard grocery bill is $500 a month, but it is now $600 a month due to relocation, LOU coverage pays out on the remaining $100.

What does renters insurance not cover?

A renters insurance policy only covers “sudden and accidental damage.” If you file a claim on something that could have been avoided if you had been more careful, it may likely get denied.

Renters insurance doesn’t cover the structure of your rental home. Structural damage is covered under the owner’s landlord insurance policy.

Also, renters insurance will only cover damage up to your policy’s set limit. Any costs over the limit will have to be paid out of your own pocket.

Events that renters insurance does not cover include:

  • Flood, earthquake and sinkholes (add-on coverage may be available)
  • Mold damage is covered if caused by a covered peril; otherwise, it is not. Mold testing and inspection are not covered.


Renters insurance and roommates

Be aware that renters insurance doesn’t cover a roommate’s belongings — only yours.You can share a renters insurance policy with a roommate, but it’s not advised. Sharing a policy means sharing the personal property limit as well. If both of you own a lot of stuff, the limit can be hit quickly, and you might not be able to replace all belongings.It’s also difficult to get someone off a renters insurance policy if they move out.

Renters insurance is not required by any federal or state law, although landlords often require you to carry it as part of any rental agreement. The main reason is renters insurance policy can prevent the landlord from getting dragged into court if the rental unit is damaged or destroyed.

In the rare instance that your landlord does not require renters insurance, it’s still worth considering.

According to the Insurance Information Institute’s most recent data, a renters insurance policy costs $170 a year, or $14 a month, on average. The amount of coverage you get for the price is usually a worthwhile investment.

Then again, renters insurance policy prices can vary, so you’ll want to make sure the cost is reasonable compared to the value of your possessions.

Factors that can affect your renters insurance quote include:

  • Your ZIP code
  • Your claim history
  • Which deductible and policy limits you choose

A good way to get the best deal on the renters coverage you need is to compare quotes from several renters insurance companies. Take into account any differences in coverage to get an idea of which policy is the best renters insurance for you.