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What Exactly Does Renters Insurance Cover?

Young woman sitting on small couch in new apartment holding notebook and pencil. Moving boxes around her.

You may not own your home, but what if the things you own inside your rental are damaged or stolen? That’s what renters insurance is for—protecting your personal property inside the home or apartment you rent, and more!

Renters insurance can be similar to homeowners insurance, except that it does not protect the home, since you don’t own it. That kind of insurance is something your landlord would have. However, that insurance only covers the building, not what is inside. Here is more about the types of things renters insurance covers.

Damaged or Stolen Personal Property

Renters’ insurance offers protection of your personal property from theft or damage. This property can be anything from your clothing to furniture and electronics.

The damage caused can range from fire, explosion, and smoke, to natural disasters like lightning and windstorms. It also can cover crimes like vandalism or theft. Certain types of water damage, like from a burst pipe, are covered as well. It also covers these items even if they are not in your apartment at that time, like clothes and electronics that might be damaged or lost when you are on vacation.

Even if you don’t have expensive items, the cost to replace those items can add up if a burglar cleans out your apartment or a fire destroys your furniture in your rental.

What is not covered in this category includes any personal property loss over your coverage limit. Be sure to check your policy for that amount. Most renters insurance policies do not cover floods or earthquakes either.


If you accidentally cause damage to someone else’s property, your renters insurance can cover that. This protects you against lawsuits for bodily injury or property damage done by yourself, your family members, even your pets. This coverage pays for the cost of defending you in court, again, up to the limit of your policy.

It can also cover a guest’s medical bills if you’re found responsible for their injuries, also known as no-fault medical coverage. Medical payments coverage allows someone who gets injured on your property to simply submit his or her medical bills directly to your insurance company so the bills can be paid without filing a lawsuit. However, this will not cover damage purposely caused.

If you need a larger amount of liability protection, consider purchasing a personal umbrella liability policy. An umbrella policy kicks in when you reach the limit on the underlying liability coverage provided by your renters or auto policy. It will also cover you for things such as libel and slander.

Additional Living Expenses

Any additional costs you incur, like hotel bills, if the residence you rent is damaged and left uninhabitable fall under additional living expenses. For example, if a fire leaves your apartment unsafe to live in, you may need to stay in a hotel for some time. The cost of the hotel is something your insurance would cover in that situation.

Temporary rentals, restaurant meals, and other expenses you incur while your rental home is being repaired or rebuilt are also covered. However, there are generally limits as to the total amount the insurer will pay or time limits specifying how long you’re eligible for these payments, so be sure to check your policy.

How to Save on Renters Insurance

Renters insurance can be very affordable, on average the premiums can be about $15 a month. In fact, the average renters insurance premium decreased 2.7% in 2017 from the year before. A common renters insurance deductible is about $500, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

You may qualify for a discount on your renters insurance if you have a security system, use smoke detectors, use deadbolt locks, have good credit, stay with the same insurer, or are over 55 years old. Insurance companies also like to give bundle discounts, so if you also insure your car or other personal property through that company, you may save some money!

How to Get Renters Insurance

Many landlords actually require their tenant to have renters insurance and will send you to a suggested company. You can also reach out to your current auto or life insurance company and see if they offer renters’ insurance as well.

There are even certain scenarios where you can write off renters insurance from your taxes. If you operate a business from your home, you can deduct a percentage of your renters insurance policy from your taxes depending on the number of items that are covered are primarily used for business, such as a business laptop or work equipment. Talk to a tax professional for more information to see if you qualify. Freeway Insurance provides renters insurance for a low cost with a high level of coverage. Call (800) 777-5620 to speak with a live agent to get started. Trust Freeway Insurance to take care of your belongings and your family’s possessions, without adding a huge monthly bill. Still have questions

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