As a renter, one of the most important things you should know is that your landlord’s insurance policy covers damage and losses to the building you live in — but it typically doesn’t cover your personal belongings. It also doesn’t pay legal fees or settlements if you’re sued by someone for injury or property damage. This is where renters insurance can help.
What does renters insurance cover?
Typically, a renters insurance policy can provide coverage for:
Your personal property, if your belongings are damaged or stolen. The same kinds of unexpected events — storms, theft, fire — covered by homeowners insurance are generally covered by renters insurance, too. The coverage could apply even if your things are not in your home when they’re damaged or stolen.
Your liability. If someone outside your household is hurt (think: a guest trips on a rug) or their property is damaged and you are sued, liability coverage can help pay legal fees and settlements, up to the limit you choose, if you are found at fault.
Additional living expenses helps you pay for your rent, food and other additional costs if you have to live elsewhere while your space is repaired.
How much does renters insurance cost?
Renters insurance can cost as little as $10 per month (the national average is around $15 per month or $174 a year, according to 2019 data from the Insurance Information Institute), but how much you pay for renters insurance depends on factors like where you live, how much coverage you want and the amount of the deductible you choose, along with the value of the things you own. If you own expensive electronics or high-value art or collectibles, the cost and type of coverage you may want will probably be different from what you’d want if you’re starting out in a new place with just the basics.
Also, if you want your insurance to pay to replace your things, the cost will be higher than if you choose actual cash value coverage, which pays face value. If a 5-year-old computer is stolen, for example, replacement value coverage would buy you a new one, while actual cash value coverage would pay you the depreciated price of your computer.
Discounts for multiple policies or safety features can help lower the cost.
Do I need renters insurance?
Some landlords may require tenants to buy renters insurance with liability coverage, in case the renter damages the building or unit. Even if your landlord doesn’t require you to have renters insurance, it’s important to understand that your landlord’s insurance policy most likely doesn’t cover your personal possessions, like furniture, computers or clothing. A renters policy can help pay for damages or loss if, say, a fire breaks out or a pipe bursts and ruins your things.
How much renters insurance do I need?
To zero in on how much insurance you might want, it helps to make an inventory of your personal belongings — things like electronics, furniture, appliances, jewelry, art and other valuables — and list the estimated value of each item. Then, talk to a Farmers® agent about the kind of policy you want to cover your belongings, including whether you might want additional coverage for high-value items.
How to compare renters insurance quotes
When requesting quotes for renters insurance, it’s important to compare apples to apples. Choose similar coverages, limits and deductibles to get the most accurate comparison.
Learn From Experience
Read more about renters insurance and real-life stories from renters and experts.