What is Renters Insurance?
Renters insurance is a form of property insurance that covers losses to personal property and protects the insured from liability claims. This includes injuries occurring in your rental that aren’t due to a structural problem. Injuries due to structural problems are your landlord’s responsibility. Renters insurance protects anything from a studio apartment to an entire house or mobile home.
Even if you’re just starting out or living in a place for a year, getting a renters insurance policy—probably the least expensive and easiest-to-obtain insurance you’ll ever own—could be a smart investment. You may not think you’ve got anything of great value, but you probably do—more than you could comfortably afford to replace in the event of a bad burglary or fire.
In addition, no matter how careful you may be with your own apartment (the sort of residence most renters have), you can’t control your neighbors. They can leave your security gates open, buzz ill-intentioned strangers into your building, or fall asleep with a cigarette in hand and start a serious fire.
While your landlord’s property insurance may cover the building itself, that insurance will not cover the contents of your apartment, nor will it cover the damages for which you could be sued by someone who had an accident within your apartment or rented space.
What does Renters Insurance cover?
A typical renters insurance policy provides three types of coverage: personal property coverage, renters liability insurance, and additional living expenses. Different insurance companies sometimes give different names to these coverage types, but in general, they all function the same way.
Personal property or personal belongings coverage is what most people think of when it comes to renters insurance. Personal belongings include things like furniture, clothing and shoes, electronics and devices, appliances and kitchen equipment, home goods such as bedding and towels, and most sports and hobby equipment such as bicycles and musical instruments. Certain personal belongings may be excluded from a standard policy if they’re above a certain value, such as jewelry, artwork, collectibles, and specialized computer or hobby equipment.