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What does renters insurance cover?
Compare what's covered with renters insurance and how to pick the right coverage.
If you’re renting a place where insurance isn’t required, you may think it’s an added expense you don’t need. But renters insurance is one of the least expensive ways to protect yourself from unknown threats like theft or fire.
For about the price you pay for a subscription streaming service, you can protect your personal property and make sure you’re not on the hook for damages and medical bills if someone else gets hurt in your rental. But beware of increasing your deductible so high that you offset your coverage benefits.
Types of renters insurance coverage
Valuable personal property
Portable contents insurance
Find a renters insurance policy to protect your belongings
What does renters insurance cover?
Most renters insurance policies have these standard coverages:
- Personal property. Provides compensation for damaged or lost personal property anywhere in the world, if it belongs to your home. High-value belongings aren’t covered and should be scheduled separately as part of a rider on your policy.
- Loss of use. If your home becomes unlivable because of damage, this coverage provides compensation for any food and lodging costs that are over and above your typical living expenses.
- Personal liability. If your negligence causes an injury to a guest or damages their property, this covers their compensation.
What renters insurance coverage add-ons can I get?
Depending on where you live and what kind of house you own, you may want to consider these additional protections:
- Medical payments. This protection covers medical costs for anyone who is injured on your rental property, regardless of who’s at fault.
- Identity theft protection Your bank and credit card company probably already cover most of the identity theft you’ll experience in your life, but this protection kicks in if your personal information is used to defraud or open new accounts, which only makes up 6.6% of cases according to a 2016 Department of Justice report.
- Earthquake and flood coverage. If you live in an area prone to earthquakes, you can elect to purchase an add-on to your renters policy that provides this protection. Flood insurance is usually only offered through the National Flood Insurance Program, which covers up to $100,000 in personal property damage or loss.
- Scheduled personal property. This add-on is designed for high-value personal property like jewelry, high-tech electronics and fine art. It allows you to submit appraised values so that you can insure items individually and be covered for their full value.
- Blanket policies. If you don’t want to schedule your personal property, you can elect to purchase a blanket add-on for your jewelry or electronics that provides a set amount above your base policy limit to cover damaged or stolen property.
- Pet damages. Your standard renters policy may cover damage and liability issues caused by your pets. But if yours doesn’t, you can purchase this add-on to cover any damages a pet causes to the property or liability issues caused by your pet. There are often breed restrictions on this coverage, and you’ll pay a deductible before it kicks in.
Renters insurance coverage breakdown
On average, renters can expect to pay around $16 a month or $188 per year for renters insurance. Compare the more common insurance coverages with estimates of their cost.
|Personal property||Damage to personal property||Personal belongings||$188|
|Loss of use||Living expenses if your house is uninhabitable||Rental property, food and other living expenses||$188|
|Personal liability||Compensation for property damage or injury to a third-party||Third-party personal belongings and injury compensation||$188|
|Medical payments||Compensation for medical bills, regardless of who’s at fault||Medical bills||Varies, based on the amount of coverage|
|Identity theft||Identity theft protection for instances of fraud or creation of new accounts||Varies, but can cover a specialist, legal help, resolutions services, lost wages||$25 to $50|
|Scheduled personal property||Damage or loss to high-value property||Jewelry, fine art, collectibles, furs, silver tableware, etc||Varies based on the value of the belongings|
|Pet damages||Liability or Damages caused by pets||Pet-related injuries or damage to personal property||Varies by state and dog breed|
|Earthquake / flood||Damages due to flood, earthquake or other catastrophe||Personal property||Flood: $150 to $900|
As a renter, a lot of what you face can feel out of your control. But renters insurance is one way to take control by protecting yourself from threats inside and outside of your home, and it doesn’t cost a lot to do so. Make sure you’re getting the best coverage at the lowest price by comparing insurance providers to find the best policy for you.
Common questions about renters insurance coverage
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