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What does renters insurance cover?

Compare what's covered with renters insurance and how to pick the right coverage.

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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

Find a renters insurance policy to protect your belongings

Name Product Theft coverage Storm & water backups Fire & smoke damage Available states
Policygenius renters insurance
All 50 states
Policygenius' online marketplace does most of the work for you, matching you with quotes from 12 highly rated home insurers.
Progressive renters insurance
All 50 states
Protect your belongings with Progressive renters insurance for as little as $13 a month.
Allstate renters insurance
All 50 states
Protect your rental home and belongings and save even more by bundling insurance with Allstate.
Liberty Mutual renters insurance
All 50 states
Lemonade renters insurance
AZ, AR, CA, CT, DC, GA, IL, IN, IA, MD, MI, NV, NJ, NM, NY, OH, OR, PA, RI, TN, TX, VA, WI
Lemonade's amazing coverage protects the stuff you own at home and everywhere else.
USAA renters insurance
All 50 states
Enjoy great rates and wide coverage with USAA. Available to military members and family.
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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.

NameDefinitionCoversAnnual cost
Personal propertyDamage to personal propertyPersonal belongings$188
Loss of useLiving expenses if your house is uninhabitableRental property, food and other living expenses$188
Personal liabilityCompensation for property damage or injury to a third-partyThird-party personal belongings and injury compensation$188
Medical paymentsCompensation for medical bills, regardless of who’s at faultMedical billsVaries, based on the amount of coverage
Identity theftIdentity theft protection for instances of fraud or creation of new accountsVaries, but can cover a specialist, legal help, resolutions services, lost wages$25 to $50
Scheduled personal propertyDamage or loss to high-value propertyJewelry, fine art, collectibles, furs, silver tableware, etcVaries based on the value of the belongings
Pet damagesLiability or Damages caused by petsPet-related injuries or damage to personal propertyVaries by state and dog breed
Earthquake / floodDamages due to flood, earthquake or other catastrophePersonal propertyFlood: $150 to $900

Earthquake: $35

Bottom line

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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