Renter's Insurance: Why You Need Coverage

Your landlord has to pay for everything that gets damaged, right? Wrong.
  • Renters insurance

3 minutes read | June 16th 2020

When you rent, you have the luxury of calling the landlord when a pipe bursts or if you see a conga line of ants scurrying across the floor. Homeowners have to take care of this kind of business — and pay for it — on their own. So if the sink overflows while you're out of town and runs through the ceiling down to your record collection in the living room, you can call the landlord to write you a check to replace your vinyl, right?

Wrong. When renting, your landlord is responsible for making repairs and taking care of everyday maintenance on the home they own. They're also responsible for repairing damage to the property — their property. But they're not responsible for replacing or repairing your property. This is where renter's insurance comes in.

What is renter's insurance?

Renter's insurance is similar to homeowner's insurance in that it covers your belongings. If you experience a loss, you can file a claim against your policy and receive compensation for the items that got damaged. You'll want to be sure that you choose a policy that covers what you need it to in the event of a loss.

Renter's insurance often also provides coverage for losses that happen when you're traveling away from home. If your property gets damaged or stolen, you may be able to file a claim against your renter's insurance policy.

Renter's insurance may also extend to liability coverage. This protects you when you're involved in a loss that impacts another person. It also protects you against some types of damage that you cause. If your sink overflows because you left the faucet running and flooded two other units, liability coverage can reimburse the landlord and the renters in other units based on their losses. If you get sued, this coverage can help you avoid significant bills.

Just like homeowner's insurance, there are limitations and exclusions. Before you purchase a policy, take inventory of your possessions and assess the value. Tally the amounts up — it'll cost at least that much to replace all your items. The policy you choose should reflect this amount. When getting coverage, make sure you also select any add-ons to fully cover your property. The average renter owns tens of thousands of dollars' worth of stuff. Unless — and even when — you have hefty savings to replace it, invest in renter's insurance.

Why do you need renter's insurance?

In the event of a loss or damage to your property, your landlord's insurance doesn't cover your property. Their insurance covers their property — the dwelling and larger items in it like appliances. So in, say, the case of a leak or fire, if you don't have a renter's policy, you'll have to cover the loss of replacing or repairing anything of yours that gets damaged. Renter's insurance can cover you in other ways, too.

  • If your apartment is broken into, you have coverage for the stolen items. Double-check coverage for electronics and jewelry and choose an add-on rider if necessary for extra coverage.
  • Let's say you have a small fire in your apartment and are unable to stay there while the repairs are made. Your renter's policy could help cover the expenses of temporary housing and related living costs while your place gets fixed up.
  • Some landlords require you to have renter's insurance in order to live on the property. Even if it isn't required in your lease, it's a smart financial move to always have coverage.

Sounds pretty helpful, doesn't it? Well, today's your lucky day — we offer renter's insurance! Start reviewing your possessions to see how much coverage you need. Then, find out more here and get covered now.