Renters Insurance: What is it and What Does it Protect?

When moving into a new apartment, it is common for people to be turned off at the mention of renters insurance. Some people believe that they simply don’t have anything valuable to insure in their apartment of condo. Of course, this is rarely the case. Most of us own important and valuable products like computers, televisions, cameras, DVD players, as well as clothes, books, home appliances and electronic goods. The cost to replace such equipment would be an overwhelming and nearly impossible task for someone living without renters insurance. Unfortunately, for many who go with out renters insurance, they are left with little or nothing after an unexpected catastrophe occurs. Since we never know when these events will strike, investing in renters insurance can help alleviate some of the stress of the unknown.

Another myth about renters insurance is the notion that renters insurance is too expensive. The truth is rental insurance is a relatively inexpensive insurance policy, one that can often be purchased for as little as $10 a month. When taking into account what it would cost to replace all your personal possession and valuables, renters insurance not only makes sense, in the end, it could potentially save you thousands.

Standard Policies:
Standard policies offer coverage in the event of fire, windstorm or hail, damage caused by aircraft or vehicles, smoke, vandalism, theft, water damage and more. Although, insurance is available to cover nearly all damage, most standard polices do not cover natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, hurricanes or tornados. However, most providers offer extended coverage in areas where natural disasters are a risk.

Unlivable Housing:
In the event your home becomes uninhabitable due to fire, flood or any other reason covered by your policy, your renters insurance will cover any "additional living expenses." Generally, this means the insurance company will pay for your stay elsewhere while your home is repaired.

Taking Inventory:
To ensure you are compensated for any possessions lost due to fire, storm or any other catastrophe be sure to inventory all of your personal belongings. List each of your items, estimated value and quantity and place the list somewhere out of harms way. Don’t forget to photograph or videotape each room, including closets, drawers, storage spaces and garages. Keep receipts for major items in a fireproof box. In an attempt to make things easier, the Insurance Information Institute offers free inventory software to assist you in creating a room-by-room inventory of your personal possessions.

Other Benefits of Renter’s Insurance:
Liability protection is also standard with most renters’ insurance policies. This means that if someone slips and is injured in your home or apartment, you will be covered for all costs up to your liability limit. If you are sued, you will likely be covered for any money owed due to a court judgment as well as your legal expenses.


  • Like other homeowners insurance policies, renters’ insurance premium depends on a number of factors like where you live, your deductible, your insurance company and other factors like age and lifestyle.

  • You can further cut down on renters’ insurance costs by installing safety equipment such as smoke alarms, fire extinguishers and other security systems in your house or apartment.