What Does Renters Insurance Cover?

While renters insurance doesn’t cover all natural disasters, it does cover personal property, property damage, and injuries incurred by other people or those caused by your family members and pets.

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UPDATED: Jun 23, 2022

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Written By: Chris TepedinoReviewed By: Laura WalkerUPDATED: Jun 23, 2022Fact Checked

The Rundown

  • If you are renting property, you need renters insurance to protect yourself from liability
  • Renters insurance doesn’t cover natural disasters such as earthquakes or floods, but may cover damage caused by other types of storms, including thunderstorms, hurricanes, and tornadoes. 
  • Renters insurance will protect your personal property, including pets, and will protect you from liability when you or your household members injure others or cause property damage

What if you came home one day and found that your home had been burglarized and thieves had made off with some of your most expensive items? Or imagine getting a call at your workplace because your dog has bitten your neighbor’s child.

As a renter, what happens to your possessions while living on someone else’s property is your responsibility. And if members of your household harm others or people are injured on your rented property, you may be sued. For those reasons, you need to have renters insurance.

What Renters Insurance Typically Covers

Typically, renters insurance includes coverage for:

  • Your personal property
  • Liability for injuries incurred within your home
  • Extra living expenses if your rented house becomes uninhabitable
  • Liability for any property damage that occurs within your rented property
  • Liability for any injuries you, your family members, and pets cause to others or those that occur within your property

It is worth noting that renters insurance will not cover the actual structure in which you live and any structural problems — that is the property owner’s responsibility.

Below is a breakdown of what your renters insurance will cover. You need to understand the protection available to choose the right insurance.

Personal Property Protection

Over 1.11 million burglaries happen each year, losing each victim an average of $2,661 worth of property. So, renters insurance comes in handy, ensuring you will be financially protected from losing some of your personal property to burglars.

In addition, renters insurance will compensate you if you lose your property to fire, electrical or plumbing malfunctions, vandalism, riots, and explosions. Also, some forms of weather-related damage to your belongings will be covered. For example, if a hailstorm damages your possessions, renters insurance will likely cover that.

Liability Protection

If something terrible happens to someone or their property while in your home and they get injured, you could get sued. The same rule applies if you and members of your household, including pets, harm others or cause damage to their property in or outside your property.

For example, if your dog bites your neighbor’s child while they are playing with your children, you will likely be held responsible. And you could end up getting sued and paying fines and legal fees. 

However, if you have renters insurance, you will be protected from liability to a specified extent. Most liability protection limits start at $100,000 and include funds for paying your legal fees. You can also pay an extra $300 for an additional $1 million worth of liability protection.

In addition, your renters insurance may provide for $5000 worth of no-fault medical insurance. This coverage will protect you if someone is injured on your property.

Extra Living Expenses

About 10.5 million Americans have been displaced in the past decade due to disasters. Renters insurance provides coverage for any extra expenses you incur once a disaster occurs.

In addition, renters insurance will reimburse you for the difference between your usual spending and what you spend after the disaster. Other expenses it will cover include temporary living accommodations and restaurant meals.

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Things Renters Insurance May Not Cover

Although renters insurance is quite comprehensive, there are certain situations where renters insurance may not provide protection.

Does renters insurance cover car damage?

Renters insurance will not cover car damage. However, it may pay for lost or damaged items in your car when a covered peril, such as theft occurs on your rented property.

Does renters insurance cover earthquakes?

Renters insurance usually doesn’t cover earthquakes. However, you may be able to get a separate policy for that.

Does renters insurance cover flooding?

Renters insurance usually doesn’t cover flooding. Your landlord is not responsible for it either. You would need separate insurance to obtain flooding coverage.

Does renters insurance cover personal injury?

Renters insurance doesn’t cover personal injury to you or your family members. But it does provide cover for you or your family members when you cause injuries to other people or if people other than your family are injured on your property.  

Bottom Line: Renters Insurance Is Beneficial

No matter how secure your neighborhood may seem, your rented property may still get burglarized. It can be expensive to replace all the personal possessions you lose. In addition, accidents happen, and someone may get injured on your property or by a member of your family.

Rather than risk getting sued for events you have no control over or doing without items you need, you should invest in renters insurance. You are better off having it and not needing it, than needing it and not having the coverage.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by insurance experts.

Chris Tepedino is a feature writer that has written extensively about home, life, and car insurance for numerous websites. He has a college degree in communication from the University of Tennessee and has experience reporting, researching investigative pieces, and crafting detailed, data-driven features. His works have been featured on CB Blog Nation, Flow Words, Healing Law, WIBW Kansas, and C...

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Written by Chris Tepedino
Insurance Feature Writer Chris Tepedino

Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance for 10 years. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate...

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Reviewed by Laura Walker
Former Licensed Agent Laura Walker

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