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What Does Renter's Insurance Cover?

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Renter’s insurance is an insurance policy that can cover theft, water backup damage, certain natural disasters, bodily injuries and more in a rented property. If you rent an apartment, home or even a dorm, renters’ insurance is recommended for protecting your space and belongings in the event of a covered accident.

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Personal property coverage

A renters insurance policy will cover costs to replace your personal belongings, like your furniture, electronics, computer equipment, your clothes, jewelry and appliances. Basic renters’ insurance will reimburse you for the loss of property (up to your policy’s coverage limit) if destroyed, damaged, lost or stolen in any one of the following 16 different events:

  • Fire and lightning
  • Windstorm and hail
  • Explosions
  • Riots
  • Damage by aircraft
  • Damage by vehicle (not your own)
  • Smoke damage
  • Vandalism
  • Theft
  • Volcanic eruption
  • Falling objects
  • Weight of snow, ice, sleet
  • Damage from steam-heating/water-heating appliances/systems
  • Leakage or overflow of water or steam
  • Freezing of plumbing, heating, air conditioning
  • Short-circuit damage caused by electrical appliances.


Renters insurance can also cover property when it is not even in your home, like if your laptop is stolen while you’re on vacation; since it’s considered insured property, it’s still protected whether it’s inside your dwelling or not.

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Personal liability coverage and medical expenses

renter’s insurance policy will also cover costs you may be legally responsible for paying if someone is injured in your apartment. If someone slips, falls and is hurt on the premises, or if your overzealous dog or cat bites a visitor and sends them to the ER, your policy’s personal liability and medical coverage will cover the cost of potential medical bills. If that person decides to sue you for their injuries, your liability coverage will pay for some legal expenses that you accrue from the lawsuit.

A renter’s policy can protect property damage to others that you’re deemed liable for. If a broken pipe in your apartment flooded your neighbor’s residence below, your insurance policy should cover damages to their property.

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Loss-of-use coverage

If your residence has been made uninhabitable, renters’ insurance can also cover the cost of a temporary place to live. It may compensate you for everything from hotel bills to the cost of food if it exceeds what you’d normally pay for meals. For example, if there is a fire at your apartment and it needs to be repaired, your loss-of-use coverage will cover the cost of a hotel. If your hotel room doesn’t have a kitchen and you need to go to restaurants more frequently, your renter’s insurance can reimburse you for the cost of your meals. Your loss-of-use coverage will even cover the cost of gas if you’re driving more because you are now living further away from work. Otherwise known as additional living expenses, this part of your renter’s insurance policy can cover you until you’re able to move back in (or find a new apartment). Renters insurance also protects against other losses you may not have thought of, including:

Credit card/bank forgery coverage: Your insurance policy safeguards against theft but can also reimburse you for losses incurred if a thief burglarizes your home, steals your credit card or checkbook, and goes on a fraudulent spending spree.

Other people’s property: It’s not just your property renter’s insurance covers. Say you borrowed a friend’s home gym equipment, or they loaned you their tablet, some LP records or books; if a fire or faucet flood damages them, your policy will cover to replace your property and theirs.

Items stored elsewhere: Renters’ insurance doesn’t just cover property inside the walls of your home. Many rental insurance policies will cover for damages to your belongings if they’re stored off-site, too. It may also protect personal possessions stolen from your car, or damaged in a storage facility.

Food: If you’re wondering what would happen to the contents of your fridge if it broke down, not to worry: you may be able to claim your groceries on your insurance policy, even if the fridge works but failed due to a power outage.

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