In a nutshell, renters insurance covers your personal property. That includes your clothing, furniture, television, electronics and other possessions you keep in your apartment. Renters insurance also covers more expensive belongings such as jewelry and musical equipment, but some costly items may require specific addition to the policy or that you carry a higher level of coverage. If you have high-value items in your home, specifically address them with your insurance agent and make sure that you’re fully protected.
What Does Renters Insurance Pay For?
The standard renters insurance policy pays for damage to or loss of the property in your apartment. Some common scenarios might include accidental damage to your property, destruction of your property in a fire or theft of your belongings. In some circumstances, renters insurance will also cover your liability to other people.
For example, if someone who doesn't live with you is injured in your apartment, the typical renters insurance policy will cover their medical expenses. In addition, renters insurance can cover your liability to non-residents injured in your apartment, and even pick up your legal expenses in connection with that liability.
In certain circumstances, you’ll need a specific rider that may mean some additional expense. For example, in some areas you may pay more for renters insurance if you own a breed of dog that’s considered dangerous.
Isn't the Landlord Responsible for Property Damage?
Generally, no. For example, if your apartment is destroyed by fire, your landlord’s insurance will cover damage to the building, but not to your possessions. Most leases make this explicit and suggest that you obtain renters insurance to protect your personal belongings. If you choose not to obtain renter’s insurance and such an event occurs, you typically cannot expect to recover anything for your losses.
If you experience an event like a break-in or a fire, the stress and disruption will be significant enough without worrying about how you’re going to replace your furniture, clothing and other necessities. A renters insurance policy is an inexpensive way to protect yourself against loss of your possessions. However, it’s important to do your homework and be certain that you understand exactly what a particular renters insurance policy does and does not cover. Shop around!