Protect Your Home

Compare quotes & save money on homeowner's insurance

Do I Need Renters Insurance?

If you rent an apartment, single-family home, condo, townhouse, studio, or igloo (okay, probably not an igloo, but you get the idea), then yes, you should consider purchasing renters insurance. In fact, many leases require it.

What Is Renters Insurance?

Renters insurance can protect you and your property in a number of ways, including liability protection if…

  • You cause accidental damage to someone else’s property.
  • A visitor to your home is injured.
  • Your possessions are damaged or stolen.
Many residential leases require you to carry renters insurance.

Who Needs Renters Insurance? Isn’t that My Landlord’s Responsibility?

It’s a common misconception among many renters that your landlord’s insurance also applies to your possessions, but that’s not the case. The landlord’s insurance covers the physical building – not your property.

If a fire destroys your apartment complex or rented townhouse, your landlord’s insurance company writes them a check for the damage to the building. If you don’t have renters insurance, you’ll be left with nothing but the smoldering remnants of your possessions and the dawning realization that you probably should have bought renters insurance.

Check out “How Does Renters Insurance Work?” for a more in-depth overview.

Replacing the contents of even a one-bedroom apartment can cost up to $13,000.

What I Own Isn’t Worth Much. Do I Really Need Rental Insurance?

Most people tend to greatly underestimate the true value of their personal property. While it varies from person to person, even if you only recently made the jump from dorm room to studio apartment, you could still easily need to spend thousands of dollars to replace literally everything you own.

Do you have that kind of cash on hand? Not many do, which is why renters insurance is so important.

Renters Insurance is Just for Replacing Stuff in My Apartment, Right?

Not quite. While renters insurance can help cover the cost to replace your possessions if they’re damaged or stolen, the protection offered by renters insurance extends beyond the walls of your apartment.

Your coverage also includes liability protection, which can provide financial protection if you accidentally damage property belonging to someone else, like your neighbor or landlord. Common examples include…

  • An overflowing bathtub causing damage to the apartment below.
  • An unattended candle or cigarette starting a fire that spreads into your neighbor’s apartment, or worse, the entire building.
  • A grease fire that destroys your entire kitchen.

Your liability coverage may also protect you if someone is injured on your property. This can include a close friend or relative, your next-door neighbor coming by to borrow your juicer, or a campaign worker gathering signatures door to door.

If any of these people, invited or not, are injured in any way in your home, you could potentially be held liable. It could be as simple as someone slipping and falling or being bitten by your dog and needing stitches. Renters liability insurance may cover the injured person’s medical bills, along with any legal costs.

Check out “What Does Renters Insurance Cover?” for more details on what’s covered – and what’s not.

What if I’m Super Careful? Do I Still Need Renters Insurance?

Even if you triple check to make sure the iron/stove/dryer/waffle maker and any-and-all faucets are off every time you leave your home, you could still fall victim to factors out of your control. A motivated crook could clean out your home with a few hours to spare and a moving van or a natural disaster can wreak havoc on your neighborhood.

Renters insurance can help cover the cost to replace your personal property that is stolen (read “Does Renters Insurance Cover Theft?” to learn more) or damaged due to such events as…

  • Fire.
  • Smoke.
  • Wind or hail.
  • Lightning.
  • Falling objects.

If the damage is severe enough that you are temporarily unable to stay in your home, your rental insurance may also help to cover the costs of temporary housing, such as a hotel room or another apartment.