Renters Insurance: Tips for First-Time Tenants

Renting Tips
Stephany Lamas

August 11, 2022
5 mins read

If you’re a first-time renter, you may be wondering if you need renters insurance. While your landlord’s insurance policy may cover the structure of the rental unit itself, it likely doesn’t extend to your personal belongings or liability in case someone is injured while on your property. That’s where renters insurance comes in.

What is renters insurance?

Renters insurance is a type of property and casualty insurance that helps protect your belongings and provides liability coverage in case someone is injured while on your property. While it’s not required by law, your landlord will likely require you to have a renter’s insurance policy if you rent an apartment or home.

The benefits of renters insurance

As a renters insurance policyholder, you are protected against damages to your personal belongings (this typically extends to anything you own and keep in your home) or injuries that occur inside your rental unit. 

If a fire, theft, or natural disaster occurs, your renters’ insurance will help you repair or replace your lost or damaged items. And if someone is injured while visiting your home, your renters’ insurance will help cover their medical expenses.

If a covered peril forces you to move out while your home is getting repaired, your policy’s loss of use portion will reimburse you for a hotel stay or home of equivalent value. They can also reimburse you for any lost food, additional food because you no longer have a kitchen, and other living expenses you wouldn’t have otherwise incurred.

Renters insurance also protects your belongings while they’re away from your home. For example, if a thief breaks into your car or enters your hotel room and steals your laptop and camera gear, your renters’ insurance should cover the loss.

You’ll need to file a claim and pay your deductible to get the process started to replace your belongings. However, if you don’t have renters insurance, you’d have to pay out of pocket to replace everything you own. That’s not ideal, so investing a few bucks per month on renters insurance is a good idea.

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Tips to help you choose the right policy

Renters insurance is essential protection for all tenants, whether you rent a house, apartment, or condominium. If you don’t have renters insurance, now is the time to get it. Here are some tips to help you choose the right policy:

  • Determine how much coverage you need. Your renters’ insurance policy should cover the value of your personal belongings. First, make a list of all the items you want to insure, including electronics, furniture, clothing, and jewelry. Then, get an estimate of their worth.
  • Choose a deductible that you can afford. Your renters’ insurance policy will have a deductible, which is the amount you’ll need to pay out of pocket before your insurance coverage kicks in. Choose a deductible that you can afford to pay if you have to make a claim.
  • Consider additional coverage. In addition to protecting your personal belongings, renters insurance can also provide liability coverage if someone is injured while on your property. Depending on where you live, you may also want to add flood or earthquake protection to your policy.
  • Shop around for the best rates. Once you know what coverage you need, compare rates from different insurance companies to find the best price.

Additional things you need to know before getting renters insurance

  • Roommates’ belongings: renters insurance provides coverage only for the named insured. Your roommates will need to purchase their own renters’ insurance to get protection.
  • Coverage for items while you travel: your belongings may be covered when traveling or away from home. For example, renters insurance will pay to replace stolen items from your vehicle or hotel room.
  • Borrowed items: renters insurance covers items in your possession, which extends to the property you rent or borrow from another individual.
About the Author
Stephany Lamas

Stephany joined the RentReporters Marketing Team in 2021.

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