You’ve likely heard of renter’s insurance before. Landlords often recommend it, auto insurance agencies commonly offer to bundle it, and some residential properties require it. But what is renter’s insurance, and what does it cover? How much does the renter’s insurance cost?
Today, we’ll be taking a closer look at this type of insurance, including what it is, if you’re required to obtain it, what it covers, how to find the best renter’s insurance, and how to find more affordable policies.
What is Renter’s Insurance?
Renter’s insurance is a form of insurance that protects you from liability claims and protects your personal property. It operates similarly to homeowners insurance, except it does not cover the property’s buildings or structures. Because of these critical differences, renter’s insurance is commonly cheaper than homeowners insurance and highly sought after by renters.
Renter’s insurance provides many benefits. You’ll get peace of mind that your belongings will be protected in the event of covered events. Furthermore, if someone is injured in your home, you’ll have liability coverage. While your landlord may have their own property insurance, that insurance will not provide coverage to your property or prevent you from being liable for accidents and injuries in your home.
Are You Required to Find Renter’s Insurance?
You are not required to find renter’s insurance by state or federal laws. However, that doesn’t mean you won’t be required to obtain it. It’s becoming more common for landlords to require tenants to obtain and maintain coverage to remain in compliance with their lease agreement. It’s beneficial for landlords to require renter’s insurance to avoid lawsuits in the event of a disaster. Even if you’re not required to obtain coverage, it’s worth considering.
What Does Renter’s Insurance Cover?
While renter’s insurance policies may vary, this form of insurance generally covers liability for injuries and negligence, personal belongings, and temporary housing expenses that you may have if your home becomes inhabitable because of a disaster. However, some insurers provide additional coverage.
When it comes to personal belonging coverage, the best renters insurance policies will typically include coverage for:
- Weather-related damages, such as the weight of snow, hail, or windstorms
- Damage caused by aircraft or vehicles
- Fire, lightning, explosions, and smoke
- Damages caused by vandalism, riots, and other civil turmoil
- Volcanic eruptions
Policies may provide reimbursement or replacement costs to items covered under the policy, including electronics, jewelry, clothing, and so on.
When it comes to renter’s insurance liability coverage, your coverage will protect you against lawsuits resulting from injuries and accidents that occur in your home up to a certain amount. In addition to lawsuits, policies commonly provide coverage for injuries and damages that you cause to other people or their belongings in said incident. $100,000 to $300,000 is common among these policies.
Finally, living expenses provide coverage for the cost of temporary housing, such as hotels, temporary rentals, and the cost of meals. For example, if you filed a claim for a fire that damaged or destroyed belongings, you may need to live elsewhere while repairs are done to the building or unit. In cases like these, this form of coverage would protect you from those unexpected expenses.
How to Find the Best Renters Insurance
Finding the best renter’s insurance isn’t always cut and dry. Each policy holder’s needs are different. For example, some renters may need more significant coverage amounts or prefer a lower deductible on potential claims. In addition, many insurers provide insurance. Some of the most popular insurers include:
Assurant: Assurant renter’s insurance isn’t as well-known as some of the other insurers on this list, but that doesn’t mean it’s a policy that should be overlooked. Many of Assurant’s policies include coverage that many of the best-known insurers charge extra for. There’s also “liability only” options for renters seeking more specific, cheaper forms of coverage.
Geico: Geico renter’s insurance is provided by third-party companies rather than Geico itself. This is a stark drawback to other policy providers as policyholders may receive different quotes and coverage options depending on the third-party company they’re paired with. However, Geico may be comparatively cheaper than its competitors and has options for bundling renters and auto insurance policies for extra discounts.
State Farm: State Farm renter’s insurance is another affordable option that provides multiple types of discounts to renters, including savings for bundling auto and renters insurance and installing safety devices, such as smoke detectors and burglar alarms. Coverage options on State Farm policies are generally standard, and online filing options make this type of insurance policy more convenient.
Amica: Amica is one of the largest renter’s insurance providers and offers insurance throughout the entire continental United States. This insurer features an easy-to-use website that allows users to get a quote, file a claim, track a claim, or pay their bills. Like many other insurers, Amica offers customers discounts, such as paperless billing, bundling options, continued coverage, and more.
Despite these being some of the most popular renter’s insurance policy providers in the United States, there are dozens of insurers to choose from. Therefore, you’ll need to compare different policy options to determine the best policy for you. When comparing policies, be sure to look for:
- The types of coverage a policy includes
- The amount of coverage the policy provides in the event of a claim
- How long claims take to process
- How insurers payout claims
- The cost of the insurance policy
- Stipulations in coverage, such as dog breeds for animal bites
- Additional coverage options
- Available discounts
How to Get Cheap Renters Insurance
Renter’s insurance costs vary between policies, locations, and other safety factors. Insurers determine your risk of filing a claim when you obtain a quote. However, you can get cheaper renter’s insurance by finding an insurance company that provides you with the coverage you need with discounts that you qualify for. Discounts that insurance companies commonly offer include:
- Bundling renter’s and auto insurance
- Installing safety devices, like carbon monoxide detectors, smoke detectors, and anti-theft devices
- Discounts for staying with the same insurer for a specified period
- Discounts for maintaining a policy without a claim for a specified period
- Veteran discounts
- Senior discounts
Furthermore, you can generally receive cheaper insurance options if you’re willing to take a higher deductible. Your deductible is the amount you must spend out-of-pocket towards your claim before the insurance company will begin to provide coverage. Like auto insurance, lower deductibles will generally mean higher monthly insurance premiums.