What is renters insurance?

Key Takeaway
A renters insurance policy is a small price to pay for peace of mind and getting your feet back on the ground when you need it most. This comprehensive guide will teach you the benefits of renters insurance and how different policy types can suite your needs.

You have searched the internet for tenant insurance, so you are here to understand better what it is.

This has many names, and it can still be used interchangeably.

Whether you call it "tenant insurance" or "apartment insurance", you are on track. It is still called renters insurance.

And it is a type of insurance policy designed to protect individuals who rent their homes - including apartments, houses, townhomes, and much more. 

Renters insurance covers the tenant's personal belongings and liability in case of accidents or damage within the rented property. 

Best of all, renters insurance coverage is one of the most affordable coverages you can get to protect what matters most to you.

All your confusing questions about renters insurance will be answered in this comprehensive guide by Homebody the most common questions you have. 

When you are done reading this renters insurance guide, you'll have a thorough understanding of what this type of property insurance is, what it covers, filing claims, and much more. Let's jump on the next flight!

What is Renters Insurance?

Let us start with the basics. Renters insurance is what the name implies: insurance for people who rent a property. Yes. That simple!

Renters insurance offers financial compensation if you suffer damages for items and liability protection within your rental unit due to an accident or mishap (referred to as "perils"). 

Accidents and injuries are terrible and are the worst thing to experience.

However, rental insurance kicks in to reimburse you for any sudden financial expenses, whether your rental property and contents were damaged by an accident, an injured person in your apartment, or someone stole your prized possessions.

Is that not cool? That is lovely.

Renter insurance requirements

For you to enjoy renters insurance, there are a few things you need to do. It is an easy requirement.

First, renters insurance requires signing up for a policy, a contract between the insurance company and the policyholder (the person buying the renters insurance works with). 

The policyholder pays a "premium" monthly, semi-annually, or annually to maintain the insurance coverage.

When an incident occurs, policyholders pay a "deductible", a predefined out-of-pocket expense, before the insurance company starts to cover a loss. 

The reimbursement that the insurance agent or you'll receive is based on the "coverage limit", the maximum amount the insurance company will pay for a covered loss. 

Coverage limits apply to different types of coverage within your policy, so paying attention to how much you can be reimbursed is essential.

There are a few things to remember for you to enjoy renters insurance.

  • Signing up
  • Premium
  • Deductible
  • Coverage limit

As you'll learn reading this guide, renters insurance covers a broad scope of perils/risks associated with renting a property from a 3rd-party - all at a fraction of what you would have to pay out-of-pocket. 

In the next section, let's look at the coverage a typical renters insurance policy provides. 

What does renters insurance cover?

If a covered incident occurs in your rented property, renters insurance assists in absorbing the resultant costs. 

The coverage amount varies depending on the nature of the incident and the extent of your insurance coverage.

Most renters insurance plans cover your possessions, offer liability protection, and cater for any additional living expenses you might incur due to insured events (such as theft, fire, or natural disasters). 

To help define what's covered by your renter's insurance policy, what's not covered and the types of coverage you can expect, the following sections will make you understand how much coverage and how it all works:

What's typically included in a renters insurance policy?

I know you are eager to learn the categories of coverage in a renters insurance policy. Relax, Homebody is always ready to guide you through.

There are three main categories of coverage in a renters insurance policy:

Coverage for Personal Property

Renters insurance protects personal items like furniture, electronics, and clothes against fire, theft, or water damage. 

Suppose your assets, like a computer or TV, are stolen and caught on camera. In that case, your renter's insurance claim or policy can help cover the replacement costs within policy limits and deductibles.

Liability Protection

Liability protection coverage helps if you get hurt on your property or accidentally damage someone else's property, aiding in any legal fees, medical, or repair expenses. 

For instance, if your child causes an accident at your rental, liability coverage can help manage the costs up to the policy's limits.

Additional Living Expenses Coverage

Renters insurance can help with extra living expenses if your rented home is uninhabitable due to fire or natural disasters. 

For instance, if your rental property is destroyed by fire, your landlord's policy covers or can cover increased food or temporary accommodation costs above your usual expenditure.

To get more specific, a renters insurance policy provides affordable coverage for your family, your visitors, and your belongings for things:

  • Damage from Fire and Smoke
  • Theft and Vandalism Incidents
  • Impacts of Weather Conditions
  • Water-Related Damage
  • Injuries Sustained by Visitors
  • Possessions Covered Under Renters Insurance

You are learning in-depth about renters insurance, and the next thing is to take a brief look at each of some real-world scenarios renters are typically faced with:

Damage from Fire and Smoke

  • A faulty electrical outlet causes a fire in your apartment, damaging your furniture and personal belongings.
  • An unattended candle burning in your living room sparks a fire that destroys your computer and books.

Theft and Vandalism Incidents

  • While on vacation, a burglar breaks into your apartment, stealing your television, laptop, and jewelry.
  • Vandals break into your apartment while you're at work, causing damage to your property and personal belongings.

Impacts of Weather Conditions

  • During a severe storm, a tree falls and damages the roof of your rental house, causing damage to your belongings inside.
  • Hail from a violent storm breaks your apartment window and damages your electronics.

Water-Related Damage

  • An upstairs neighbor's pipe bursts, causing water to leak into your apartment and damage your furniture and electronics.
  • The water heater in your apartment malfunctions and leaks all over your hardwood floors, causing water damage.

Important Note: While renters insurance does cover water damage caused by specific events, such as a burst pipe or leaks from adjacent rental units. However, it may not cover flooding or water damage resulting from poor maintenance.

Injuries Sustained by Visitors

  • While attending a party at your apartment, a friend slips on a wet floor in the kitchen, breaking her arm.
  • A delivery person trips over a loose carpet in your rented house and sprains their ankle.

Possessions Covered Under Renters Insurance

  • Your brand-new gaming laptop is stolen from your apartment while you are out for dinner.
  • Your collection of designer shoes and handbags is destroyed when a leak from the apartment above yours floods your closet.

Important Note: If you have expensive items like jewelry, antique instruments, and professional electronic devices, many insurers require policyholders to purchase special coverage for these in addition to their regular renters insurance policy. 

Insurance coverage exceptions: What's not included in a typical renters insurance policy?

After reading what renters insurance can cover, you might already have butterflies in your belly.

But I want you to know the exceptions to this insurance policy.

It's important to note that renters insurance primarily covers your personal belongings and liability, but some exceptions exist. 

For example, the physical building is usually covered by landlord insurance, whereas renters insurance is typically defined as "walls-in coverage". 

Let's look at a few more exceptions and grey areas that come with a renters insurance policy with some real-world examples: 

  • Temporary housing
  • Food expenses
  • Storage costs
  • Miscellaneous expenses

Temporary Housing 

If a covered risk renders your house inhabitable, renters insurance will pay for additional living expenses. Still, it may only extend to some costs associated with temporary housing, especially if you choose to stay at a location that exceeds your regular living expenses.

Real-World Examples:

  • A fire damages your apartment, and you must stay in a hotel. The insurance covers the cost up to a certain limit, but you've chosen a high-end hotel that exceeds this limit. They can't finance your exotic lifestyle at the hotel!
  • After a flood in your apartment, repairs are expected to take six months, but your policy only covers temporary housing costs for up to two months. Do you get the gist?

Food Expenses 

While renters insurance may cover food spoiled due to a covered event like a blackout, it does not cover additional food expenses incurred during displacement or while your kitchen is unusable due to repairs.

Real-World Examples:

  • You are displaced from your apartment due to a fire and need to eat out for all meals, but your renter's insurance policy doesn't cover these additional food costs.
  • A water leak damages your kitchen, making it unusable for a week. Your insurance doesn't cover the cost of meals ordered during this time.

Storage Costs 

Although some policies may cover storage costs after a covered loss, it's not a standard feature of most renter's insurance. The coverage limit is often too low to cover extended storage costs fully.

Real-World Examples:

  • After a fire in your apartment, your salvageable belongings must be stored off-site for two months during repairs, but your policy doesn't cover these costs.
  • You are relocating due to a job change and need to put your belongings in storage for a few months, but your insurance does not cover these storage fees.

Miscellaneous Expenses 

Renters insurance usually has a specific list of covered perils and additional living expenses. Miscellaneous medical expenses that do not directly result from a covered event or are not specified in the policy are typically not covered.

Real-World Examples:

  • You've been displaced due to a covered event, and you need to purchase new clothing for work because all of your clothes were damaged. However, your policy only covers these miscellaneous expenses.
  • While your apartment is being repaired after a flood, you must take public transport to work since your new temporary housing is further away. Still, your policy needs to cover these additional commuting costs.

‍There is no need to be sad. Most of the time, you will enjoy all the benefits of a renters insurance policy if you get a quote from Homebody right now.

Renters insurance policies have two types of coverage: Actual Cash Value (ACV) Coverage and Replacement Cost Value (RCV) Coverage.

There are two coverage options under a typical renter's policy: Actual Cash Value coverage (ACV) coverage and Replacement Cost Value (RCV) coverage.

Here's the difference between the two:

Actual Cash Value (ACV)

Reimbursement for the value of the items at the time of the damage or loss. This reimbursement considers the replacement cost of the item minus depreciation (age, wear, and tear).

Replacement Cost (RCV)

Coverage for the replacement cost that replaces the lost or damaged items must account for depreciation. 

RCV reflects the cost to replace the item with a new one of identical type and quality.

It's crucial to review and select a homeowners insurance policy based on the precise coverage, restrictions, and deductibles, which change depending on the insurance company and the policy you select.  

To understand the particular coverage and restrictions offered by your insurance provider that match your needs as a tenant, study your renters insurance policy.

‍Contact Homebody now!

How much does renters insurance cost?

No doubt, renters insurance is one of the most affordable types of coverage - and Homebody is at your service to simplify the process. 

The average cost of renters insurance starts at as little as $9/month, with slightly higher rates for different cities, regions, and your needs as a renter. 

 To get a quote, the process is simple:

  1. Enter your Zip Code
  2. Provide a date for "When would you like coverage to start?"
  3. Answer Yes or No: "Are you renting an apartment, condo, duplex, or townhouse?"
  4. On the following page, you'll be given a basic quote. Adjust the following Coverage Options to find a policy that suits your needs:
  5. Liability
  6. Personal Contents
  7. Deductible
  8. Billing Frequency
  9. Coverage Benefits
  10. Once you're satisfied with your policy, provide your Email Address, Customer Information, Payment Info, and Confirmation to finalize the process.

How many renters insurance coverage do I need? 

It depends on the value of your personal belongings. Create a detailed inventory and estimate the total value. Aim for enough coverage to replace your belongings if damaged or stolen.

How much personal property coverage do I need?

Please take a closer look at everything your possessions hold and determine the cost of replacing these items in the event of their loss versus replacement. Your policy should cover all or most of the value for ACV and RCV as outlined in your policy.

Is additional coverage available for renters insurance policies?

Riders and endorsements are "additional coverages" for extra protection on specific items. 

Will renters insurance cover my expensive jewelry or electronics?

As mentioned, renters insurance usually covers personal belongings, including jewelry and electronics. Still, coverage limits may limit how much reimbursement you receive when you file a claim. 

You may need to purchase additional coverage for high-value items, called a rider or floater.

How do I get a discount on renters insurance? 

Most insurance companies offer discounts on renters insurance by taking a few steps to make your property safer. This includes installing approved security systems and smoke detectors and bundling your renters insurance with other policies.

Homebody has plenty of options to help you bundle your insurance policies for deep discounts. Whether you need pet or ID theft insurance, get your free quote today and discover how affordable your policy can be with Homebody!

Making a Claim with Your Provider of Renters Insurance

You want to immediately file a claim when you experience theft at your home. But there are processes you need to follow, which are seamless with Homebody.

Filing a claim is a process that begins immediately after a loss or damage has occurred to your insured property or in the case of a liability issue:

  1. The first step is to notify your insurance company about the incident promptly. It's crucial to provide a detailed account of what happened and photos or other documentation to support your claim. It's also important to note that for theft or vandalism incidents, a police report should be filed.
  2. After you've reported the incident, you'll likely need to fill out claim forms provided by your insurance company. These forms should include detailed information about the damaged or stolen items, such as their value and a description of the damage. If necessary, an adjuster may be sent by the insurance company to assess the damage. 
  3. Cooperate fully with the adjuster and provide all the required documentation. Once your claim is processed and approved, the insurance company will pay for the loss, minus any applicable deductible, up to the policy's limits.

Renters Insurance FAQ

Is my property in self-storage units covered by renters insurance?

Renters insurance may cover personal property stored off-premises, such as in a self-storage unit. 

However, this coverage is usually limited to 10% of personal property coverage and may not be as extensive as the coverage for property in your primary residence. 

Additionally, the types of perils covered for property in a self-storage unit may be more limited than those covered in your residence (such as flooding). 

For more coverage, you may need to purchase additional flood coverage either (as a rider or floater to the policy) or a separate insurance policy for the self-storage unit.

Do I need renters insurance if my landlord has insurance? 

Yes. Your landlord's insurance takes care of the building but doesn't protect your belongings or provide personal liability or coverage for your actions. 

Renters insurance is necessary to safeguard your possessions and liability.

Can renters insurance cover my roommate's belongings? 

Renters insurance covers only the policyholder's belongings. If your roommate wants coverage, they should obtain their renters insurance policy.

Does renters insurance cover accidents caused by me or my pet? 

Renters insurance includes liability coverage, which can protect you if someone is injured in your rented space or due to your pet's actions, subject to policy terms and conditions. 

Remember that certain breeds and species of pets may not be covered or have reduced coverage due to the high incidence of attacks. 

Are my belongings covered outside of my rented property? 

Yes. Renters insurance often provides coverage for personal belongings even when they are outside your rented property. This coverage is known as "off-premises" coverage.


You now have a comprehensive overview of what renters insurance is - and what it isn't.  A renters insurance policy is a small price to pay for peace of mind and coverage when it matters most. 

Homebody makes it simple and easy to get a quote, find the right policy, and ensure you have the right coverage. Our policies cover your personal belongings from harm and meet your apartment community's liability insurance requirement. Best of all, renters insurance is more affordable than you think. 

Get the coverage you need in a matter of minutes.

Trust Guard Security Scanned