Generally speaking, rental insurance is a type of insurance policy that covers damage or loss of property for people who rent an apartment.  Many people are surprised to learn that if an apartment building is destroyed by a fire, flood, etc., or is broken into, the landlord’s insurance will cover only damage to the building and the landlord’s liability to others.  Therefore, unless the damage or loss of property is caused by the landlord, the landlord is not liable for that loss or damage. 

What Does Rental Insurance Cover?

Renter’s insurance provides coverage for what a landlord’s insurance does not, including:

  • Personal Property Coverage: A renter’s insurance policy offers you coverage for the theft, loss or destruction of your personal belongings in the event of a fire, flood or other covered disasters. This can help you replace the items you use on a day-to-day basis, from your clothing to your appliances to your furniture. It may also cover expensive items, such as expensive personal electronics and jewelry.
  • Liability Insurance: This type of coverage will cover you if someone comes into your home and is injured. 

How Much Rental Insurance Should I Buy?

The amount of renters insurance that you should buy depends on the monetary amount that you value your personal possessions at. For most people, coverage equal to at least $25,000 to $50,000 is sufficient.  However, if you have certain items that are worth a substantial amount of money, such as jewelry or antiques, you should consider getting additional coverage for those items.

Should I Have Rental Insurance?

If you are renting an apartment, it is probably a good idea to consider rental insurance.  It will protect your property against loss or damage due to theft, fire, or natural disasters.  In some cases, it can also protect you if guests to your apartment are injured while within the apartment.  Some residential leases require that the tenant carry rental insurance.  Premiums for rental insurance are relatively low.

Be aware that renters insurance does have deductibles, and you might have to pay a certain amount before the insurance company will reimburse you. Before you get renter’s insurance, start an inventory of your valuable possessions to have a general idea of what items you have and what items your insurance will cover.

Do I Need a Lawyer?

If you carry rental insurance, and your insurance company is disputing a claim you have filed, you should consult a real estate attorney.  A lawyer can help you to determine whether your insurance company acted in bad faith by denying your claim, and can help you to take steps to recover money that is owed to you.