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Renters Insurance is a type of insurance policy that you buy when starting a new lease
or moving into a new rental property.

Renters Insurance is a type of insurance policy that you buy when starting a new lease
or moving into a new rental property. Some landlords make you buy renters insurance.
If your lease requires renters insurance and you still don’t buy the insurance, then you
have may have violated your lease. Even if your lease does not require renters
insurance, it may be in your best interest to buy renters insurance.

The policy will normally cover you for a year and will have 4 different kinds of

Types of Coverage:What it Covers:Examples of Coverage:Notes:
Loss of PropertyBooks, furniture,
jewelry (up to a set
amount), electronics,
clothes, etc.
A burglar breaks into
your apartment and
steals your bike and
your tools.
You will get either
enough money to
replace the lost thing
or as much as you
would get if you sold it.
Loss of UseIf you can’t stay in
your place, you can get
extra money for items
like hotels,
replacement clothes,
and food.
If your rental burns
down and you need to
stay in a hotel for a
night or two while
finding a new place.
These payments are
temporary and help
with emergencies.
Personal LiabilityMoney to help pay if
someone gets injured
and sues you. It may
help if you damage
someone else’s
property too.
Someone visits and
trips over a carpet and
breaks their arm and
sues you, or
you’re visiting
neighbors and knock
over a lamp.
This covers issues that
were accidents. If you hurt
someone or break
something on purpose,
renters insurance won’t
Medical Payments
to Others
Medical costs of
someone who is hurt in
your rental.
Someone comes over
and twists their ankle
and needs to pay for an
This covers costs even if
you were at fault, as long
as you didn’t hurt
someone on purpose.
The payment max is
lower than Personal
Liability Coverage.


Here are some steps to help you pick a renters insurance company that works for you:

  • Check prices with 3-5 companies that sell renters insurance.
  • Make sure the amount of Personal Property coverage is enough to cover all the cost of your property. Start by searching for policies that cover the right amount of property for you. You usually want at least $100,000 in Personal Liability coverage.
  • Figure out how much money you can afford to spend each month on renters insurance. Renters insurance is usually $15-$20 a month.
  • See if you can pay a higher deductible to lower your premiums if the policy with replacement cost is too expensive.

Renters Insurance DOES NOT COVER:

  • your car
  • your roommate’s property (unless their name is on the policy with yours)
  • floods or earthquakes
  • infestations like bed bugs
  • home businesses


WTLS is available to provide civil legal assistance focusing on issues that affect family safety, cohesiveness, and stability. Our housing counseling program provides holistic legal services to provide housing information and legal assistance for individuals at every stage of housing, from homelessness to homeownership. If you have a question about your rental contact us at 1-800-372-8346 for assistance. Click here to see a copy of this presentation: What is Renters Insurance.

The work that provided the basis for this publication was supported by funding under an award with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The substance and findings of the work are dedicated to the public. The author and publisher are solely responsible for the accuracy of the statements and interpretations contained in this publication. Such interpretations do not necessarily reflect the views of the Government.

This page is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for legal advice from an attorney. All information was accurate at the time of posting. If you have further questions about this information, please call 1-800-372-8346 or click here to apply for our services.