Congratulations! You’ve finally found the perfect apartment and your application is approved, but don’t schedule the moving truck just yet. Before signing the lease, your landlord may ask you to purchase or provide proof of renters insurance. Seasoned renters may know all about renters insurance, while some renters are new to the game. Either way, make sure you have an understanding of what renters insurance covers, how much it costs, and how you can use renters insurance to protect yourself from personal property damage. 

What is renters insurance and why does it matter?

Renters insurance is a property insurance policy that provides coverage for your property and liabilities in a rented apartment, condo, or home. If you rent your home, renters insurance protects your belongings in case of unforeseen events. It covers items like your laptop, your furniture, that expensive vase no one is allowed to touch, and other property you’d want to be reimbursed for if it were stolen or damaged.

Renters insurance is a great value for renters. The average renters insurance policy costs about $14/month while providing thousands of dollars of protection for your belongings.  

What does renters insurance cover exactly?

Renters insurance covers your personal property. Renters insurance differs from security deposit insurance in that deposit insurance covers your landlord’s property (your home) while renter’s insurance covers your property (the items inside your home). 

A graphic that lists the types of damages that renters insurances covers and examples of the items typically protected by renters insurances including clothing, electronics, furniture, instruments

The large majority of renters insurance coverage protects your personal belongings from several kinds of events:

  • Fire damage: Damage caused by accidental fires (electric or otherwise) are usually covered by renters insurance policies. This can also include smoke damage.

  • Water damage: If your pipes burst or your sprinkler system goes off, your renters insurance has you covered from the water damage. This might not automatically include damage from flooding.

  • Theft: Renters insurance will keep you protected in the case of someone breaking into your home and stealing your belongings. We hope this never happens to anyone, but if it does you’ll be covered. 

  • Vandalism: If someone intentionally ruins your belongings, renters insurance will reimburse you for the damages.

  • ”Perils”: Your policy will define what exactly qualifies as a “peril,” but most renters insurance policies protect you from damages resulting from hail, lightning, windstorms, wildfire, or weight of snow/ice

Some renters insurance companies offer additional coverage as well. Those protections can include coverage for specific valuables, relocation services in case you need to vacate your home for any reason, and liability coverage in case someone is injured in your home. Make sure to explore if any of these add-ons are important to your overall coverage. 

There are also personal belongings that renter’s insurance never covers, including:

  • Pet medical bills/Pet damage

  • Dog bites

  • Your roommate’s property

  • Motor vehicles

Is renters insurance required?

Renters insurance is not required by law, but many landlords list proof of renters insurance as a move-in requirement. Regardless, renters should treat renters insurance as a requirement as there is no other way to financially protect your belongings when you rent. While most landlords do have personal property insurance or landlord’s insurance, these do not cover the belongings of renters. 

Where can I get a renters insurance quote?

Renters insurance works a lot like auto insurance, flood insurance, and home insurance. You’ll choose an insurance provider, select the amount of coverage you want, and pay your premium. 

When getting a quote or comparing renters insurance quotes, make sure you’re getting an accurate coverage amount. Take a home inventory of your things and account for their actual cash value. 

If you have many expensive items, you may want more coverage and a lower deductible. A renters insurance deductible is the amount that you will have to pay personally in the event of property damage, before your policy coverage kicks in. A higher deductible means paying more money out of your pocket, and maybe less peace of mind. 

 Different companies offer different coverage limits, deductibles, and payment schedules (monthly, semiannually, annually), so be sure to choose the renters insurance company that works best for you. 

Are there other insurance policies that help renters?

Yes! Different types of coverage address different parts of the renter experience. Rhino’s security deposit insurance uses a surety bond to help renters save money at move-in by protecting their landlord’s property on their behalf like a security deposit would. The average renter pays $5-$12/month for the ability to forgo an upfront deposit of around $1,000. Combining security deposit insurance with the right renters insurance coverage helps you protect your landlord and yourself affordably and comprehensively. 

Graphic that shows how much Rhino costs on average, plus how much renters insurance costs on an average to demonstrate the value of renters insurance for renters

Purchasing renters insurance can help you achieve peace of mind for the same price as your favorite streaming service. Renters insurance keeps your personal property protected in the case of damage caused by unforeseen events, and you can also customize additional coverage to your specific needs. When renters protect their belongings with renters insurance and protect their apartment for their landlord with affordable security deposit insurance from Rhino, they can prepare themselves and their wallets for anything. And although renters insurance isn’t required by law, it’s the smart thing to do, like wearing a seatbelt in the state of New Hampshire.

Larenz Brown

Larenz Brown is a copywriter at Rhino who wants to tell stories that empower people. He once engaged in a 365-day staredown with a security deposit and emerged victorious.