Renter’s Insurance: What Is and Is Not Covered

understanding renter's insurance

Almost all landlords require a tenant (the person renting) to carry renter’s insurance. Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing renter’s insurance.

What is renter’s insurance?

The key rule to know about renting and insurance is this: In the event of a disaster (fire or water damage for example) your landlord is only responsible for the building, NOT YOUR BELONGINGS.

Renter’s insurance is affordable coverage that protects personal property (a renter’s furniture, belongings, appliances, electronics, etc.).

Without renter’s insurance, if a disaster strikes your home, you could lose everything you own. Renter’s insurance protects all the belongings you’ve worked so hard for.

It also provides some money for lodging if the renter is forced to relocate due to the accident or disaster.

These are the big areas covered, but it’s good to remember that each policy’s coverage can vary.

How much coverage do I need?

Very simple answer. Walk around your apartment and do an inventory of your belongings. The main categories are furniture, clothing, jewelry, electronics, and home goods (including silverware, dishes, and decorations.)

Add those totals and this is the amount of coverage you should have.

There are two types of coverage to choose from. One will pay you what you paid for the item(s) lost, which is called “Actual Cash Value.” The other is called “Replacement Cost.” The Replacement Cost option will pay you what it will cost to replace that item. Let’s use a piece of furniture as an example. If your couch cost you $750 when you bought it, but today is worth only about $200, the policy will pay you what it will cost to replace it, which will be somewhere close to the $750.

Choosing renter’s insurance is just as important as having good homeowner’s or car insurance. Talk to your insurance agent about what the best coverage is for you.

Disaster Coverage

Most renter’s insurance will cover disasters like fire, vandalism, smoke damage, theft, explosion, and certain types of water damage. However, floods and earthquakes are not included. It’s good to check not only what disasters are covered, but also what ones aren’t.

The disaster does not have to originate in your apartment. If a fire starts in someone else’s apartment and you have damage in your apartment (smoke, fire, or even water from the fire department putting out the fire) your belongings are covered.


Choosing the same provider for multiple types of insurance, like auto and renter’s, saves you money. Ask your agent how much bundling your policies can save you.

Thinking about renter’s insurance? Let Gebco help!

For all of our insurance and telemedicine offerings, visit our website or call our offices for assistance right now: 800-464-3226.