What is Renter's Insurance?

Shawn Zhu

Shawn Zhu

Tue Jul 26 2022 3 min read

You may think that at this point in your life, there’s no need for you to get renter’s insurance: there’s simply nothing valuable enough to be insured! Unfortunately, most landlords think otherwise. 9 times out of 10, landlords are gonna require tenants to have their own renter’s insurance before they sign a lease. Thankfully, renter’s insurance can be simple and inexpensive. Let me tell you how. 

What is it? 

Renter’s insurance is a form of property insurance that insures the belongings of the renter, as well as any personal liabilities accrued by the renter. While damages caused or sustained by the building itself will be covered by a landlord’s property insurance, the coverage does not extend to the tenant. Hence, most landlords prefer their tenants to have their own renter’s insurance. 


Renter’s insurance coverage varies based on the company, as well as the policy you choose. But at the most basic level, renter’s insurance covers 3 things: personal possessions, liabilities, and additional living expenses. 

Personal possessions: coverage for your belongings in the case of perils, which includes fire, theft, plumbing and electrical malfunctions, certain weather-related damage, and other named hazards. Floods and earthquakes are typically not covered, and require stand-alone policies. 

Liabilities: coverage for when an injury is incurred by someone else within your apartment. Say your friend accidentally cuts themselves while cooking dinner, renter’s insurance can cover part of the hospital bill. It also covers legal fees should you be sued by someone over an apartment injury. 

Temporary Living Expenses: in the event of a peril (listed above), and your apartment becomes uninhabitable, renter’s insurance can cover any emergency living expenses (like a hotel bill). 


Like most insurances, renter’s insurance is paid out on a monthly premium, which just means a monthly fee. That monthly premium could be as low as $5/month, should you choose our renter’s insurance partner – Lemonade. The cost of insurance varies based on a few things: the amount of coverage, the company, and your deductible. 

Wait. What’s a deductible?

A deductible is the amount you have to pay out-of-pocket before your insurance covers the rest (up to a limit). For example, say you file a claim for a $1,000 stolen laptop. If your deductible is $250, you would have to pay that $250 first, before your insurance steps in and covers the remaining $750. Important note: there’s no point in filing a claim that’s under your deductible! Your insurer won’t cover any amount that’s under your deductible. A limit, on the other hand, is the maximum amount of money your insurer will pay. 

The size of your deductible and limit both impact how much your monthly premium is. The lower your deductible, the higher your premium. The higher your limit, the higher your premium.

Choosing your Plan 

With that, you should have everything you need to know about renter’s insurance. Now, before you choose a plan, it’s good to understand exactly what you need. It’s a good idea to record a walk-through of your apartment, in order to document all of your belongings. Because chances are, you’re undervaluing your possessions.

Once you know how much coverage you need, think about how you want to structure your premium. Would you rather pay a larger one-time payment in the case of something being stolen, or a greater monthly fee? If your answer is the latter, choose an insurance with a lower deductible (which would have a higher premium). 

There are also simple ways to lower your premium. Though factors like neighborhood safety and fire risk are outside your control, you can secure the inside of your own apartment to decrease your risk. For example, you could decrease your premium just by installing a burglar’s alarm. 

We hope this information helps in your renter’s-insurance-search! If you’re ready, click here to get a free renter’s insurance quote today!


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