What Does Renter's Insurance Cover?

What does renter's insurance cover?

Renter's insurance typically covers general liability and liability coverage. We'll explore the difference in a moment. Check your policy for specific details. Update yearly!
General Liability

Renter's insurance will typically cover personal property from theft or damage. This can sometimes include property damaged or stolen outside your apartment. For example, my renter's insurance coverage reimbursed me for a percentage of my music collection stolen from my vehicle.

You'll probably have a specific deducible that you'll pay out of pocket before your renter's insurance kicks in and picks up the tab. Generally, renter's insurance is cheaper if you have a higher deductible and slightly more expensive if you have a small deductible. Choose a policy that fits your budget and will adequately cover any losses.

Note: some policies require additional fees for specific coverage. For example, I've paid extra for my laptop computer and to insure a specific piece of jewelry.

It is a good idea to keep receipts for big-ticket items and do a photographic inventory of your apartment's contents at least once a year. Store digital photographs and scanned receipts virtually to eliminate unnecessary paperwork.

Liability Coverage

What happens if someone visits your apartment, falls, and breaks a leg? Will he try to collect medical and legal costs from you? Don't assume your landlord is responsible. Most likely, you'll be the person responsible for the costly medical and/or legal payments. Protect yourself from this possibility.

Not all renter's insurance includes liability coverage. So be sure to ask about liability coverage when you purchase a policy.

Katie McCaskey experienced apartment living in three major cities - Sydney, Los Angeles, and New York City - and thanks to a few mishaps wholly recommends renter's insurance. She is now an "urban escapee" living in scenic Staunton, Va.
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