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Renters Insurance 101

How Does Renters Insurance Work?

Your personal possessions turn the space you rent into a place that’s uniquely yours, and we think that’s worth protecting. As a renter, you may think you don’t have that many valuables, but if you start to count the cost of your belongings — from your TV, laptop, camera, clothes, furniture, etc. — the number adds up. 

How Much Renters Insurance Do I Need?

Take a look at how much stuff you own. Typically, to see how much coverage you need, you’ll add up all of your belongings in your apartment and use that as an estimate to start.

You’ll want to make sure your coverage limit is enough to help cover the cost to replace your belongings should the unexpected happen. An agent will help factor in how your location affects the cost and also any added coverage you might want, like identity theft protection.

  1. Narrator: From your computer to your couch as a renter you have a lot more to protect than you think, and renters insurance is an easy and affordable way to protect your belongings, and it even protects you when you're on the go.

    On screen: Renters insurance

    • Protection At Home
    • Protection On The Go

    Narrator: The best part? This affordable coverage is often less than two of your favorite fancy coffees a month.

    On screen: Renters Insurance

    Narrator: With renter's insurance, you'll have three main types of protection: personal property coverage, liability coverage and additional living expenses.

    On screen: Renters Insurance

    1. Personal Property Coverage
    2. Liability Coverage
    3. Additional Living Expenses

    Narrator: If your apartment is damaged from things like fire or water, your landlord’s insurance will only cover the building, not your belongings.

    On screen:

    • Fire
    • Water

    Narrator: And if it's broken into, you'll be on the hook for covering the cost to replace any belongings that are stolen.

    On screen:

    • Theft
    • Vandalism

    Narrator: That's where personal property coverage steps in. This coverage protects your belongings inside your apartment and when you're out and about on the go. To determine the amount of personal property coverage you need, add up the cost of your belongings like a bike, jewelry and electronics. Your coverage types and limits should be enough to replace your stuff should the unexpected happen.

    On screen: Personal Property Coverage

    Narrator: Renters insurance also offers liability coverage, which provides some protection for:

    On screen: Liability Coverage

    Narrator: Medical bills or lost wages, if someone is injured in your home. Or, if you injure someone away from home, depending on your coverage limits.

    On screen: 1. Medical bills or lost wages

    Narrator: The cost to replace or repair damages you caused to another person's property.

    On screen:2. Covers the cost to replace and repair damages

    Narrator: And legal costs if you're sued by your landlord or someone else for damages you caused to their property.

    On screen:3. Helps cover legal costs

    Narrator: It even covers additional living expenses, like a hotel and food if your apartment is uninhabitable due to a covered loss.

    On screen: Additional Living Expenses

    Narrator: Now that you know how renter's insurance benefits you, connect with an American Family Insurance Agent to get a quote and see how simple and affordable it is to protect all the things that matter most to you.

    On screen: American Family Insurance

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How Much Would it Cost to Replace All Your Stuff?

Enter how much your belongings are worth and we’ll help you estimate how much it’d cost to replace everything you own and how much it’d cost to cover it all with renters insurance.


How much jewelry do you own? Add up everything from watches and an engagement ring to antique jewelry and diamond earrings. Keep in mind, if the total value of your jewelry is more than the jewelry limit on your policy it’s a good idea to add additional coverage.


Add up what your electronics are worth. Think TVs, computers, gaming systems, stereos, guitar amps and more. Your renters insurance helps protect them from things like damage and theft — even when you're on the go!


From your winter jacket to your favorite pair of leather boots, the cost of all your clothes adds up to more than you think. How much would it cost to replace all the clothing in your closet if they were damaged from something like smoke or fire?


Whether it’s a hand-me-down futon or a leather couch you invested in, if the furniture in your home was damaged or destroyed, would you be able to replace it all out of pocket? Your bed set, dresser, couches, recliners, desk — how much would it cost to replace everything?

Other Assets

What else do you own? Consider things like a bicycle, appliances, artwork, record collection, books, musical instruments, collectibles — anything you’d want covered if it was damaged or destroyed by an unexpected event.

You would need to replace
worth of stuff
You would need to replace
worth of stuff
Renters in your state pay
on average for insurance*
*The estimated monthly payment shown is an average of what renters pay in your area. Your actual premium will be based on your coverage limits.
Looks like American Family Insurance doesn’t offer renters insurance in your state – no problem! We’ll set you up with one of our partners to get you the coverage you’re looking for. Click Start Quoting to begin.

What Does Renters Insurance Cover?

Insurance can be confusing — we get that. We'll walk you through what you need to know about how you're covered.

What is covered:

  • Theft or vandalism
  • Fire & Smoke Damage
  • Mold
  • Water damage from plumbing, heating or cooling systems
  • Lightning, Windstorms or Hail
  • Explosions
  • Riots
  • Liability Coverage
  • Medical Expenses

What is not covered:

  • Appliances
  • Water damage from sewer back-up, septic back-up and sump pump overflow.

    But, don't fret! We offer special add-on coverage to make sure you are protected in these situations.

    Sump Pump Failure and Water Backup Coverage >

How Much is Renters Insurance?

Not as much as you think.

There are a number of factors that go into the cost of your coverage, so the price for renters insurance is going to be different for everyone — but a typical premium for renters insurance is usually less than the price of one dinner out with friends. The estimate of your possessions, your location and added on coverage are a few things taken into consideration when calculating the cost of renters insurance.

Looking to save more money? You can also bundle your renters insurance with other policies — such as your car insurance coverage. Check out our discounts for streamlining your coverage with an auto and renters bundle.

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Getting Renters Insurance is Quick and Easy!

  • Most policies go into effect as soon as you hang up the phone with your agent.
  • Save money on premiums easily by qualifying for discounts like paperless billing, automatic payments, and more!
  • Access everything you need to know about your coverage, make payments, and report a claim through the MyAmFam App.

More Renters Insurance FAQs

  1. Moving in tomorrow? Don’t worry, we’ve got your back.

    Getting renters insurance is a simple process and most policies go into effect as soon as you hang up the phone with your agent.

    To make the process smoother, evaluate your needs before connecting with an agent. Since renters insurance helps cover the cost of lost, stolen or damaged items, you’ll want to add up how much your total property costs. This way, in the event of a total loss, you’ll know how much it would cost to replace your belongings. 

  2. A renters insurance policy does not extend coverage to any of your roommates unless their names are specifically written in the policy. So, though it’s not recommended, sharing a renters insurance policy with your roommate is a possibility. We suggest getting your own customized policy to fit your needs, and since renters insurance is so affordable, it just makes sense to get your own coverage! Get the 411 on roommates and renters insurance.

  3. Though renters insurance is not required by law, your landlord can choose to make it a requirement by including a provision in the lease that requires you to have it. If you sign a lease that requires you to have renters insurance, then you are required to get it. Your landlord will require proof of insurance and in the event that you don’t have it as you agreed, they may be able to take action as provided in the lease, which could include a monetary penalty or even eviction.

    And, the requirement of having renters insurance is something that you will want to know about before signing any lease, so be sure to read through the lease completely and ask your landlord questions about it before signing.

    Keep in mind, having renters insurance benefits you just as much as your landlord — if not more! Find out more about why landlords require renters insurance.

  4. This is a common misconception many renters have. A landlord’s insurance usually only covers damage to the building — not any damage caused to your belongings. For example, if there is a fire, the landlord’s insurance covers the damage to the building caused by the fire, but any damage to your belongings caused by the fire is not their responsibility. That’s where your renters insurance steps in.

    Another common scenario is water damage. If there is a water leak that ruins your favorite rug and damages the wood underneath it, your landlord will replace the wooden floor, but not the rug.

    And, personal property isn’t the only thing not covered by your landlord. If your apartment catches fire & you damage surrounding apartments, your landlord could potentially seek legal action against you. Personal liability coverage, which is included within your renters policy, could help protect you against any damages resulting from legal action.

    So, let’s clear up this snafu once and for all: it’s your landlord’s responsibility to protect the building, and it’s your responsibility to protect your personal property and damages you’re liable for — which is what renters insurance is for!

  5. American Family Insurance offers a unique, streamlined location-change feature that is as simple as calling up your insurance agent to make the switch.

    Basically, your coverage will follow you wherever you move, whether it be across town or across the country. Your price may change slightly depending on certain circumstances, but for the most part all you have to worry about is packing your boxes and your agent will do the rest of the work!

    Take a look at our moving apartments checklist to transition to your new place with ease.

  6. Laptop, textbooks, gaming system, clothes — your things add up to more than you may think. What if someone were to get injured in your apartment? Would you have enough to cover the cost if you were sued and found legally responsible for someone else’s injury?

    Truth be told, when you’re a college student, you probably don’t have much money laying around to replace everything you own or especially to cover you in the event you were held liable for an accident.

    Having renters insurance as a college student can give you peace of mind as you work on pursuing your dreams. Renters insurance can help cover the cost to replace possessions from theft, damage caused by fire or water, and you’ll even get liability coverage if someone were to get hurt in your dorm or apartment. Here are a few more reasons why you need renters insurance as a student.

    Did we mention renters insurance is super affordable each month — often less than the price of a pizza? And if there’s anything a college student understands, it’s the word affordable (and pizza).

    Are you a parent with a soon-to-be collegiate scholar? Take a look at why your student needs renters insurance.

  7. Are you often traveling for work, family or fun? Having renters insurance is good for that, too!

I Want to Protect My Stuff

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