Does Renters Insurance Cover Electronics?

Whether you’re a gamer, a collectibles connoisseur or have a home office, your electronics are an important — and often expensive — part of your life. Because of this, you may be wondering if your renters insurance will cover your electronics should the unexpected happen. We’ll help break down just what kind of coverage your renters insurance policy provides for your electronics so you can understand how your policy works for you.

What Types of Electronics Does Renters Insurance Cover?

Generally speaking, almost all consumer electronics are covered under renters insurance. Things like your TV, your home computer and video game consoles are covered by a renters insurance policy’s personal property coverage.

Vintage electronics could be covered, but because the value to replace them could be more than your coverage allows, be sure to get your collection appraised so you know how much coverage you need.

What Electronics Are Not Covered by Renters Insurance?

While most consumer electronics are covered by renters insurance, there are a few scenarios in which your electronics may not be covered by your policy. Any electronics that are illegal to own or are being used for illegal purposes would not be covered. For example, if you are in a state that has not legalized personal ownership or growth of marijuana and have grow lights for your personal marijuana plant, they would not be covered by your renters insurance if they were damaged or stolen.

Another situation in which your electronics won’t be covered is if they’re owned by a business. So, say your job assigns you a laptop you can use to work from home or a coffee shop occasionally. If that laptop is damaged beyond repair or stolen, either you or the company is responsible for replacing it. Check with your HR department to understand their policy.

When Are My Electronics Covered?

If your electronics are stolen or damaged in a covered event, either in your rental unit or while you’re out and about with them, they’ll be covered by your policy. Some of these types of losses include:

Fire and smoke damage

If there’s a fire in your apartment and your electronics are damaged, either by the fire itself or by smoke residue, your renters insurance policy can help cover the expense to replace these items.

Lightning and short-circuit damage

Lightning strikes can cause all sorts of problems to your rental unit, not the least of which is irreparable damage to your electronics. Renters insurance typically covers this type of damage, as well as short-circuit damage should your building’s fuses cause excess voltage to harm your electronics.

Vandalism and theft

Most renters insurance policies will cover the cost of replacing items after they’re stolen or damaged by vandalism. This generally includes items that were stored in your car, on your person or the things you bring with you while traveling.

When Are My Electronics Not Covered?

Depending on your renters policy, there may be events that aren’t covered by your insurance. Things like damage from flooding, earthquakes or pests are probably not covered by your renters insurance. If you’re worried about any of these things damaging your electronics, you may want to consider talking to your insurance agent about adding a special endorsement to your policy, or purchasing a separate one in the case of flooding, to cover these things.

How Much Coverage Do My Electronics Have?

Your renters insurance has a personal property coverage limit, which is what your insurance will cover up to a set amount of money. Keep in mind, your renters insurance will typically replace your items for their actual cash value, which means you’ll be compensated for what your electronics are worth today, not when you bought them.

To know just how much coverage you need to best protect your electronics, you’ll need to calculate their value. You can do this with our handy home inventory spreadsheet, which includes sections for your other belongings so you can get a complete picture of your coverage needs.

How Can I Increase My Electronics Coverage?

Connect with your American Family Insurance agent to discuss increasing your personal property coverage to better protect your finances from the loss of your electronics. They can help get your renters insurance better customized for your needs to help you protect what matters most.

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Related Topics: Renters , At Home , Insurance Needs