Image of friends at a party having dinner in a rental unit.

Understanding Renters Liability Insurance

Updated March 4, 2024 . AmFam Team

Renters liability coverage is a great way to protect both you and your guests. Learn more details on renters liability coverage with American Family Insurance.

Having renters insurance can help protect you and your savings in so many ways. First off, you’ll have coverage for your personal property if it’s stolen. And, if you cause damage due to a covered loss to the rental, this key insurance can help you cover the costs to repair and restore your landlord’s property.

Another big perk that comes with a renters policy — you’ll have renters liability insurance, as well. It can offer financial protection from covered liability claims or lawsuits that guests or visitors bring against you after they suffer bodily injury in your unit. Better still, it can protect you even if you damage their property off-site. There’s a lot to learn about the ways that your renters insurance liability coverage can protect you, so let’s take a closer look at how it works.

What Does Personal Liability Coverage for Renters Protect Against?

Renters liability can cover you if you accidentally start a fire in your kitchen and cause property damage. It can help cover damage costs and may even pay for additional living expenses, if the damage requires that you and your family live elsewhere while repairs are being made. And if a guest slips on your stairs and breaks their wrist, due to a covered loss, renters coverage can help protect your savings. It’s these types of coverages that make renters insurance so valuable.

Does renters insurance cover bodily injuries and does renters insurance cover your pets? It can, under the right circumstances. To better understand how personal liability coverage operates, take a look these scenarios:

Slip-and-fall coverage

Your renters insurance may help you cover medical expenses if, for instance, someone is hurt in your rental space by falling and spraining an ankle. But you should be aware that the coverage only applies to guests in your rental. It’s personal liability protection that helps cover the costs when someone — other than those in your household — is injured and you’re found liable.

Dog bites

Your renters policy also carries liability protection in the event your dog bites someone. And it can cover you wherever the bite occurs. Again, it’s coverage that extends only to those outside your household. And it can even be applied to veterinary bills that result from a covered event if your dog bites another dog.

Medical expense coverage

Another key benefit of your renters policy is that it can help to cover the costs of medical bills and lawsuit-related expenses, if a guest in your rental is accidentally injured and you’re found liable.

How Much Renters Liability Coverage Is Needed?

Like other products American Family Insurance offers, you can customize your liability policy to fit your coverage needs. If you only need basic coverage, our base renters policy should work well for you. One approach is to ask your agent how much personal liability insurance you need in addition to what’s offered in your renters policy. If you feel more comfortable with a higher liability limit, just let your agent know. 

Does My Landlord’s Insurance Protect Me?

Your landlord’s insurance policy is usually designed to protect the structure of the rental from hazards like extreme weather events or fires. It’s not advisable to look to your landlord’s insurance to cover tenant damage. You may not be covered and that could mean thousands in out-of-pocket expenses.

Consider Itemized Renters Coverage to Protect Valuables

If you’ve got a costly carbon fiber bike or expensive jewelry, you’ll want to be sure you’ve got additional itemized personal property coverage. It’s a great option for your renters policy to help protect everything you’ve worked so hard for.

Why Do You Need Equipment Breakdown Coverage?

Picking up equipment breakdown insurance can be a good idea as well. It’s designed to cover home theater systems, computers and other appliances you own — if a covered loss should render them inoperable.

Be sure to connect with your American Family Insurance agent and request a renters insurance quote. You’ll find real peace of mind knowing you’ve got great protection from an insurance company that knows you well.

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