Renters Insurance FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions for Renters Insurance

  • Do I need renters insurance?

    If you're renting the place you live, the answer is probably yes. Although you may not own the building, you do own your stuff in it. The best way to make sure your stuff is protected is with a renters insurance policy.

    How renters insurance can help:

    • Theft. Rental units are prime targets for theft, and burglars are getting smarter about how to break into apartments.
    • Fire and smoke damage. Although your landlord's insurance might or might not replace the carpet, it won't replace your furniture. Renters insurance can cover items damaged by fire, smoke, and other situations.
    • Water damage. Similar to fire and smoke, your renters insurance can cover damage to items caused by accidental discharge or overflow of water. In general, renters insurance doesn't cover flooding or water backup (example, sewer backup).
    • Temporary living expenses. If your apartment is damaged by water or fire, you'll likely need to find another place to stay. Some policies include coverage for hotel expenses if you can't use your apartment because of a covered loss.
    • Liability protection. Renters insurance can cover injury to another person at your home. It can also include medical payments coverage that pays for expenses of people who don't live with you, but who are injured in your apartment.

  • How much does renters insurance cost?

    Renters insurance is very affordable, especially for people renting their first apartment. Consider what deductible you should have. Higher deductibles can lower your cost. However, you should also think about how much you're willing to pay in case of a claim. Get a free renters insurance quote today!

  • Does my college kid need renters insurance?

    Probably. Some homeowners policies provide some coverage, but not in all situations. You should check your homeowners policy to see what's covered. You can also get a free renters insurance quote and make sure you have the coverage you need.

  • What is actual cash value coverage?

    This typically only covers the cost to replace items minus depreciation. That means it may not cover the total cost to replace something.

    Speak to your representative at the GEICO Insurance Agency about actual cash value coverage versus replacement cost coverage to pick what's right for you.

  • What's a policy period for renters insurance?

    This is the amount of time the insurance policy is in effect. Make sure you understand when the policy begins and ends. In general, a policy period is 1 year.

  • What's personal liability coverage?

    This insurance protects you against claims that others make against you. Depending upon your personal assets and individual situation, you might benefit from additional liability coverage.

  • What's covered by living expensese?

    If your home, apartment, or condo you rent is destroyed by a covered peril, this insurance helps cover additional living expenses.

  • What's covered by personal property coverage on a renters policy?

    This helps protect your personal belongings. This can include things like furniture, clothing, electronics, and other items up to a certain amount. If you own valuable collectibles, specialized equipment, or other unusual items then you might need additional coverage.

  • What is a rider or endorsement on renters insurance?

    Riders and endorsements are add-ons to an insurance policy.

  • What is replacement cost coverage?

    Most renters insurance quotes include actual cash value, not replacement value for your belongings. Actual cash value takes depreciation into consideration when calculating a post-claim payout. This could mean you may not get enough to buy a new version of the item that was lost. This is where replacement cost coverage can help.

  • What is scheduled personal property?

    This is additional insurance for high value items or special collections. Some examples can include jewelry, coin collections, sporting goods, specialized electronics, and other valuables.

  • What is business merchandise coverage?

    This additional insurance is useful for people who sell products online.

  • What is incidental business liability?

    If you have a home business, like a small baby-sitting business, this insurance helps protect you against liability claims related to your business.

  • What is additional coverage for disasters?

    Depending upon where you live, you may want to look into extra coverage for natural disasters such as flood, earthquake, or wind and hail. Not all renters policies include coverage for these losses; ask a GEICO Insurance Agency agent for more information.

  • How often should I take an inventory of my stuff?

    It's a good idea to take an inventory at least once a year and make sure you have enough coverage to replace the items and lifestyle you have worked hard to create.

  • What should I do if I need to file a claim on my renters insurance?

    Here are some useful tips that can help in the case of an incident.

    • To report a claim by phone, refer to our list of our partner contact numbers
    • Don't throw away or destroy damaged items until the claims adjuster has inspected them.
    • Locate your property inventory.
    • Take pictures of the damaged items as soon as possible as some items may continue to break down.
    • Collect your documents, photographs, receipts, and other paperwork for any items claimed in the loss.
    • Start a new file for receipts, expenses, repairs, and other costs related to the loss. Depending on your policy and coverage, repairs, replacement, clean up, and even lodging may be covered.
    • Unless it's required to prevent further damage, don't clear, clean, or perform other tasks until you have authorization from the insurance company.
    • Tell your claims representative or adjuster about any damaged items that are a potential health hazard. They can help let you know what to do next.

  • How do I create an inventory of my stuff?

    Here are a few quick tips of making an inventory of all of your things, in case something happens.

    • Take Inventory. Make a list of your belongings. If you live with a roommate, then be sure to indicate what belongs to each person. Be as precise as possible. Make a copy and keep one with you and leave a copy in a secure location such as a safe deposit box.
    • Compile serial numbers and receipts. Create a logbook with serial numbers and receipts for as many items as possible. This is helpful if your items are stolen.
    • Take Photographs. Photographs can help you stay organized and show the general condition of the item.
    • Record a video. You can also take a video in place of photos and an inventory. You'll want to make sure that you record all info listed above.
    • Review your policy. Pay attention to limits, deductibles, and other information to make sure the policy reflects the coverage you need.
    • Set aside an emergency fund to cover your deductible in the event of a claim.
    • Once a year go through the list and eliminate items you may have replaced, donated, or sold. Also, be sure to add items you have purchased throughout the year.
    • Tag it. Depending on where you live, taking time to engrave items such as bicycles, sports equipment, or other items can help assist if they are lost or stolen.
    • Before renewing your renters insurance policy, make sure your deductibles and coverage amounts are correct. Pay special attention to any valuables or limitations that may need additional insurance. If you own coin collections, artwork, or other items that increase in value, you may need to purchase additional coverage.

Please note:

The above is meant as general information and as general policy descriptions to help you understand the different types of coverages. These descriptions do not refer to any specific contract of insurance and they do not modify any definitions, exclusions or any other provision expressly stated in any contracts of insurance. We encourage you to speak to your insurance representative and to read your policy contract to fully understand your coverages.

Renters coverages are written through non-affiliated insurance companies and are secured through the GEICO Insurance Agency, LLC. The information you provide will be shared with our business partners so that they can return a quote.