Renters Insurance Saved Me: Common Scenarios

Published on May 05, 2022

Buying renters insurance is something that can get pushed down the priority list because you’re not legally required to have it. However, even though you don’t have to buy a renters policy, many good reasons exist to carry this surprisingly affordable insurance. Let’s explore some common renters insurance scenarios where this coverage can save the day.

Theft is one of the best reasons to have renters insurance. If your place is burgled, a renters policy can cover the cost of any items damaged or stolen. A “cover my stuff” renters insurance policy is always a good investment — especially considering how affordable the premiums are.

Jenny lived in a good neighborhood and did not think she would ever need theft insurance, but one day she came home from work to find her apartment in shambles. She was devastated. The first thing she noticed was that her electronics, computer, and an antique clock that was an heirloom from her grandmother were gone. She walked into the bedroom to find that her jewelry box and files containing her passwords and bank account information were missing, too.

While some items can never be replaced, like her grandmother's antique clock, renters insurance helped Jenny replace the missing electronics, computer, and jewelry. Her insurance company representative was also able to give her some good advice to help prevent identity theft that could arise as a result of the stolen files. Jenny’s renters insurance policy alleviated some of the financial stress of having to replace her expensive electronics and other items.

Water Damage

Water damage is one of the most common renters insurance scenarios and one that makes tenants glad they had coverage. If you live in an apartment with people living above you, it’s especially important to consider buying a renters policy. No matter how well you get along with your neighbors, they can sometimes make mistakes that affect you, your place, and your belongings.

When Steve left for work that morning, he knew that all was well in his apartment. He had no idea he would come home to disaster in the form of extensive water damage . Steve’s upstairs neighbor has small children, and, unfortunately, one of them turned on the bathtub faucet, which caused the tub to run over.

When Steve got home, he was greeted by a wet mess. Water dripped from the ceiling and ran down the walls. In addition to the sodden ceiling and walls, the water had also ruined Steve’s laptop and expensive sound system. Fortunately, Steve’s rental insurance company quickly processed his claim and reimbursed him, which allowed him to replace his personal belongings immediately after the loss.

Fire and smoke damage are some of the other most common claims insurance companies receive. Even if you practice fire safety, you can’t control the actions of your roommates or those who live around you. Moreover, when you’re dealing with electricity, anything can go wrong — from a faulty electrical appliance to rodents chewing the wiring in your home. If a fire does break out, the most important thing is to take care of yourself and your loved ones, before worrying about your possessions. But it’s reassuring to know that most renters insurance typically covers property loss due to fire.

Becky and her family had gone to bed on Christmas Eve. At 3:00 am, the smoke detector went off and they woke up to a house filled with smoke. Fortunately, everyone got out safely, including the family dog. The only problem was that they no longer had a place to stay.

Becky called her renters insurance company and was happy to find out that they would begin paying for a hotel room immediately. The policy helped replace many of the family’s belongings and paid for temporary housing until they could find other suitable accommodation. It was an unfortunate situation but having a good renters policy helped ease some of the pressure.

What Can You Use Renters Insurance For?

The examples above are some of the most common renters insurance scenarios that cause policyholders to file claims. One of the most important things you can do is to familiarize yourself with what your policy covers and what is not covered by renters insurance . A Wawanesa renters policy covers a lot of unfortunate situations, such as theft of your belongings, water damage, and certain weather events. Check out the full list of what’s covered .

Many people don’t realize the extent of what renters insurance covers. For instance, renters can cover medical expenses if, say, your friend slips and falls in your apartment during a get-together. Most policies also cover theft of your belongings outside of your home — say, your gym bag gets stolen from your fitness facility locker or car. Your policy can also cover the cost of staying in a hotel if your place is damaged to the point where you have to move out.

In some cases, renters insurance will help even if the damage was your fault. Say you accidentally allowed the tub to overflow or left the stove on when you headed out . Renters won’t always cover these types of circumstances, but in certain cases, it will.

It’s important to understand that your belongings are not covered by your landlord’s policy. And while you may not think you have much stuff, when you take stock, you’ll find that the cost to replace all, or even some, of your personal possessions will add up quickly. Unfortunately, many renters don’t realize the full cost of a disaster until something happens.

The best part about having a renters policy is that it allows you to focus on life and not worry about what you would do if something were to happen. No one wants to dwell on potential mishaps, but they do occur. No matter what kind of rental you call home, renters insurance gives you the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re protected should the worst happen.

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case study on renters insurance

A Homeowner’s Guide to Understanding Renters Insurance: A Case Study in Financial Protection

renters insurance case study

Are You Protected? A Renters Insurance Case Study

Imagine coming home after a long day only to find your belongings destroyed in a fire or your identity stolen. Without renters insurance, you could be facing significant financial losses and emotional distress. This case study highlights the critical need for renters insurance and its ability to protect your belongings, your finances, and your peace of mind.

Financial Protection

Renters insurance provides financial protection against covered events such as fire, theft, and vandalism. In the event of a covered loss, your policy will help you replace your belongings and cover any additional living expenses, such as temporary housing or meals. Without insurance, you would be responsible for paying for these expenses out of pocket, which could quickly become a financial burden.

Identity Theft Protection

Many renters insurance policies also include identity theft coverage. This coverage can help you recover financial losses and repair your credit if your identity is stolen. Identity theft can be a devastating experience, and renters insurance can provide peace of mind knowing that you have protection in place.

Renter’s Insurance Protects More Than Just Your Belongings

While renters insurance primarily covers your personal belongings, it also provides liability protection. If someone is injured on your property or if you accidentally damage someone else’s property, renters insurance can help cover the costs of medical expenses or repairs.

Key Takeaways

  • Renters insurance is essential for protecting your belongings, your finances, and your peace of mind.
  • Financial protection: Covers losses due to covered events such as fire and theft.
  • Identity theft protection: Helps recover financial losses and repair credit in case of identity theft.
  • Liability protection: Provides coverage for medical expenses or repairs if someone is injured on your property or if you damage someone else’s property.

Renters Insurance: A Comprehensive Case Study


In today’s dynamic rental market, renters insurance plays a crucial role in safeguarding individuals’ belongings and financial well-being. To illustrate its importance, we present a comprehensive case study that delves into the real-life experiences of tenants and their insurance coverage.

The Case of Emily: A Fire That Ravaged Her Home

Emily, a young professional, lived in a modest apartment. One evening, a fire broke out in the building, leaving her home and all her possessions destroyed. Fortunately, she had renters insurance, which covered the cost of her lost belongings and provided temporary housing while she searched for a new apartment. Without insurance, Emily would have faced overwhelming financial hardship.

The Value of Contents Coverage

Renters insurance policies typically include contents coverage, which protects personal belongings from theft, fire, and other perils. In Emily’s case, her policy covered the replacement cost of her furniture, electronics, clothing, and other items. This coverage allowed her to rebuild her life quickly and easily after the devastating fire.

Liability Protection: Peace of Mind for Accidents

In addition to contents coverage, renters insurance provides liability protection, which covers the policyholder’s legal responsibility for injuries or damage caused to others. For instance, if a guest slips and falls on Emily’s apartment floor, her renters insurance would help cover medical expenses and legal fees. This protection gives tenants peace of mind knowing that they are financially secure in case of accidents.

The Landlord’s Responsibility: What Insurance Does Not Cover

It is important to note that renters insurance does not cover the landlord’s property or structural damage to the apartment. The landlord is responsible for maintaining and repairing the building and its common areas. Emily’s renters insurance covered her belongings but not the cost of repairing the fire damage to the building itself.

Determining Coverage Limits: A Careful Balance

When purchasing renters insurance, it is crucial to determine appropriate coverage limits. Emily chose a policy that covered the replacement cost of her belongings, ensuring that she would have enough money to replace everything if they were destroyed. Tenants should carefully consider their possessions’ value and select coverage limits that provide adequate protection.

The Deductible: A Factor to Consider

Renters insurance policies typically have a deductible, which is the amount the policyholder must pay out of pocket before the insurance coverage kicks in. Emily had a $500 deductible, which meant she needed to pay that amount before her insurance would cover the rest of her losses. Weighing the deductible against the premium and coverage limits is important.

Filing a Claim: The Process Simplified

In the event of a loss, tenants need to file a claim with their insurance company. Emily promptly contacted her insurer after the fire, and an adjuster visited her apartment to assess the damage and determine the amount of her claim. The claims process was straightforward and relatively stress-free, allowing Emily to focus on rebuilding her life.

The Role of Inventory: A Crucial Documentation

To ensure a smooth claims process, tenants should keep an inventory of their belongings and take photos or videos for documentation. Emily had a detailed inventory, which made it easier for her insurance company to assess the value of her lost possessions and process her claim quickly.

Prevention Measures: Steps to Minimize Risk

While renters insurance provides financial protection, it is also essential to take proactive measures to minimize risk. Emily installed smoke detectors and a fire extinguisher in her apartment. She also took precautions to prevent theft by using locks and other security devices. These measures helped reduce the likelihood of an incident occurring in the first place.

Renters insurance is an invaluable asset for individuals who rent apartments or homes. It provides financial protection for personal belongings, peace of mind against liability, and assistance in the event of unexpected events. Emily’s case study highlights the importance of having adequate coverage and understanding the coverage and claims process. By choosing the right policy and taking preventive measures, renters can ensure their well-being and financial security in case of unforeseen circumstances.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. what is the difference between renters insurance and homeowners insurance.

Renters insurance covers personal belongings and liability for renters, while homeowners insurance covers both the structure of the home and the renter’s belongings.

2. How much does renters insurance cost?

The cost of renters insurance varies depending on factors such as location, coverage limits, and the insurance company. However, it is typically affordable for most renters.

3. What is a deductible?

A deductible is the amount the policyholder must pay out of pocket before the insurance coverage kicks in.

4. How do I file a renters insurance claim?

In the event of a loss, tenants should promptly contact their insurance company and provide details of the incident and the extent of their losses.

5. What are some ways to prevent losses covered by renters insurance?

Tenants can take proactive measures to prevent losses, such as installing smoke detectors and fire extinguishers, using locks and security devices, and maintaining a clean and organized apartment.

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2022 Renter’s Insurance Industry Report

Rob Gabriele

After months of steeply increasing housing prices followed by a recent increase in mortgage interest rates, the dream of homeownership remains out of reach for millions of young Americans. At the same time, inflation and increased demand for housing in many U.S. cities drove rents through the roof in 2022.

These market conditions have been especially hard on renters’ pockets. As many slash spending and buckle down on their budgets, some renters are reducing their insurance coverage limits or canceling their policies altogether. But the vast majority of insured renters are choosing to maintain their current coverage. Similarly, most renters without coverage are planning to keep to the status quo.

In the midst of housing market volatility, our newest research shows that the renter’s insurance industry is projected to remain steady and even gain new customers over the next year.

 Key Findings

  • 55 percent of U.S. renters, or 61 million people, currently have renter’s insurance policies. This number could rise to more than 65 million within the next year.
  • 75 percent of insured renters are required by their landlords to obtain renter’s coverage.
  • The average renter’s insurance premium was $211 per year, or about $18 a month. The most popular deductible was $500.
  • Only 18 percent of insured renters had noticed an increase in their premiums over the last year, compared to 43 percent of insured homeowners.
  • Most renters are sticking with their current coverage (or lack of coverage). Just 14 percent of insured renters plan to make changes to their current policies. Of those who don’t have renter’s insurance, 16 percent said they are likely to purchase a premium within the next 12 months.

Demographics of Insured Renters

Renter’s or tenant’s insurance protects renters who experience unexpected property damages. In our latest research, we found that 55 percent of renters had renter’s insurance policies. This is an estimated 61 million U.S. renters.

The vast majority of individuals with renters insurance were required by their landlords to have this type of coverage. Many landlords do this to prevent claims against their own landlord insurance policies.

Percentage of renters with renter insurance

Our data revealed that renters of all ages and genders were interested in protecting their property with renter’s insurance, though slightly more female renters than male renters had coverage. While more than half of all renters in each age group had insurance coverage, renters in their 20s were likelier than any others to have insurance.

Demographics of Insured Renters

The largest difference in terms of renter’s coverage was between people who lived in public versus private housing. About one in four people living in public housing had renter’s insurance coverage, compared to nearly 60 percent of people in privately owned housing.

Since public housing opportunities are restricted to people with low income, older ages, or disabilities, their budgets may not allow for the costs of renter’s insurance. Unfortunately, these individuals would benefit most from renter’s insurance, since the cost of replacing damaged belongings out of pocket would be more burdensome on limited incomes. This is a reason why destructive disasters like Hurricane Katrina often compound wealth inequality .

Renter’s Insurance Basics

The purpose of renter’s insurance is two-fold. First, it covers damage to a tenant’s personal property. Second, it protects them against acts they may be liable for. While those are both good reasons for purchasing a tenant insurance policy, many tenants might wonder, “The building is the landlord’s problem, and I don’t own many valuables, so why spend money on a renters’ insurance policy?”

However, imagine that a fire sweeps through your apartment. The costs to replace (all at one time) your furniture, dishes, pots and pans, clothing, jewelry, electronics, linens, and sporting equipment would be in the thousands. And then there's the looming threat of burglary and loss of prized possessions. Of course, you should have an apartment security solution in place to help deter burglars and thieves (our roundup of the best security systems for apartments is a great starting point).

Our study showed that 46 percent of tenants preferred replacement cost coverage while 32 percent were happy enough with actual cash value coverage. The difference in the cost between replacement cost coverage and actual cash value may not amount to very much. But, these few extra dollars per year can make the difference in being able to replace everything at current prices.

Which of these best describes your personal property insurance as part of your renter insurance

We were also interested to know which insurance companies tenants preferred when looking for tenant insurance. We found that State Farm and Geico were the most popular among tenants in our research, followed by Progressive and Lemonade.

2022 Renter’s Insurance Costs

Anyone concerned may about their budget occasionally looks for ways to reduce expenses. One expenditure they reconsider is their tenant insurance premiums. Nonetheless, there are two things renters may fail to think about – the amount of coverage they get compared to the premium, and how much the budget will increase if they have a loss.

Average Annual Premium by Deductible

Among those with no claims history

Our study showed that the average premium for a tenant policy is just $211 per year! That amounts to less than a car wash or a cup of coffee every day. Considering a tenant policy typically covers tens of thousands of dollars in contents and hundreds of thousands in liability coverage, a tenant insurance policy provides astounding value. The value is particularly significant, especially considering the average home insurance policy is more than seven times higher at  $1,584 a year.

insurance premium comparison

We also found the most common deductible is $500, as 53 percent of renters chose this option. The deductible is the amount a tenant would have to pay before an insurance company would pay for a loss.

The $500 average deductible was a bit surprising, considering the premiums are only $5 to $6 per month more for a $0 or $250 deductible. However, this might be because tenants are often in a rush to purchase a policy and may not shop around for multiple quotes. They may also think they’re unlikely to need the coverage, and thus choose a high deductible.

Top discounts on renter’s insurance

Tenants can offset a higher premium generated by a lower deductible by taking advantage of as many discounts as possible.

Our study showed that 85 percent received at least one discount and 60 percent of renters received two or more discounts on their tenant insurance policies. About 43 percent of renters chose to bundle their tenant insurance policies with auto or other insurance policies. With the popularity of online bill-pay plans, about 35 percent of tenants can get an additional discount for going paperless.

Which of these discounts apply to your current renters insurance policy

Fifteen percent of tenants were not getting any discounts, which may be because they were unaware of the possibility or failed to ask for them. The best way to find all available discounts is to ask an insurance agent for a policy review.

What about roommates?

As rents soar and inflation increases, more and more people will be looking to split the rent with roommates. Those looking to save even more might wonder if they can share a renter’s insurance policy with their roommate. In a situation where a roommate has a tenant policy and the other does not, the tenant insurance does not extend to other roommates as they are not related to each other.

However, one renter’s insurance policy would cover related people in a household such as the spouses, children, and parents of a policyholder. The caveat is the coverage limits may not be enough to protect everyone’s personal property.

Either way, it is best for both family members living together and unrelated roommates to have their own tenant insurance policies for maximum coverage.

Renter’s Insurance Market Forecast

The good news about renter’s insurance is that tenants can count on their tenant insurance premiums to be relatively stable. While 43 percent of homeowners indicated their home insurance premiums went up over the previous year, only 18 percent of tenant insurance premiums increased.

Did your renter insurance premium change in the last 12 months

While history shows that tenant insurance premiums tend to be fairly steady, certain conditions could cause them to trend upward. A tenant who files a claim on their tenant insurance policy will likely see an increase in their premium, although only three percent of tenants in our study had ever filed one.

Increases in tenant insurance can happen for other reasons besides claims. For example, suppose insurance companies pay out claims in the hundreds of thousands of dollars after major catastrophes like Hurricane Ian. In that case, insurance companies will have no choice but to increase premiums.

Inflation may also impact increased tenant insurance premiums as it will cost more to replace damaged or stolen property. Lastly, excessive lawsuits could negatively impact insurance companies’ profitability, which could also have a bearing on increasing tenant insurance premiums.

Most renters have no plans to change their coverage

In light of the economy, housing market, and other societal factors, what plans do tenants have regarding their tenant insurance policies? Our study showed that most renters would not be making any changes to their tenant insurance policies. It stands to reason if something is not broken, why fix it?

About one in 20 insured renters plan to change their coverage or change their insurer altogether. Another six percent of insured tenants plan to cancel their policies without switching to a new insurer. They may be doing so for reasons such as moving in with a family member, purchasing a home, or moving out of the country.

What changes in your renters insurance coverage are you planning in the next 12 months

Tenants who are unhappy with their current tenant insurance company may be canceling their coverage at the renewal date or sooner. Budget-savvy tenants commonly leave their present insurance carriers to save money. There is not really a downside to switching insurance companies as long as tenants switch to an insurance company that is financially strong and has a good reputation among its policyholders. The main risk is canceling the old policy before the new one officially goes into effect, which would create a coverage gap.

Reducing coverage is one way to get a lower premium, yet too low of a limit for contents or liability could defeat the purpose of having tenant insurance. In this case, tenants would run the risk of being able to get their contents replaced or not having enough liability to cover a lawsuit in the event of a claim.

How likely are you to purchase a renters insurance policy in the next 12 months

According to our research, 16 percent of renters without insurance are likely to purchase a policy within the next year. This could be nearly 8 million new customers. However, most renters who do not have tenant insurance aren’t likely to purchase a policy anytime soon. These individuals may not be required to have insurance coverage or simply not feel their possessions are at risk of loss.

With increases in the number and severity of natural disasters and the rising cost of replacing personal items, a tenant insurance policy is a wise investment.

All tenants benefit by purchasing a tenant insurance policy, and they far outweigh the cost of purchasing tenant insurance. Therefore, the premiums for tenant insurance are quite affordable for any budget. In addition, discounts for tenant insurance policies are plentiful, making them even more lucrative.

As we move into 2023, tenant insurance will continue to be a wise choice for renters, and the market will remain steady despite housing market volatility.

In October 2022, we conducted an online poll of 1,504 renters. Those with renters’ insurance were invited to participate in a more detailed questionnaire about their specific policies. 55 percent were women, 36 percent were men, and about 9 percent did not provide their gender. Participants ranged in age from 18 to 84 with a mean of 35.

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Farmers Renters Insurance Review and Prices

One of the least expensive companies in our study

Offers variety of additional coverage options, including identity theft

Offers several discounts to increase savings on rates

Not available in all states

Availability of discounts may vary by state

Table of Contents

  • Farmers Review
  • State Availability
  • What's Included

Farmers Insurance was founded in 1928 and currently covers more than 10 million households. Renters insurance is just one of the insurance products it offers, and it can be bundled with other products such as car insurance or life insurance.

Farmers Renters Insurance Details

  • #8 in  Best Renters Insurance Companies  (tie)
  • #3 in  Cheapest Renters Insurance Companies

Farmers Renters Insurance Review

Farmers renters insurance includes the same standard coverage as other renters insurance companies. This includes coverage for damaged, destroyed, or stolen personal property, as well as liability coverage, medical payments if someone is injured, and additional living expenses if you have to stay somewhere else while repairs are made after a covered peril. Policyholders can also purchase additional coverage to protect high-value items, replace electronics at current value, and help in the event of identity theft.

Farmers is No. 3 in our Cheapest Renters Insurance Companies of 2024 rating, with a median premium price of $18.42 per month. Policyholders could save more with discounts for bundling renters and auto policies, remaining claim-free for five or more years, or for having a security system. However, discounts may vary by state, so policyholders may not qualify for all available discounts.

Also, the company does not provide renters insurance in Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C.

Farmers does make it easy to get a quote and to purchase renters insurance, which can be done online or by calling an agent. If you need to file a claim, you can do so by phone, online, text, or using the company’s mobile app.

Bottom Line:

Farmers offers some of the cheapest rates for renters insurance in our rating, but it’s not available nationwide. The company offers both standard and additional coverage to protect all your belongings. And policyholders can file claims in a variety of ways at their convenience.

Popular Renters Insurance Companies

case study on renters insurance

Lemonade »

case study on renters insurance

Liberty Mutual »

Farmers »

Renters Insurance Coverage Availability Map

Available in:

  • Connecticut
  • Massachusetts
  • Mississippi
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota

What Does Renters Insurance Coverage From Farmers Include?

Renters insurance from Farmers covers:

  • Personal property if damaged by covered perils, such as fire, burglary, or vandalism
  • Liability coverage if a guest is injured on the rental property
  • Medical payments coverage if a guest is injured on a policyholder’s rental premises
  • Additional living expenses, such as housing and food, if a policyholder is forced to move out for temporary repairs to their rental residence

What Additional Renters Insurance Coverages Are Offered by Farmers?

Personal articles floaters are available for jewelry, art, or other high-value items. Farmers offers additional coverage for the replacement cost of electronics, which lets you replace stolen or damaged items with brand new equivalents, instead of settling for the current value of the older items. Renters insurance customers can also add Identity Shield, which can help recover a policyholder’s identity, assist in notifying credit bureaus of identity theft, replace important documents, and compensate for a policyholder’s time and other related expenses.

How Much Does Farmers Renters Insurance Cost?

The median premium price for Farmers is $18.42 per month for a policy for one single resident, in a two-bedroom, 1.5-bathroom home measuring between 1,000 and 1,999 square feet. Coverage includes $25,000 for property, $100,000 for liability, and $3,000 for electronics. The policy has a $500 deductible.

What Renters Insurance Discounts Are Offered by Farmers?

Farmers has several available discounts for renters insurance, though availability may vary by state. Customers may qualify for policy discounts by bundling auto insurance and life insurance policies with a renters insurance policy from Farmers. Farmers also offers a discount for policyholders who have been claim-free for five years in a row.

Farmers also offers discounts for households that are smoke-free for a minimum of two consecutive years. Installing an approved electronic security system or fire alarm may also yield discounts. Select professionals – such as doctors, nurses, engineers, dentists, teachers, police personnel, and firefighters – may be entitled to discounts as well.

How Do I Buy a Renters Insurance Policy From Farmers Insurance?

To purchase a renters insurance policy, you can talk to a local Farmers agent, or hop on the website to learn more about different coverage options and policies. An online quote can be obtained within minutes.

The process is similar to other insurers, and you’ll be asked to input your ZIP code and basic personal information such as your name, address, and date of birth. You’ll also need to provide basics about your living situation, such as whether you are living with roommates and if there are protective security devices installed. You’ll receive a quote for standard renters insurance along with coverage options.


How Do I File a Claim With Farmers Insurance?

You can file a renters insurance claim in a number of ways: through your local Farmers insurance agent, by filing a claim on the Farmers website, or via text. You can also file a claim through the Farmers mobile app, or by calling its claims center.

The amount of time it takes to process a claim depends on how complex the situation is, how available and cooperative the other parties involved in the claim are, and the extent of the damages and injuries involved. Policyholders can choose to work with the vendor or contractors of their choice.

Farmers Insurance vs. the Competition

Farmers vs. progressive.

While Farmers and Progressive tied at No. 8 as the Best Renters Insurance Companies of 2024, there are some differences. For instance, Farmers ranked No. 3 for cheapest renters insurance, while Progressive is $4.27 per month more than Farmers.

Both companies offer additional coverage, although not necessarily the same. For instance, Farmers offers coverage for identity theft, while Progressive offers coverage for damage due to water backups. Both companies offer a variety of discounts, such as a multi-policy discount, which could help policyholders save on their renters insurance premiums.

In addition, Progressive is more widely available, providing renters insurance in all but California and Massachusetts. Farmers is less widely available, and is not available in Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, and Washington D.C.

Progressive does have a slightly better AM Best rating (A+) for financial strength than Farmers (A).

Learn more in our Progressive review .

Farmers vs. Nationwide

Both Farmers and Nationwide tied for No. 8 as the Best Renters Insurance Companies of 2024, but Farmers’ rates are slightly less than those of Nationwide, which according to our sample policy had a rate of $19.67 per month, only a little over a dollar per month more than Farmers’ rate. Both companies also offer several discounts that could make those rates even more affordable.

Renters insurance policies include standard coverage as well as optional add-ons. For example, Farmers offers additional coverage for identity theft while Nationwide offers inflation protection coverage. If the policyholder has a roommate, both companies require the roommates to purchase their own renters insurance policy, except if the policyholders are married or domestic partners.

Neither Farmers nor Nationwide offers renters insurance in all 50 states or Washington, D.C., but there is some variation in which states are not covered.

Renters can file claims with both companies by phone or online, but Farmers offers the ability to file claims by text and using the company app. Nationwide has an AM Best financial strength rating of A+, while Farmers has an A rating.

Learn more in our Nationwide review .

Farmers Renters Insurance FAQ

In general, renters insurance covers water damage caused by defects or damage to the home’s plumbing or HVAC systems, such as burst pipes, sprinkler systems, or broken air conditioners. It also covers water damage caused by water that penetrates your rental home from a neighboring unit (like if your neighbor’s bathtub or sink overflows). Renters insurance doesn't cover damage from outside water sources such as floods.

Farmers renters insurance covers water damage caused by sources inside the building, but generally doesn't cover flooding. Flood insurance is usually a separate policy.

In general, a renters insurance policy will only cover mold damage if the mold is the result of a covered peril, such as water from an inside source.

Farmers renters insurance typically covers theft from the rental property, as well as theft from cars or hotel rooms that occurs during travel.

As each situation is unique, coverage for broken windows would depend on the circumstances, including who was responsible and the policyholder's coverage.

Farmers renters insurance covers fire damage to the policyholder’s personal property.

A bedbug infestation in a rental property is generally considered to be caused by a lack of standard maintenance and isn't covered by most renters insurance policies.

Like most standard renters policies, Farmers doesn't cover the cost of moving personal possessions from one residence to another. If a renter is forced to move out for temporary repairs to their residence, additional living expenses coverage may help with the extra costs of housing and food.

Unless the roommate is a spouse or registered domestic partner, Farmers recommends that each roommate purchase their own renters insurance policy to help protect personal possessions and assets.

If the student is still a permanent resident of the parent’s home, their personal property at their college dorm room might be covered under the parents’ homeowners policy. However, there might be age caps and other coverage limitations.

The Farmers mobile app is available for iOS and Android platforms. It offers easy access to bills and payments, policy documents, claims filing and management, and contact with a Farmers agent.

Customers who want to make any changes to their policy should discuss their options with their local Farmers agent. They can also cancel their policy by contacting Farmers claims customer service.

  • Best Renters Insurance Companies of 2024
  • Cheapest Renters Insurance Companies of 2024
  • How Much Does Renters Insurance Cost?
  • How To Buy Renters Insurance
  • How Does Renters Insurance Work?
  • What Does Renters Insurance Cover?
  • How To File a Renters Insurance Claim
  • How To Bundle Renters and Auto Insurance
  • Geico vs. Allstate Renters Insurance
  • Allstate vs. State Farm Renters Insurance
  • Geico vs. State Farm Renters Insurance
  • State Farm vs. Progressive Renters Insurance
  • State Farm vs. Lemonade Renters Insurance

Other Renters Insurance Companies

  • American Family
  • Erie Insurance
  • Liberty Mutual
  • Progressive
  • The Hartford

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  • Best Life Insurance Companies of 2024
  • Cheapest Life Insurance Companies of 2024
  • Best Homeowners Insurance Companies of 2024
  • Cheapest Homeowners Insurance Companies of 2024
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Why You Can Trust Us: 24 Insurance Companies and Agencies Researched

U.S. News 360 Reviews takes an unbiased approach to our recommendations. When you use our links to buy products, we may earn a commission but that in no way affects our editorial independence.

Reis Insurance Agency

Renters Insurance: Learn from this True Story

October 2, 2012 By Reis Insurance

Here’s a true case study about an apartment in Stillwater, Minn., that might make you want to learn more about renters insurance.

One renter in a four-plex apartment building created a huge mess for the other tenants with overflowing water. She accidentally left a faucet running for five hours, and the resulting bathroom flood caused such damage that three of the four tenants had to temporarily relocate while repairs were done. Perhaps worse, only one of the tenants had renters insurance, so the other three were left to replace their damaged personal property on their own. Of course, the property owner replaced the carpet and drywall, repainted damaged walls and completed other necessary repairs. But he was not responsible for replacing tenants’ property. While the tenants did nothing wrong (not counting the woman who left the faucet unattended) and could do nothing to prevent the disaster, they were left with temporary housing needs and water-soaked possessions.

What Does Renters Insurance Cover?

The story is a good example of what a typical renters insurance claim can be—it’s not exciting enough to make the local news, but it can set your life and finances back for months or even years if you don’t have renters insurance. You might not think it can happen to you, but it can.

Renters insurance typically covers:

  • Your personal property, both in your apartment and in your vehicles. Since most people acquire their possessions over time, it’s easy to lose track of its accumulative value. But consider the cost of replacing electronics, food, clothes and more all at once. Also, say your car is stolen. The stuff inside is not covered by auto insurance ; you would need renters coverage for that.
  • Temporary living expenses if you need to relocate while repairs are being made to your home.
  • Most liability claims in the event that someone is hurt while in your rental property.

Affordable Protection for Your Possessions

A common misconception among renters is that they can’t afford the coverage. The fact is that renters insurance will usually cost less than a few hundred dollars each year. Quickly scan your home and tally the value of your belongings in your head. You may be surprised how fast that number reaches into the thousands. You can protect all those possessions for just a few dollars a month. Renters insurance covers such disasters and damage caused by plumbing leaks, fire or smoke, lightning, windstorm or hail, volcanic eruption, ice, vandalism, theft, explosion and falling objects. Floods and earthquakes are typically excluded from standard renters insurance. (In our experience, volcanoes and earthquakes rarely hit Northwestern Wisconsin, but one never knows.) Contact Reis Insurance Agency to discuss your renters insurance options. We’ll provide no-obligation quotes from several of the insurance companies we work with, so you will know your needs are being met. You may qualify for an insurance discount if you have multiple policies with the same insurance company.

Insurance can be confusing at times and everyone's needs are different. If you have questions regarding coverage, pricing, or anything else related to insurance, send us an email or give us a call .

If you'd like to get a free, no-obligation quote, all you have to do is ask!

Contact Reis Today!

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Apartment building

Why Renters Need Insurance

Updated January 1, 1 . AmFam Team

You may already know that renters insurance helps cover you for losses from theft, fire, vandalism, water damage and even liability, like bodily injury and medical expenses. And at American Family Insurance, we think it’s important you know exactly why you should proactively protect yourself from the unexpected.

Take a look at the following real-life insurance stories that our renters customers filed with us. You’ll see why they were happy to have renters insurance — and maybe you’ll even decide renters insurance is a good idea for you to have, too.

Theft Renters Claims

  • Our customer’s rental home was broken into while they were away. The intruders forced entry to the back door and got away with the television, DVD player, stereo system and jewelry. All of which was covered by renters insurance.
  • Another customer’s apartment was broken into over the weekend while they were out of town. Diamond rings, pendants, earrings, money and computers — all stolen. Thanks to our itemized property coverage, which broadens coverage for your more expensive items, like a wedding or engagement ring, the customer was reimbursed for these high value items, which would have cost a pretty penny to replace on their own.
  • Our customer’s vehicle was broken into when it was parked on the street, and some cash, sunglasses and CDs were stolen. That’s right, you’re covered even if something was stolen from your vehicle!

Keep in mind, not only will we cover the cost to replace your items, but we’ll replace it with what it would cost to buy new in today’s market, even though your stolen property may be worth less.

Fire Renters Claims

  • A customer’s apartment experienced damage from a grease fire — not good! Luckily, they were able to file a renters insurance claim that paid for not only fire damages to their personal goods and the kitchen, but also for temporary living arrangements while they searched for a new apartment.
  • A neighbor’s apartment caught fire and smoke from the fire damaged some of our customer’s clothes, rugs, and furniture — and made the apartment uninhabitable. Their renters insurance helped cover the cost to hire a specialist to clean their belongings and the apartment.
  • A brush fire started outside of the customer’s apartment and burned some of their outdoor furniture. Fortunately, they were able to replace it all after filing a renters insurance claim.

Learn more about renters insurance for fires >

Vandalism Renters Claims

  • Teenagers broke into the customer’s apartment and spray painted some of their furniture and artwork on the walls. Renters insurance helped cover the cost to replace and restore the vandalized property.

Water Renters Claims

  • The roof leaked in the customer’s apartment and caused damaged to their TV, laptop and bed. The landlord covered the cost to repair the roof, but it’s not the landlord’s responsibility to cover personal property of the insured — that’s where renters insurance stepped in.
  • When a pipe burst in the customer’s apartment, water damaged some of their furniture. New furniture definitely isn’t cheap — good thing they had renters insurance!

Learn more about renters insurance for water damage > 

Property Damage Renters Claims

  • The insured’s dog got away with their parent’s dentures and chewed them up. Because the insured had renters insurance, they were able to replace the dentures.
  • The insured was grilling at their apartment complex and things started to heat up — so much so that a fire started and burned a communal shed. Good thing they had renters insurance!
  • Kids will be kids, and sometimes that involves accidents. The customer’s kids were playing baseball and accidentally broke a neighbor’s window, which cost quite a bit to replace. The insured filed a claim and was able to cover the cost of the window without having to pay out of pocket.
  • Fourth of July fireworks broke the window of a customer’s apartment, damaging their dresser and TV. The customer was able to replace them because they had renters insurance.

Learn more about renters insurance for property damage >

Bodily Injury Renters Claims

  • Sure, dogs are man’s best friend — but that doesn’t always include the mailman. In this instance, the customer’s dog bit the mailman outside of their apartment. Thankfully, the mailman dropped the lawsuit when the customer was able to pay for the mailman’s medical bills after filing a bodily injury claim.
  • A customer’s child was biking and swerved into the oncoming bike path. Unfortunately, the child ran into a biker riding the other direction and caused injuries. The child’s parents filed a claim and the expenses for the bikers injuries were covered.
  • A customer was rollerblading and ran into a pedestrian, causing injuries to that person. Yet another instance of renters insurance saving the day.

Learn more about renters liability coverage >

Medical Expenses Renters Claims

  • An elderly guest fell when the insured’s dog greeted them. The guest broke several bones, which required significant surgeries. Luckily, renters insurance was able to help cover some of the cost of their medical expenses.
  • A customer was cooking and accidentally spilled on the floor. Their friend didn’t see the mess and slipped, fell and had to be rushed to the emergency room. The ER and ambulance were paid for by the insured’s renters insurance.

It pays to be proactive about your protection. When the unexpected happens, you’ll be glad you had renters insurance. Find out more about how renters insurance can benefit you . Then connect with an American Family Insurance agent (Opens in a new tab) to see how you can get renters insurance protection today.

Still not sure if you need renters insurance? Ask yourself these four questions . And be sure to check out our Renters and Apartment Resource Hub , where you’ll find tips and advice about renters insurance, roommates, landlords, DIY ideas and more!

This article is for informational purposes only and includes information widely available through different sources.

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  • What Does Renters Insurance Cover?

Table of Contents

  • Renters Insurance Coverage

Does Renters Insurance Cover Theft?

Does renters insurance cover storage units, key takeaways:.

  • Renters insurance typically covers fire, windstorms, lightning, explosions, theft, and vandalism.
  • Your personal property, personal liability, additional living expenses, and guest medical expenses are usually covered under your renters insurance.
  • It typically does not cover earthquakes, floods, bedbugs, mold, or damage to the exterior of the building.

Though renters insurance might be confusing to a new renter, the typical renters insurance coverage is fairly standard from company to company. This guide to renters insurance coverage will help you figure out how it can benefit you and what to expect from your new company and policy. After reading about renters insurance coverage, be sure to check out our Best Renters Insurance Companies of 2024 ratings, where you can see which option best fits your needs.

Covered disasters and events generally include smoke, fire, explosions, theft, vandalism, windstorms, lightning, and water damage from internal sources, such as plumbing or intrusion from a neighboring unit, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). Common exclusions include earthquakes and floods from weather or other external water sources.

Typically, renters insurance provides four types of coverage: personal property coverage, renters liability insurance, guest medical expenses, and additional living expenses.

Personal property or personal belongings coverage is what most people think of when it comes to renters insurance. Personal belongings include things like furniture, clothing, shoes, electronics and devices, appliances and kitchen equipment, home goods like bedding and towels, and most sports and hobby equipment, i.e. bicycles and musical instruments.

Certain personal belongings may be excluded from a standard policy if they're above a certain value, such as jewelry, artwork, collectibles, and specialized computer or hobby equipment. A policyholder will have the option to add coverage for items that exceed standard coverage limits.

You may be able to choose between two different types of personal property coverage: actual cash value and replacement cost coverage. In a nutshell, actual cash value coverage compensates you for what your items are worth in their present-day condition. As a result, it’s likely that your insurance settlement won’t provide sufficient reimbursement to purchase new replacements. With a replacement cost policy, you’ll pay higher premiums, but you’ll be compensated for what it costs to replace your old possessions with new ones.

Renters liability or personal liability covers the policyholder in case of a lawsuit resulting from incidents originating on the rental property, such as accidental injuries, injuries from household pets, or accidental damage to a neighbor’s personal property. Your personal liability coverage can usually be increased or augmented with an umbrella insurance policy if needed.

Guest medical expenses coverage pays the medical expenses of guests injured in your home.

Additional living expenses coverage provides reimbursement if a covered disaster results in temporary relocation from the rental property. This ensures the policyholder is compensated for additional lodging, food, and other living expenses while they are living somewhere else.

For more information, see How Does Renters Insurance Work and How To Buy Renters Insurance .

Renters insurance can provide coverage for most items lost to theft and most providers extend this coverage even when you’re not at your rental property. Renters insurance typically covers your personal belongings from theft whether you’re at home, away on vacation, or running errands around town. A renters insurance policy even covers items stolen from inside your car, such as a laptop or headphones. Where renters insurance policies do not provide coverage though, is for your actual vehicle if it’s stolen or damaged during a theft, or if damage occurs against the structure of your rental property.

Renters insurance provides coverage for the repair and replacement of your personal belongings (within the limits of your policy), even when stored in a storage unit. This means your personal belongings also receive coverage located inside a storage unit. However, the coverage amount for items outside of your property (such as in a storage unit) may be subject to sublimits. This means that your belongings in a storage unit wouldn’t be covered up to the full amount allocated for personal belongings in your policy. Instead, depending on where you live, they may be subject to a sublimit of 10% of your total personal belongings coverage or $1,000.

Coverage typically includes repair or replacement if you experience a covered peril, such as fire, water damage, and vandalism. But check your policy to know what is considered a covered peril.

Does Renters Insurance Cover Bedbugs?

In general, renters insurance doesn't cover damage caused by bedbugs or removal of a bedbug infestation. This also goes for other types of pest and insect infestations. Bedbugs aren't covered because insurance companies consider pest control to be part of standard home maintenance, whereas renters insurance is designed to compensate for events that can't be prevented.

Does Renters Insurance Cover Flooding?

Renters insurance, much like homeowners insurance and other types of property insurance, typically doesn't cover flood damage. As distinguished from water damage, flood damage is generally defined as water that comes from outside or underground sources, as opposed to something inside the unit like a broken pipe. If your rental property is in a flood zone and you are concerned about flooding, you may be able to buy flood insurance through your insurance company or directly from the National Flood Insurance Program .

Does Renters Insurance Cover Mold Damage?

In general, mold isn’t covered by a renters insurance policy unless it’s determined to come from a problem that is covered, such as an internal water leakage from plumbing or a neighboring unit. Ongoing mold problems, mold caused by neglect or poor maintenance, and mold caused by flooding or outside leakage most likely won’t be covered, according to United Policyholders .

Steven Weisbart, non-resident scholar and retired senior vice president and chief economist at the III, says mold is an uncommon problem in a rental unit, but additional coverage is available if the renter is concerned. “If you’re unlikely to have that problem, it’s not a big deal that the policy doesn’t cover it,” he says.

Does Renters Insurance Cover Temporary Housing?

The additional living expenses part of your renters insurance policy applies if you're forced to relocate temporarily from your rental unit due to a covered disaster. You’ll be covered for expenses above and beyond your normal living expenses, including those related to temporary housing, such as hotel bills or a temporary rental unit.

Does Renters Insurance Cover Dog Bites?

A renters insurance policy’s personal liability coverage can apply to dog bites under certain circumstances, such as if the policyholder’s dog bites a guest, the mail carrier, or someone else who's not part of the household on the property. Depending on the policy, it may cover medical expenses as well as protection from a lawsuit related to the incident.

Does Renters Insurance Cover Property Damage?

A standard renters insurance policy covers damage to the policyholder’s personal property up to the policy limits for a covered event. Insurance for personal property damage is the most common type of damage coverage in a renters insurance policy. Renters insurance also covers personal liability arising from the accidental damage of someone else’s property.

Does Renters Insurance Cover Fire?

Fire damage is generally part of a standard renters insurance policy. This includes damage or loss of personal property caused by a fire or smoke. If the rental property is severely damaged and deemed uninhabitable after a fire, the policyholder willalso be compensated for additional living expenses while living elsewhere.

Does Renters Insurance Cover Car Theft?

Renters insurance covers theft of your personal items from your car parked on your rental property, but it doesn't cover theft of the car itself (or parts of it), even if it's parked on the rental property at the time. An auto insurance policy covers vehicle theft or damage.

Does Renters Insurance Cover Moving Costs?

Regular moving costs aren’t covered by renters insurance, but if you’re forced to relocate because your rental property is severely damaged and uninhabitable, the additional living expenses part of your policy will kick in to help cover moving costs. Other costs covered by additional living expenses reimbursement include travel, temporary rental unit or hotel bills, and meals above and beyond your usual living expenses.

What Isn't Covered by Renters Insurance?

Though typical renters insurance covers a long list of disasters and situations, there are many exclusions as well. The good news is that if any of these exclusions are cause for concern, there’s usually a way to purchase additional coverage for them.

Personal property coverage pertains to almost all of a renter’s household belongings up to the property limits, but there are some important exclusions. If you have especially valuable belongings, check the coverage limits of your renters insurance policy. Often, individual items valued over a certain dollar amount are excluded or may not be fully covered. You’ll need to document your ownership of these items with any evidence you have, such as photos, acquisition dates, and receipts. Your insurance company may also require that you get these items appraised to document their dollar value and submit all related paperwork.

Once you agree to the cost for additional coverage, via an endorsement or floater policy, these items will be covered up to those dollar amounts if they are stolen or destroyed. You also have the option of raising your total policy limits, though specific items will still have individual dollar limits. The cost for this additional coverage depends on your company and your policy.

Other items excluded from personal property coverage include fixtures or appliances that came with the rental unit, which are your landlord’s problem. Cars and other vehicles aren't covered, even if they were parked or stored on the rental property when damaged or stolen. Though personal items stolen from a car are covered, any theft of a part of a vehicle (such as wheels or stereo systems) or theft of the vehicle itself would be instead covered by your auto insurance policy.

Finally, check with your insurance company to verify if the personal property of other household occupants is covered. According to the III, married couples and relatives are usually automatically covered by a policy. Coverage may not extend to unmarried partners or roommates depending on state regulations and policies of individual insurance companies. You may be able to name additional beneficiaries of the policy, or they may need their own policies.

As for covered disasters, there are several that aren't covered under a typical renters insurance policy, including earthquakes, floods, and terrorist attacks. Most insurance companies offer earthquake coverage, and flood coverage is available through the National Flood Insurance Program or your insurance company. The cost of these coverages may vary by location.

Other events that are often excluded from renters insurance policies include mold and bedbugs. Mold coverage depends on the source of the mold, similar to how water damage may or may not be covered depending on the source of the water. If the mold is related to an indoor water leak and is a new problem, it may be covered. However, if it’s related to a flood or is an ongoing, known problem on the property, it probably won't be covered. Bedbugs are also excluded because an infestation of bedbugs or other pests is considered preventable by regular home or building maintenance.

Regular moving costs aren’t covered by renters insurance because they're considered normal living expenses rather than the result of a disaster. The exception is if the moving expenses are the result of a disaster, in which case they may be covered as part of the policy’s additional living expenses coverage for temporary relocation reimbursement.

Renters Insurance Replacement Cost

A renters insurance replacement cost policy provides extra compensation if you file a claim for stolen or damaged personal possessions. Specifically, it enables you to replace your old items with new equivalents, rather than compensating you for your items’ depreciated value, which generally won’t provide enough money to replace them outright. This is especially valuable in the case of items such as electronics and computers, which depreciate quickly but are expensive to replace. However, this coverage does complicate the claims process a bit. Here’s a brief overview.

With an actual cash value policy, your insurance company will use the documentation in your claim to figure out how much your stolen or damaged items were worth and cut you a check for that amount, and that’s generally the end of it. With a replacement cost claim, you’ll get an initial check for actual cash value, but to claim the replacement cost part of the settlement, you’ll need to prove you actually replaced the items.

The insurance company will give you a timeframe to complete this process (generally a few months, depending on your policy and your insurance company), and you’ll need to submit receipts for the replaced items. Then you’ll get another check to cover the difference between the actual cash value and the replacement cost.

According to the III, a replacement cost policy costs only about 10% more than an actual cash value policy. Considering that renters insurance is fairly inexpensive to begin with, a 10% increase won’t add much, and many renters will find the benefits are well worth the extra expense upfront in case they ever need to file a claim.

How Do I File a Renters Insurance Claim?

Like any other type of insurance policy, you buy a renters policy hoping you’ll never need it. But if you do need to file a claim , the faster your file and the more thorough your documentation, the faster you’ll be compensated and the less likely it is that your claim will be denied.

Let’s look at the basic steps for filing a renters insurance claim:

  • Report the situation to your landlord, who may be needed to initiate repairs.
  • File a police report in the event of theft or vandalism as this will be part of the documentation for your claim.
  • Assess your current safety , keep receipts for any repairs you make to secure the property (such as calling a locksmith to repair broken locks), and relocate temporarily if necessary.
  • Contact the insurance company with an initial report, inform them a claim will be filed, and double check how long you have to file the claim.
  • Document any damaged or destroyed belongings with photos or video, as detailed as possible, and do not throw away any of the items.
  • Complete and submit the claims form.

Remember to update your personal belongings inventory – which experts recommend you create to determine how much renters insurance you need – well before you need to file a claim.

When Does Renters Insurance Pay Out?

The legal information site points out that the sooner you file your renters insurance claim, the sooner you’ll be compensated. Most insurance companies expect you to file your claim as soon as possible, generally within 48 to 72 hours.

As Weisbart explains, you'll typically be expected to document and submit your claim as soon after the event as possible. “Virtually every insurance company that I’m aware of really wants to settle claims quickly,” he says. “That’s a very high priority of theirs.”

So, how long does it actually take to get paid? That depends on several factors, including how complicated your claim is, the kind of insurance you have, and whether you reopen your claim at some point to document an additional loss. In most cases, you’ll receive multiple checks rather than being compensated all at once.

The first step is to submit your claim and documentation. If the whole rental unit and all your belongings were damaged to the point they’re considered a total loss, you’ll generally receive a check for your policy limit. If you have a straightforward, well-documented actual cash value claim, the process should move fairly quickly (sometimes in as little as a few hours, according to Nolo ). However, if you have to meet with a claims adjuster or provide additional documentation, those steps can hold up the process.

How long it takes for your renters insurance to pay out also depends on whether you have an actual cash value or replacement value policy. An actual cash value policy compensates you for the depreciated value of your personal belongings. By contrast, a replacement value policy will pay out as if your items were new, so you can afford to replace that old laptop and smartphone with their new equivalents.

But even with a replacement value policy, you'll first get a check for the actual value of your items. You'll then have to submit receipts to prove you actually replaced the items in question, and you’ll have a limited amount of time, usually several months, to complete this process. Of course, the longer this process takes, the longer it will be before you receive all of your compensation.

Even if you accept an initial settlement check, you have an additional amount of time (usually one year) to reopen your claim and submit documentation for additional losses. So, even if your insurance company issues the first check quickly, it may be awhile before you’re fully compensated.

Unless your roommate is also your spouse, a close family member, or named in your policy, your renters insurance probably won’t cover them. That includes your boyfriend, girlfriend, or domestic partner. Some insurers may allow you to add your roommate to your policy, but in most cases, each roommate should have their own renters insurance policy.

Your renters insurance policy may cover electronics, such as your computer or gaming console, but it depends on the circumstances. Your personal belongings, including electronics, will be covered under covered events such as a fire or break-in, but they may not be covered under excluded events (such as a flood if you don’t have flood coverage).

To determine how much renters insurance to buy, begin by adding up the value of your belongings to get an idea of how much coverage you’d need to protect them. Also consider the value of your other assets, such as bank accounts, to determine the right amount of personal liability coverage you’d need to protect yourself in the event you’re sued or held liable for an accident at your home.

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  • How To Buy Renters Insurance
  • How Does Renters Insurance Work?
  • How To File a Renters Insurance Claim
  • How To Bundle Renters and Auto Insurance
  • Geico vs. Allstate Renters Insurance
  • Allstate vs. State Farm Renters Insurance
  • Geico vs. State Farm Renters Insurance
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Why You Can Trust Us: 24 Insurance Companies and Agencies Researched

U.S. News 360 Reviews takes an unbiased approach to our recommendations. When you use our links to buy products, we may earn a commission but that in no way affects our editorial independence.

case study on renters insurance

A Renter’s Story & Why You Should Have Renter’s Insurance

  • April 22, 2013
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I got a text message from a client and friend of mine, John Brooks.  John’s a realtor with Keller Williams in Dallas ( ) and he and his wife, Aggie, live in a loft style apartment near downtown.  The text message was a picture of their dog watching a fan blow air across the floor that let me know they’d experienced a water leak.  I called John while m y wife, Sheri, and I were heading to meet some friends for dinner, so I could get the full scoop.

Like most busy couples, John and Aggie had gotten up that morning and gone in different directions, both had meetings.  Once John’s meeting had ended, he’d gone home to take care of a few things then headed off to another meeting.  Aggie stopped by their home 15 minutes later only to find water pouring from their ceiling into their apartment.  Aggie called John with the news, so he turned around to help her with the water in their apartment.  While on the way, John called the property manager to report the situation.

It turns out, their upstairs neighbor had left water running in a sink that eventually overflowed and built up enough to cause it to “rain” in their apartment one floor below.  The maintenance people turned the water off and brought fans to both apartments to help dry them out and keep the hardwoods from warping.  John and Aggie were extremely fortunate for several reasons.

  • The water had only been falling into their apartment for maybe 15 minutes as that was the time between when John left and Aggie arrived at their home.
  • The management company was able to quickly shut the water off upstairs and begin cleaning up the water damage.
  • The water fell in an area where there was minimal damage.  The only damage they experienced was to sheet rock and flooring, not their personal property.
  • They have ample renters insurance to protect themselves if the results of the leak had been much worse.
  • By catching it early they didn’t even have to file a claim.

There are two insurance applications their experience helps demonstrate.

  • The physical building (exterior & interior)
  • The finish out of John and Aggie’s home – cabinets, sheet rock, flooring, etc.
  • John and Aggie’s renters’ policy covers all their personal property – clothing, furniture, dishes, computer equipment, electronics, etc.

In fact, if John had filed a claim, his policy would have even paid for them to rent a motel room while their apartment was being repaired, had that been needed.

John and Aggie’s story could have had a much different outcome, had Aggie not walked in the door 15 minutes after John had left.  Had it been several hours:

  • Their apartment could have been flooded.
  • They could have experienced a lot of damage or loss to their personal property that totaled thousands of dollars.
  • They may not have been able to stay home that night or for several nights thereafter.

They were protected from something they never thought would happen to them.  Are you?  If you don’t have renter’s insurance, let us help you.  We have access to 10 excellent companies that can help you affordably.

Share your comments, questions or suggestions with us in the comments section of our blog or on our Facebook page.  I’d love to hear from you.  And if you need an excellent realtor, give John a call.  His number’s on his webpage and he writes a very informative and entertaining blog at .

Evie Wise

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Best renters insurance companies for 2024

case study on renters insurance

Renters insurance is similar to homeowners insurance in that it protects your belongings inside your home, even if you rent. Some insurance companies provide different levels of coverage and therefore, cost, which means it’s good to compare the best renters insurance companies based on cost, coverage, availability and other important factors.

Our top recommendations for best renters insurance this month

Allstate: best for those with poor credit.


Allstate Renters Insurance

  • Available nationwide.
  • Bundling discount.
  • Good cost for those with poor credit.
  • Few discounts offered.
  • Lower J.D. Power score than the national average.
  • May not cover roommates or others in the home.

Allstate is available in every state nationwide, giving the most amount of folks access to renters insurance. They have vast coverage options, including optional add-ons, like flood insurance and personal umbrella policies. They calculate the average cost to be $16 per month.

American Family: Best for families

American Family

American Family Car Insurance

  • Can get a policy through an agent or by applying online.
  • Higher-than-average customer satisfaction.
  • Loyalty, generational, auto-pay and full-pay discounts.
  • Only available in 19 states.
  • Limited personal possession coverage.
  • Higher-than-average monthly cost.

American Family has some of the best discounts available, offering not only the standard autopay and loyalty discounts but also a generational discount. This is nice for young folks who are children of American Family customers. The average cost is $31 per month. Unfortunately, it is only available in 19 states.

Lemonade: Best for online-only experience


Lemonade Renters Insurance

  • Easy application and completion process.
  • One of the least-expensive options out of the companies we evaluated.
  • User-friendly mobile app and online user experience.
  • No agent access.
  • Not available in every state.

It takes a couple of minutes — quite literally — to complete an application and get renters insurance. Not only that, everything about using Lemonade is fast: getting coverage, filing a claim and getting a payout. Lemonade can send you payout through direct deposit so you aren’t waiting on a check in the mail. The average cost for Lemonade is $15 per month.

Liberty Mutual: Best for bundling options

Liberty Mutual

Liberty Mutual Renters Insurance

  • Lots of discounts and bundling options available.
  • Offers good add-on coverage for replacement cost items and blanket jewelry.
  • Easy to file a claim online or over the phone.
  • Customer satisfaction among one of the lowest we evaluated.
  • More expensive than some other options on the market.
  • No loyalty or military discount.

Having the option to bundle different insurance products gives you the chance to get multiple discounts, which is a big plus for Liberty Mutual. There are also lots of ways to get discounts, including getting a quote from Liberty before your current policy expires and not filing a claim within the last five years. The average cost for Liberty Mutual is $27.14 per month.

Nationwide: Best for customer experience


Nationwide Renters Insurance

  • Easy to file a claim over the phone or claim.
  • Easy-to-use apps and website.
  • Policy bundle discounts available.
  • Not available in all states.
  • Only accessible through an agent.
  • No loyalty or military discount available.

While the average cost for Nationwide is neither the most expensive or least expensive, it stands out with its customer service and user experience. It’s easy to file a claim over the phone or online and if you need help, talking to an agent or getting assistance is quick and simple. The average cost for Nationwide is $20 per month.

Progressive: Best for all-in-one insurance


Progressive Renters Insurance

  • Lots of discounts available, like if you pay your policy in full, live in a secured community or opt to receive your documents by email.
  • Available in most states.
  • Good choice to have if you want all your insurance in one place.
  • Not available in California or Massachusetts.
  • Higher premiums than others we evaluated.
  • Lower-than-average customer satisfaction.

Progressive might have premiums on the higher side, but they offer so many different types of insurance that it’s easy to get covered for all your needs. You can get renters insurance as well as coverage for car, life, pets and even your business. The average cost for Progressive is $23 per month.

State Farm: Best overall

State Farm

State Farm Renters Insurance

  • Multiple ways to bundle and get discounts.
  • Offers one of the lowest costs out of those we evaluated.
  • Simple use of both online site and mobile apps to navigate policy, claims, payment and more.

With the most availability alongside the best rate, State Farm takes the rank as the best overall. It has some of the best customer satisfaction among AM Best, showing that alongside its products, it has superb customer service as well. The average cost for State Farm is $13 per month, making it one of the most affordable options on our list.

USAA: Best for military members


USAA Renters Insurance

  • Covers all family members living with you.
  • Hefty bundling options with auto, life, business, health and more insurance options.
  • One of the lowest monthly payments among those we evaluated.
  • Limited to USAA customers who are members of the military and their families.
  • Eligibility restrictions hold it back from getting ranked by J.D. Power.

For military members and their families, USAA is continuously at the top for many of your financial needs, including renters insurance. With low monthly payments — an average of $12 per month — lots of bundling and discount options, as well as the coverage, it’s a great option for those who serve in the military and are eligible to become USAA members.

How to shop for renters insurance

Buying renters insurance isn’t always required but you should explore different options available to you. If your landlord has a company in mind, see what they offer based on coverage. This includes things like your personal possessions, liability and additional living expenses.

Living in a high-risk area can also impact your coverage. Depending on where you live, you may want to add additional coverage for flooding or earthquake insurance. If you have some expensive possessions, you might want to add a rider or consider getting excess liability insurance.

What does renters insurance cover?

Renters insurance usually covers your personal belongings, renters liability and additional living expenses (ALE). This is in case you can’t physically live in your apartment and need to temporarily find housing elsewhere. Renters insurance will cover the difference in cost in case you have to pay more for a temporary place to stay.

How much does renters insurance cost?

The cost of renters insurance varies widely based on geographic location, the size of your space, what you’re insuring and other factors. The average cost of renters insurance is about $259, based on data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Is renters insurance really worth it.

If you’re a renter and you are required to have an insurance policy due to your rental agreement, it’s worth finding the best policy for your circumstances. If you want the extra peace of mind that your stuff is covered on top of your rental agreement even if it isn’t required, renters insurance might be worth it.

When should I bundle renters and car insurance?

If you qualify for bundling and it gives you a discount on your monthly payments when you make them together, then bundling might be a good idea for you. However, if it’s more expensive and doesn’t offer much of a discount, or if you don’t qualify for it, you may want to skip bundling renters and car insurance.

Do college students need renters insurance?

Anyone who rents should consider renters insurance. While it’s not always required, some rental agreements require tenants to have some sort of policy. Even those who don’t have a requirement may want to look into renters insurance for the extra coverage.

Why is renters insurance so expensive?

Renters insurance costs vary widely by the company issuing the insurance. For instance, some companies charge more than $20 a month while others charge $10 a month. You might pay less, depending on your circumstances.

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case study on renters insurance

Case Study: Three Myths About Renter’s Insurance

By --> Chad Ellis -->

It can be a good feeling to get through life with confidence. Confidence that nothing bad will happen unexpectedly to you.  That’s also the dilemma that the insurance companies work hard to overcome to provide adequate coverage in the market. It’s also the reality I face every day as a property restoration professional.  The value of renters insurance is not realized until it is too late. The sad part is that the often-affordable cost of basic coverage is dismissed. It is because “it didn’t seem important at the time”. The major objections to securing and maintaining renters insurance are also myths.

Renter’s Insurance Helps Rebuild Lives

“i don’t own anything valuable.”.

– This is a matter of opinion. Perhaps your clothing and furniture are not designer collector’s items. But, they are still yours. I always urge people to consider the price of even a modest mattress to start understanding the costs of putting their lives back together. Furniture and clothing are not cheap even when it is used. They are your basic needs and you cannot live without them.

“It’s the landlord’s responsibility.”

– Review your lease. The landlord/ property owner is responsible for the dwelling, not your personal belongings. You are not protected by the goodwill of your landlord, and rarely are they in a position to assist you when you chose not to get renter’s insurance.

“I cannot afford renters insurance.”

– I would not be so bold as to assume anyone’s financial capabilities, but often renter’s insurance is a fraction of one month’s rent for an entire year’s worth of coverage. The bottom line: when something bad happens and you look back, you would have found a way to cover the cost.

Fortunately, there are organizations like the American Red Cross to assist victims of floods and fires, but they can only do so much, and at some point, it will be up to you to put your life back together.

Renter’s insurance is not a cure-all in a disaster, but you will recover much quicker and with a lot less uncertainty. I share this with you because I have this conversation with way too many customers when it’s too late. They have to start their lives over again because they fell into the traps that are the myths of renter’s insurance.

Have any inquiries? Reach out to us here.

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Insurance to Millennials: Lemonade Insurance

How do you get millennials excited about insurance lemonade renters insurance..

case study on renters insurance

Lemonade Renters Insurance, a carrier offering homeowners and renters insurance powered by AI and behavioral economics, wanted to launch with a big splash. But how do 1) quickly explain and sell insurance to a new market, and 2) make it appealing and splashy? The answer is: us. And also some great insight and strategy. Read on.

case study on renters insurance

Capture Attention & Clearly Communicate

Working with and supporting Lemonade’s branding philosophy, Colormatics developed an animated explainer that would capture attention quickly, communicate clearly, and build a sense of trust authentically.

Animated explainer videos have become an increasingly popular tool for companies to convey their marketing message. These types of videos work so well because they offer a fun and engaging way to communicate complex ideas in a simple and straightforward manner. They allow companies to showcase their brand personality and values while also highlighting the benefits and features of their products or services. Additionally, animated explainer videos can be easily shared on social media platforms, reaching a wider audience and increasing brand awareness. With their ability to captivate and hold viewers' attention, animated explainer videos have proven to be an effective marketing tool that can help companies differentiate themselves in a crowded marketplace.

case study on renters insurance

Millennials Flocked to Lemonade

With newfound understanding behind the product and 1.5 million views in the first few months, millennials flocked to Lemonade, making them the leading insurer for that age group.

Lemonade Insurance has become a popular choice for millennials due to its convenience, affordability, and tech-savvy approach. As digital natives, millennials are accustomed to handling tasks online, and Lemonade's streamlined user experience makes it easy to obtain insurance without ever having to leave their homes. Additionally, Lemonade's policies are often more affordable than traditional insurance options, which is especially appealing to a generation burdened with student loans and rising living costs. Finally, Lemonade's use of artificial intelligence and chatbots to process claims has won over many tech-savvy millennials who appreciate the efficiency and transparency provided by these cutting-edge technologies. Overall, Lemonade Insurance is a compelling option for millennials who value convenience, affordability, and innovation in their insurance coverage.

Learn more about the Millennial Buyer Persona.

Real Stories, Real Users

case study on renters insurance

Introducing the product was not enough.  After launching in New York, Lemonade asked Colormatics to capture real Lemonade users' enthusiasm for the product. After finding some of these amazing individuals, we put together a series called, ‘Lemonaders of New York.’

Using real people's stories to talk about a company service is a powerful way to connect with potential customers on a personal level. It provides an opportunity to showcase the real-life impact of the service and how it has positively affected the lives of others. These stories create a sense of authenticity and credibility, giving customers a glimpse into what they can expect when they engage with the company. Hearing from real people can also help potential customers relate to the service and see how it can solve their own unique problems. Sharing these stories can create an emotional connection that is difficult to achieve through other forms of marketing, ultimately leading to greater trust in the company and an increased likelihood of a successful customer conversion.

case study on renters insurance

Videos for Re-targeting

Meeting with Lemonade users on the streets of New York, Colormatics constructed some great stories about all the important aspects of Lemonade: the ease of use; the charitable donations; and the no-stress claims process. The video series successfully got potential buyers to see users' true stories, while also an excellent tool for conversion re-targeting.

More about Lemonade Renters Insurance

Lemonade offers a unique approach to renters insurance that combines a tech-savvy business model with comprehensive coverage that protects your personal property. Not only does Lemonade cover the basics, such as fire and theft, but they also offer insurance for musical instruments, pet insurance for dog bites, and extra coverage for items like jewelry or electronics. Bundling options for home insurance and pet insurance are also available. One of the most impressive aspects of Lemonade is their customer service. With their flat fee and easy-to-use Lemonade app, you can file a claim in just a few clicks. And if you need to speak with a representative, they have a team of knowledgeable professionals ready to assist you. Lemonade's innovative approach to insurance review has also set them apart from other insurance companies. Their quick and straightforward process allows you to get the insurance coverage you need without any of the typical hassle. Overall, Lemonade's comprehensive coverage and customer-focused approach make them an excellent choice for renters insurance.

Lemonade Insurance is a well-known insurance provider that offers renters insurance cover for those who want to protect their belongings. Apart from providing coverage for standard items, Lemonade also offers protection for high-value items such as fine art. What sets Lemonade apart is its convenient and user-friendly approach, with its mobile app allowing customers to easily manage their policies and claims. For those who are interested in their life insurance products, Lemonade offers term life insurance policies at affordable prices. If you ever need assistance or have any questions, Lemonade's phone number is easily accessible and their customer service team is always ready to help.


Related Work

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ANALYZE: College and Career Choices

Unit 8: Unit Plan & Assessments

Unit assessment, insurance 101.

Students will be able to

  • Illustrate how everyone risks financial loss and how insurance shares that risk
  • Identify factors that impact insurance premiums and the relationship between premiums, deductibles, and coverage limits
  • Explain how the insurance industry uses risk pooling and math to provide insurance coverage and make a profit

Auto and Renters Insurance

  • List factors that determine auto insurance premiums
  • Understand the different types of coverage within a car insurance policy 
  • Explain a deductible, out-of-pocket expenses, and what insurance will pay for in different situations
  • Identify the value of their possessions and explain how renters insurance can help protect them in the case of emergency or loss

How Health Insurance Works

Students will be able to: 

  • Understand the importance of having health insurance 
  • Identify the various costs affiliated with having health insurance 
  • Explain how health insurance works and the different types of plans available to them 
  • Explore steps they can take to lower their medical costs

How to Access Health Insurance

Students will be able to:

  • Explain the pros and cons of enrolling in employer-sponsored health plans vs individual plans from the Marketplace
  • Explore the specific coverage areas and benefits of Marketplace plans
  • Understand how government healthcare programs like Medicaid, CHIP, and Medicare work and who qualifies for them 
  • Investigate health insurance policies and eligibility in their states

Intro to Insurance

Auto insurance.

  • Describe the main types of auto insurance policies and compare state requirements 
  • Choose an appropriate level of car insurance coverage

Renters & Homeowners Insurance

  • Distinguish the similarities and differences between renters and homeowners insurance
  • Read the fine print of a rental insurance agreement 
  • Assess whether they will need renters insurance after high school
  • Appreciate why it is valuable to have insurance, regardless of whether you own or rent a home
  • Enumerate what types of perils are and are not covered by standard renters and homeowners insurance policies

Other Types of Insurance

  • Explain how pet insurance works and how it compares to human health insurance
  • Differentiate between short- and long-term disability insurance
  • Decide when a life insurance policy is appropriate and how to select the best type for their needs
  • COMPARE: Car Insurance Comparison Shopping
  • COMPARE: Select an Insurance Plan
  • COMPARE: Types of Health Insurance Plans
  • DEBATE: Should the Government Be Allowed to Require Insurance?
  • FINE PRINT: Auto Insurance Declaration Page
  • FINE PRINT: Health Benefits Form
  • FINE PRINT: Renters Insurance Agreement
  • INTERACTIVE: Bummer!
  • MOVE: What Determines Your Insurance Premium?
  • PLAY: Types of Car Insurance
  • PLAY: Will Their Auto Insurance Premium Change?
  • PROJECT: Introducing Insurance - You Be The Teacher
  • RESEARCH: Insurance in Your State


  • CASE STUDY: Fender Bender Frenzy!
  • CASE STUDY: Like a Good Neighbor, Noelle Is There


  • Puzzling Prescription Prices
  • Protect Your Pay
  • When Water Does Damage
  • Unsure of Insurance
  • Healthcare Haste
  • Drive Well, Pay Less
  • Campfire Tales


  • How long will most driving violations affect your car insurance rates?
  • How much does a speeding ticket increase the annual cost of car insurance?
  • How much does a texting while driving ticket increase auto insurance premiums?
  • How much does an average overnight hospital stay cost?
  • Until what age can a child stay on their parents' health insurance?
  • What GPA is required to earn a Good Student Discount on an auto insurance policy?
  • What percent of American adults are carrying medical debt?


  • DATA CRUNCH: How Do Americans Get Health Insurance?
  • DATA CRUNCH: How Do Renters and Homeowners Insurance Compare?
  • DATA CRUNCH: How Does the Cost of Health Insurance Premiums Vary by Age?
  • DATA CRUNCH: How Many Adults Lack Health Insurance?
  • DATA CRUNCH: How Much Do Auto Insurance Rates Vary by Age?

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Home Insurance Companies May Use Aerial Images to Drop Policies

Sarah Schlichter

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money .

It’s a notice no homeowner wants to get: Your insurance company has decided not to renew your policy, effective in 30 days. The reason? Based on aerial photos of your home, your roof is in poor condition.

Your first response might be outrage. Is your insurance company spying on you? Can it really take photos of your house at any time?

The practice is legal — and in some ways it’s nothing new, according to insurance experts. Looking at aerial photos “is just another method of doing something that insurers have always been doing,” says Bob Passmore, vice president of personal lines at the American Property Casualty Insurance Association.

Inspecting homes is part of a process called underwriting, in which an insurer evaluates how likely you are to file a claim . In the past, many home insurance inspections were done in person. Someone might drive by your house to take photos or come inside for a thorough investigation.

While these inspections still happen, many insurance companies are relying on aerial images as a cheaper, more efficient way to see your property. But to homeowners shocked by a non-renewal, it can feel like a violation.

“Just because a technological opportunity exists doesn't mean it can or should be used without guardrails and consumer protections,” says Doug Heller, director of insurance at the Consumer Federation of America. “Using images that were gathered without consumer awareness, or let alone consent, is really problematic.”

How insurers use aerial images

Insurance companies study aerial photos for issues that could lead to future claims. Red flags may include:

Debris in your yard. “It could be home for vermin. It could be a trip-and-fall hazard,” says Karl Susman, owner of the Susman Insurance Agency in Los Angeles.

Trees hanging over your home. “That's a horrible, horrible fire risk,” Susman says. A tree could also crash onto your house in a storm.

Trampolines or swimming pools you didn’t tell the insurer about. These could be a lawsuit risk, Passmore says.

But the biggest issue may be the condition of your roof, says Alaina Hixson, director of sales and operations at the Churchill Agency in Brentwood, Tennessee. Because roofs are battered by severe weather and expensive to replace, they’re a major source of claims.

Insurers may check satellite images of your roof for moss, broken shingles or other signs of wear. Such issues could lead to a non-renewal notice .

Why insurers are dropping policies

In recent years, insurance companies have gotten pickier about which properties they cover. Insurers “want to keep their customers,” Passmore says, but “they also have to keep in mind what their exposure to risk is.”

Right now, insurers’ financial risks are significant. In 2023, the U.S. had 28 disasters that each caused at least $1 billion in damage, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Climate change is making hurricanes and wildfires more severe, while inflation has raised the cost of rebuilding homes.

As a result, many home insurers have recently paid more in claims than they made in premiums. One way they’re trying to stem the losses is by dropping their riskiest policies — and aerial imagery can help them pinpoint those homes.

» MORE: 3 ways to protect your home from climate change

What you can do

“If you get a non-renewal notice, immediately contact the insurer and ask why,” Heller says. If the insurer used aerial images, ask to see them, and find out when they were taken.

Perhaps the photos are from six months ago and feature an overhanging tree that you’ve since trimmed back. “If you can show documentation that something isn't what they think it is,” Hixson says, “an insurer will often work with you.”

Even if the issue in the photo is legitimate, an insurer may extend your policy if you fix the problem, Hixson says.

Unfortunately, not everyone has the budget for pricey home repairs. If you can’t address the issue, search immediately for new coverage. Having a non-renewal in your insurance history can make it harder to find another policy, Hixson warns.

An independent insurance agent can help you shop around with other carriers. Keep in mind, though, that a new company’s home inspection may flag the same problem the old one did.

If you think your insurer handled your non-renewal unfairly, file a complaint with your state’s department of insurance, Passmore suggests.

» MORE: 10 kinds of damage home insurance won't cover

Prevent insurance issues

You can’t keep an insurance company from taking aerial photos of your home, but you can make it more attractive to insure. “Number one is keep your house maintained,” Passmore says.

This includes ridding your yard of debris, trimming trees and monitoring your roof’s condition, Hixson says.

About two months before your policy renews each year, Heller recommends getting quotes from a few other insurers. “Know what your options will be in case you find yourself in the midst of a non-renewal problem.”

On a similar note...

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case study on renters insurance

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Archive Alert

The new Individual Assistance updates only apply to disasters declared on or after March 22, 2024. Read about the updates.

FEMA Assistance is Available at Fonde Community Center in Houston

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AUSTIN  – Texans who need help applying for FEMA assistance can meet with Disaster Survivor Assistance crews at the Fonde Community Center in Houston beginning May 21 . These crews can assist anyone affected by the recent severe storms, straight-line winds, tornadoes and flooding to kickstart their recovery.

Impacted residents of  Harris, Liberty, Montgomery, Polk, San Jacinto, Trinity and Walker  counties can visit to get help applying for FEMA assistance, ask questions and learn about available resources. No appointment is needed.

Crews will be available 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily at:

Fonde Community Center

110 Sabine St.

Houston, TX 77007

Residents impacted by the storms do not have to meet with FEMA in person to apply for assistance. The fastest way to apply is online at . Survivors can also apply by phone at 800-621-3362.  Calls are accepted every day from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Central Time. Help is available in most languages – if you use a relay service, such as video relay (VRS), captioned telephone or other service, give FEMA the number for that service.

Residents should be prepared to provide the following information when applying with FEMA:

  • Social Security number
  • Address of the damaged property
  • Description of the damage
  • Information about insurance coverage
  • A current contact telephone number
  • An address where you can receive mail
  • Bank account and routing numbers for direct deposit of funds

For the latest information, visit . Follow FEMA Region 6 at or Facebook at .

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Lebanon County officials contract case management services for transition-age youth home

Lebanon County officials moved forward with a short-term residence project for transition-age youth, with tentative plans to begin using the new home on Sept. 1.

Lebanon County Commissioners awarded a contract to Community Services Group, known as CSG, to provide housing support case management services for the project. Lebanon County Mental Health/Intellectual Disability/Early Intervention and Housing and Redevelopment Authority officials are partnering to renovate a home on North 12 Street to house three individuals between the ages of 18 to 24.

Renovations to the home should be completed by Aug. 20, according to Holly Leahy, the Lebanon County MH/ID/EI administrator. Officials are planning to start using the home Sept. 1.

"Once housing support case manager, we can involve that person in the referral process, and then have them set to go into the home on Sept 1," she said at the commissioners' meeting Thursday, May 16.

The total cost of start-up expenses for CSG services will be $45,173. That would include covering costs until June 30.

Renters for the MH/ID/EI transitional-age youth home will stay between roughly 12 to 18 months, though officials said accommodations could be made depending on the situation.

The house will contain three locked bedrooms with individual bathrooms for renters. There will be a provider for housing support case management services in an office on the first floor.

In October 2022, Lebanon County MH/ID/EI was approved for $446,448 funds from the commonwealth's Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services for a capital project.

"The plans were twofold," Leahy said. "So simultaneously the Housing and Redevelopment Authority would recommend contractors and renovate the home located on N. 12 Street ... While MH/ID/EI would procure a provider for the housing support case management services."

The renovations to the home are estimated between $375,000 to $400,000, according to county officials. Leahy said that there has not been a consideration about who might need to live in the home.

Over 5,000 households are waitlisted for government-subsidized housing for up to 60 months, according to  a recent study by the Lebanon County Coalition to End Homelessness .

Women of history

The Lebanon County Commission for Women and the Lebanon County Historical Society addressed county commissioners Thursday about the "Women's History of Lebanon County" exhibit.  The exhibit will feature individual women who have made an impact in healthcare, business and industry, and reform.

"The history of Lebanon County has been neglected, and it's a rich history," Barb Gaffney, co-chair of the LCHS Museum Committee said to commissioners. "The ladies that we will be profiling will be from the late-1700s through present day."

The exhibit will include a diverse range of artifacts, and the Historical Society is looking for donations or loans of relevant historical materials. Those interested in contributing should contact the Historical Society for more information.

Organizers tentatively said that the exhibit will be open for public viewing from October 2024 to March 2025 and will be free of charge.

For more information about the Women in History exhibit, residents can contact the Lebanon County Historical Society directly at 717-272-1473 or  [email protected] .

Other business

Commissioners approved the resignation of Randy Leisure from the Lebanon County Conservation District board. Associate director Jim Tomanelli was appointed to fill out the rest of Leisure's term as farm director through Dec. 31.

Officials also finalized the sale of the county's 2000 Blue Bird Q-Bus 3705 for $2,325.22 to TJ Star Industries Inc., of Mt. Sinai, New York. The bus was used by the Lebanon County Area Agency on Aging to transport clients.

Matthew Toth is a reporter for the Lebanon Daily News. Reach him at [email protected] or on X at @DAMattToth .

This article originally appeared on Lebanon Daily News: Lebanon officials approve support staff for transition-age youth home

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Exclusive: Largest rent increases are in swing states. Will it spell trouble for Biden?

case study on renters insurance

John Pike’s biggest fear is ending up on the street.

For years, the retired 79-year-old Madison, Wisconsin, resident has barely made ends meet, with no discretionary income to speak of. Most of his Social Security check of $1,578 goes toward rent. At $1,220, that's more than 77% of his monthly income. Between the rising cost of food prices since the pandemic and his prescription medication, there’s hardly anything left.

When his lease expires in September, the rent on his apartment, where he’s lived for the past 24 years, will go up to $1,600. That's an amount he cannot afford.

“My big worry is that I may be homeless again,” said Pike, who has held a series of jobs including as a translator and programmer.

His fear is well founded. Pike experienced homelessness in the 1980s after losing his job. Like more than 50% of Americans, he is a paycheck away from a disaster. The U.S. experienced a 12% increase in homelessness from 2022 to 2023 as rents soared and pandemic resources evaporated, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Prep for the polls: See who is running for president and compare where they stand on key issues in our Voter Guide

“I have been very anxiety ridden. I will be honest and tell you I think I have developed PTSD,” Pike said.

Pike, a registered independent, says he has generally voted for Democratic candidates, but this November, he's unsure he'll vote at all, given his experience dealing with skyrocketing rents and economic hardship.

"I don't think the federal government as a whole has done enough for people in my circumstance," he said. "It prioritizes weapons of war and defense spending and does not prioritize the health and welfare of all its citizens."

Inflation and the economy have long worried American voters, polling shows. But as housing costs continue to be the biggest driver of core inflation, renters are feeling increasingly disillusioned with politicians. In some swing states, which are critical to President Joe Biden’s reelection bid, rental costs have more than doubled in the past four years. In fact, 6 out of the top 10 markets and 1/3 of the top 100 markets with the largest increases happen to be in swing states, according to a USA TODAY analysis of data obtained exclusively from

The states considered for the analysis are Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin.

When rent is too high: 'Underpaying rent means losing your home'

Not paying attention to renters' concerns, especially as rent skyrockets in swing states crucial to Biden's reelection bid, could be costly in the November election.

For example, two metro areas in Wisconsin, where Pike lives, rank second and third with higher than 100% rent increases from 2020 to 2024.

The top 10 metro areas with the largest increases are Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, North Carolina (111%); Oshkosh-Neenah, Wisconsin (106%); Racine, Wisconsin (100%); Waco, Texas (94%); Port St. Lucie, Florida (75%); Fayetteville, North Carolina (75%); Daphne-Fairhope-Foley, Alabama (67%); Burlington, North Carolina (64%); Syracuse, New York (64%); Sierra Vista-Douglas, Arizona (63%).

David Rivera-Kohr, a 26-year-old graduate student at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, says the housing crisis is one of the issues that dissuades him from voting for either major political party.

"Rent is the aspect of inflation that concerns me the most," said Rivera-Kohr, one of Pike's neighbors. "People can sometimes find ways to cut back on expenses like gas and groceries, but this is just not an option for rent. Underpaying rent means losing your home."

Housing costs continue to be the single largest driver of core inflation, a measure that excludes volatile food and gas prices. The cost of shelter, which is basically based on rent prices, was up 5.5% in April compared to a year ago, according to the Labor Department's consumer price index.

While there are many positive indicators of how the economy is doing – such as unemployment numbers, jobs report and lowering inflation – it hasn’t brought much solace to households dealing with high rents as well as elevated food and fuel prices.

Consumer sentiment fell to a six-month low in May as inflation expectations rose and marked a one-month decline of 12.7%, according to the preliminary report for the Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index , a monthly survey of consumer confidence levels in the U.S. conducted by the University of Michigan.

“While consumers had been reserving judgment for the past few months, they now perceive negative developments on a number of dimensions,” said Joanne Hsu, director of consumer surveys at the university. “They expressed worries that inflation, unemployment and interest rates may all be moving in an unfavorable direction in the year ahead.”

Recent polling data also point to the grim reality of Americans' assessment of Biden's economic stewardship on the economy. Forty-six percent of U.S. adults said they have "a great deal" or "a fair amount" of confidence in likely GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump to do or recommend the right thing for the economy, while fewer said the same of Biden (38%), according to a Gallop poll conducted April 1-22.

It's among the lowest Gallup has measured for any president since 2001.

Biden’s top aides say he is laser focused on the “kitchen table” issues voters are most concerned about.

During his State of the Union speech in March, for instance, he directly spoke to the American public about housing challenges and “shrinkflation” and the measures he was proposing to address them. In Biden's budget for fiscal year 2025, he has sought an investment of more than $258 billion to build or preserve more than 2 million housing units to lower rents and make housing more affordable. Years of underbuilding in the aftermath of the Great Recession has contributed to a lack of housing inventory, which has put upward pressure on rents and home prices.

Given current market conditions, renters are bound to stay renters for longer. Low inventory and high mortgage rates have made entry to homeownership more challenging, experts say.

“The number of units did not come close to meeting the demand,” Lael Brainard, Biden's National Economic Council director, told USA TODAY. “Nothing significant was done in the previous administration. We've got this big gap and the increase in rent is a result of that lack of action to address the growing affordable housing gap.”

After the latest CPI numbers were released last week, showing a slight easing of month-over-month inflation but still growing rental inflation, White Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that while she didn’t have a “progress report” on the plan to increase housing inventory, the president was focused on the issue.

In response to a question posed by USA TODAY during a press briefing last week, Jean-Pierre said taking action "is important and critical to many Americans and their families across the country."

But Jean-Pierre said congressional action was needed to curb rental inflation.

“To address this in a more holistic way, we have to see legislation. We have to see Congress act,” she said.

Brainard says the president's proposed housing plan "meets the moment," by including moving to ban rental junk fees and reducing closing costs for homeowners.

“It addresses one of the areas that pose the greatest affordability challenges for working families, which is a huge priority for the president,” Brainard told USA TODAY.

The Biden administration also pointed to the rental assistance provided to 100,000 additional households and $60 billion invested through the president’s American Rescue Plan deployed to improve housing access. The plan includes rental assistance, homelessness prevention and services, homeowner assistance and affordable housing.

In Saginaw, a city in Michigan’s top bellwether Saginaw County, Charles Allen says he feels stuck.

His rent on a two-bedroom duplex went up from $550 in 2020 to $775 in 2023, after his old landlord sold the building last year. The new owner has refused to give Allen a new lease, and he suspects it’s because they plan to raise the rent again.  

Rents in Saginaw, a majority Black city where more than a third of the population lives in poverty, have gone up by 51% from 2020 to 2024, according to the USA TODAY analysis.

“There hasn't been any updates or paint on the walls like since 2017,” he said.

Allen has been searching for a three-bedroom apartment for months so his 6-year-old twin son and daughter can have a room of their own. He says what he could have rented for a little over $1,000 four years ago now goes for $1,500 to $2,000 in the “reasonable part of town.”

“It's a system that's broken, because if I pay $1,500 in rent, where do I save to buy a house? I'm going to be struggling check to check. And that's what I'm trying to avoid,” he said.

Advocates call for rental caps on federally subsidized properties

Last month, the Biden administration instituted a 10% limit on increases at rental properties financed through the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program.

While housing advocates hailed the move, they said should be expanded.

Rent caps should be attached to every dollar of federal subsidy and financing, including in all properties purchased with federally backed mortgages, says Tenant Union Federation Director Tara Raghuveer.

"High rents disproportionately hurt people under 40, low-income workers and people of color – the very constituencies the president needs to win reelection," Raghuveer told USA TODAY. "The question isn’t whether there’s anything the Biden administration can do, it’s whether they are willing to do what’s needed most: rent regulation."

She added: "The rent is too damn high."

One reason why many of the metros with the highest increases on the list are not the usual suspects such as New York or Los Angeles or even cities such as Austin that experienced price growth during the pandemic is that smaller cities had room to grow, says Daryl Fairweather, the chief economist for real estate company Redfin.

Cities such as Austin, for example, that saw a boom in prices over the pandemic when people were fleeing the traditional big cities are now seeing a correction. Whereas places like Hickory, North Carolina, which topped the charts in the analysis, were previously undiscovered and had room to grow.

"I think that is what's driving the more local trends right now and those leftover places that maybe were overlooked during the pandemic now are the remaining affordable options and are attracting more people and more renters (and driving up prices)," Fairweather said.

Fairweather says the federal government can put carrots and sticks in place to incentivize local governments to change their zoning laws.

"They could directly subsidize new construction, especially for housing that is going to be affordable," she said. With current high interest rates, she suggests providing tax deductions for new construction loans or other incentives to get more construction underway.

Allen, who works as a social organizer and makes $40,000 a year, says he feels like “the working poor." He voted for Biden the last time but says he's feeling a lot less enthusiastic this time.

“I'm hoping that the president understands that he has to earn our vote. My vote. He has to earn it. So, hearing us talking about affordable housing, those are big deals for me,” he said. “We work so hard and then we don't have enough to do more with it. We're just supporting our bills.”

In 2022, half of all U.S. renters were cost burdened, according to  America’s Rental Housing 2024 , published by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies. Renter households spending more than 30% of their income on rent and utilities rose by 2 million in just three years, to a record high of 22.4 million, according to the report.

Rivera-Kohr said the new property owners have been "massively jacking up prices."

He currently pays $1,225 a month, based on the lease he signed with the old landlord. By September, it will jump to $1,650. As steep as it is, he said, he was more worried about some of his neighbors, including Pike.

"With these new rents, their monthly income is actually going to be less than their rent," said Rivera-Kohr. "Not only can they not afford that, they're going to have to make really impactful sacrifices, but they kind of are stuck because a lot of them are not even physically capable of moving."

In his view, neither Democrats nor Republicans are willing to enact programs that would earnestly address this issue, such as universal basic income and "greatly" expanded subsidized housing.

"Neither party is willing to do what it takes to fund these programs, like impose strict taxes on their super-wealthy corporate donors or cut the military budget," said Rivera-Kohr, a registered Democrat who voted for Biden in 2020.

As of now, he is undecided who will get his vote − but said he was leaning toward Cornell West.

The Biden campaign defended the president's housing record.

"His plan includes legislative and administrative actions that will help close America’s housing supply shortfall in five years, starting with the creation and preservation of hundreds of thousands of affordable housing units in the next three years," said Charles Lutvak, a Biden campaign spokesperson.

Meanwhile, the Trump campaign did not offer any specific plans to tackle high rent prices. Trump will "reimplement his America First agenda of low taxes, lower prices, and higher wages," wrote Karoline Leavitt, a national spokeswoman for the Trump campaign, in an email.

After living in the apartment complex in Madison for 24 years, Pike, who will turn 80 this week, has come to the conclusion that he can't afford to live there any more. He is currently looking for an apartment in Stoughton, 23 miles southeast of Madison, where rents are slightly cheaper.

"I have no choice," he said.

S wapna Venugopal Ramaswamy is a White House correspondent for USA TODAY.   You can follow her on X, formerly Twitter, @SwapnaVenugopal


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