What is renters liability insurance?
Last updated: August 2023
Personal liability coverage is part of a standard renters insurance policy. It may help pay for another person's medical bills or repairs to their property if you're found legally responsible for their injuries or property damage. Renters liability coverage may also help cover your legal expenses if you're sued over an incident that occurs in the place you're renting.
Renters insurance liability coverage typically starts at a $100,000 limit for claims or lawsuits, says the Insurance Information Institute. You may be able to purchase additional coverage by increasing your renters liability limits.
What does personal liability insurance for renters typically cover?
Suppose you're found liable after a guest falls down your stairs. Or, what if your child accidentally throws a football through a neighbor's window? Or imagine you cause a kitchen fire that damages the home you're renting. Personal liability coverage may help protect a renter in these types of situations. Injuries to people or damage to their property must be accidental and unintentional.
Renters who seek additional liability coverage beyond their renters insurance policy limits may benefit from a personal umbrella policy. Umbrella insurance coverage typically begins after the limits of the underlying policy have been reached, helping provide greater liability protection.
Does My Landlord's Insurance Policy Protect Me?
In short, no. Landlord insurance policies do not offer protection to tenants living in an apartment or house. That's why many landlords require tenants to show proof of renters insurance before leasing to them. Some landlords may even require tenants to sign documents indicating they understand their landlord's insurance policy doesn't cover them.
Landlord property protection
A landlord insurance policy may help cover structural damage to the building. Covered perils may include events like a hailstorm or a fire caused by lightning.
That coverage typically does not extend to the tenant's personal property. So, if your belongings are stolen or damaged, your landlord's insurance would not pay to replace them. Instead, you'd need your own renters insurance policy to help protect your belongings.
Landlord liability protection
A landlord insurance policy usually includes liability protection for the owner of the home or apartment. For example, a landlord insurance policy may help protect a landlord if a tenant is injured and the landlord is found responsible.
Meanwhile, renters insurance liability coverage may help protect you against bodily injury or property damage liability claims. For example, if a guest is injured in your rental and you're found legally responsible, liability coverage may help cover damages.
Keep in mind that if you run a business out of your rental apartment or home, renters liability insurance likely won't cover the costs of claims against your business.
Renters liability coverage may help protect renters in a number of situations. Talk to your insurance provider to learn more about liability protection for renters and to choose the coverage that's right for you.