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Ask An Agent: What Is Renters Liability Coverage?

Published: July 2016

Liability coverage is typically part of a renters insurance policy. It may help protect you if you are found legally responsible for injuries to someone else or damage to their property.

Allstate agent Joe Schneider tells the story of a renter who accidentally started a fire in her apartment building and talks about the effects of that fire on her financial well-being.

Video Transcript

[On-screen] What is Renters Liability Coverage?

[Voiceover] Hi, I'm Joe, and I'm an Allstate agency owner with offices in Chicago's Lincoln Park and Old Town neighborhoods. I'm here to talk about liability coverage, which is a standard part of most homeowners, renters and condo insurance policies. It may help protect you if you are found legally responsible for injuries to someone else or damage to their property.

This coverage may help pay for:

  • A guest's medical bills or lost wages that result from an injury at your home
  • Defense costs or a court judgment against you if you're sued, or
  • Damage you accidentally cause to someone else's property

I've seen how liability coverage may help protect people in unexpected situations, but also what may happen if someone doesn't have it. I remember one situation where a fire broke out in an apartment building. It was started accidentally by a young woman renting one of the apartments. She lit a candle in her bedroom, fell asleep while it was still burning, and the candle fell over.

She was okay, but she lost a lot of her belongings. The fire caused damage to her apartment and the outside hallway, and smoke damage to some of the neighboring apartments. The young woman did not have renters insurance, and in the end she was found personally responsible for about $80,000 in damages to the building.

If she'd had renters insurance, it might have helped her not only replace her damaged belongings, but also helped pay for the damages caused by the fire.

When I talk to customers about insurance and we get to liability coverage, I tell them, 'I don't just care about your stuff, I care about you.' Liability coverage is about helping protect you from needing to dip into your savings, or have your wages garnished, if you're ever found responsible for damage in that type of situation.

[On-screen]

Learn more about insurance coverage and concepts: www.allstate.com/askanagent

All images are stock photos used for illustrative purposes only.

Details are specific to this claim. Each claim is different and handled on a case-by-case basis.

Coverage subject to terms, conditions and availability. Policy issuance is subject to qualifications. Allstate Property and Casualty Insurance Company, Allstate Fire and Casualty Insurance Company, Allstate Indemnity Company, Allstate New Jersey Property and Casualty Insurance Company. ©2016 Allstate Insurance Company, Northbrook, IL.

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Coverage subject to terms, conditions, and availability. Policy issuance is subject to qualifications. Allstate Insurance Company, Allstate Indemnity Company, Allstate Fire and Casualty Insurance Company, Allstate Property and Casualty Insurance Company, Northbrook, IL. © 2016 Allstate Insurance Company, Northbrook, IL.
ECC Monitor: OK