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Cornell University

Renters Insurance

At this stage of your life, you’re likely to be a renter. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners encourages all renters to consider purchasing renter’s insurance. Why? Because insurance offers important protection. 

Protection against what? 

  • loss or damage to your personal property (i.e., in case of fire) 

  • accidents on “your” property that injure other people (someone slips in your shower and gets hurt) 

  • damage to other people’s property (i.e., Pretend you borrowed your friend’s sewing machine. It is sitting on a table near a window with a lovely view. A tree falls, crashes through the window and crushes the sewing machine. Now what?) 

A closer look 

Loss or damage to your personal property  It’s a good idea to make an inventory of all of your personal property, along with a photograph or video of each room. Also, save your receipts for major items and keep them in a safe place away from your house or apartment. That will make it easier if you ever need to file a claim. 

Accidents on “your” property that injure other people and damage to other people’s property.  In maintaining your own residence, you must realize that you are liable for things that happen on your premises. Just so you know…your landlord’s insurance only protects the building. Make sure you understand what’s covered and what’s not covered by your policy. 

What if you have a few people over… someone stumbles down the steps into the glass of the front door, requiring 29 stitches in their arm, or they drive over the neighbor kid’s bicycle, or walk out into traffic without looking because they are distracted by the pink flamingo lawn ornaments across the road? 

Keep in mind that in many states, you could be held legally responsible for the actions of anyone who drinks in your home and then has an accident in your house or after leaving it. Your renter’s policy should protect you against lawsuits due to these types of liability issues. 

More Information 

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) maintains a great website with lots of information about all types of insurance services. Much of the information provided to you in this fact sheet can be found on Insure U Online