Average Renters Personal Liability Insurance Coverage & Cost

Many Americans live in spaces that they do not own. As renters, they have the benefit of not being responsible for routine repairs and maintenance. If a faucet leaks or an appliance fails, it’s the responsibility of their landlord to fix or replace it. However, renters are on the hook for anything that happens to their own belongings.

We have many Addition Financial members who are renters and we want to make sure that their property is protected if something happens to their rental unit. Without renters insurance, you would be required to pay out of pocket to replace your damaged belongings. With that in mind, here’s what you need to know about renters insurance cost and coverage.

What is Renters Insurance and What Does It Cover?

Renters insurance is insurance that combines personal property coverage with liability coverage. It is available to people who rent, lease or sublet an apartment, studio, condo, townhouse, duplex or single-family home.

When you rent the place you live, many of the financial responsibilities of maintaining the property and keeping up with repairs fall to the landlord. However, the landlord’s homeowners policy will not cover damage to your personal property. It also will not cover you in the event that someone is hurt in your apartment unless the injury is due to a structural problem.

Renters insurance provides three separate types of coverage in a single policy, all of which are designed to protect you in the event that your property is damaged or your home becomes unlivable, or if you incur some personal liability for something that happens in your rental. Here are the three types of coverage included:

  1. Personal property coverage. Personal property insurance pays to repair or replace your belongings if they are damaged, destroyed or stolen. It may provide coverage even if a theft doesn’t take place on your property; for example, if you leave belongings in your car and someone breaks into your car to steal them, you may still file a claim with your renters insurance carrier.
  2. Personal liability coverage. If someone gets injured or their property is damaged or destroyed in your rental unit, it’s possible that you could have some personal liability. Renters insurance will provide you with coverage for a guest’s injuries or property losses that are incurred in your home.
  3. Additional living expenses. What would happen if your apartment became uninhabitable for some reason? Something like a fire or flood could render your space unlivable and your renters insurance will provide you with money to pay for a hotel or alternative living space while your home is made livable again.

As you can see, renters insurance can provide peace of mind for anybody who lives in a home that they don’t own.

What Things Are Not Covered by Renters Insurance?

You understand what is covered by renters insurance and now we need to review the things that are not covered:

  1. Regular wear and tear on your personal belongings. Most renters insurance policies cover damage that is sudden and accidental, such as damage caused by a leak or a fire. It will not cover routine wear and care, so if your bluetooth speaker stops working, you should not expect to be reimbursed when you replace it.
  2. High-cost items. You need enough renters insurance to cover your personal belongings but some high-cost items may not be covered unless you schedule them separately and pay an additional premium. Examples include expensive jewelry, artwork, musical instruments, antiques and other collectibles.
  3. Structural damage to your home. Structural damage is the responsibility of your landlord and is not covered by your renters insurance.
  4. Roommates. If you have a roommate, your renters insurance policy will not protect them unless you list them on the policy. Keep in mind that if you do list them, the policy limits will be split between you. We suggest that the best option is for each roommate to buy their own policy.
  5. Liability for pets. While some renters insurance policies provide limited coverage for damage caused by pets, there may be exclusions for injuries caused by certain dog breeds and some policies may exclude pet coverage.

You’ll need to read the fine print to be sure you understand what is and isn’t covered under your renters insurance policy.

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What Factors Affect the Cost of Renters Insurance?

There are several factors that may impact your renters insurance rate.


The deductible you choose for your renters insurance policy will have a significant impact on the premium. When you experience a covered loss, you will be responsible for paying the deductible out of pocket. Choosing a high deductible will lower your premiums, while opting for a low deductible means that you will pay more for your insurance each month.

Coverage Limit

The coverage limit of your policy should be enough to cover the replacement of everything you own. If you have high-cost items that need to be scheduled separately, then your premium will be higher. The same is true if you choose a higher-than-average policy limit without scheduling valuables.

Actual Cash Value vs Replacement Value

In many cases, renters insurance defaults to providing coverage for the actual cash value of your belongings. You can opt to upgrade your coverage to the replacement cost, but that will increase your premium.

Scheduled Items

People who own valuable items, such as jewelry, artwork, musical instruments or rare collectibles, will need to list these items on a separate schedule and pay an additional premium to cover them.


We’ll talk more about how location affects the cost of a renters policy later, but you should know that the state and city where you live can both impact your cost. For example, Florida is one of the states where renters insurance costs more than the national average and in certain high-cost areas within the state, the costs can be even higher than the state average.

How Much Renters Insurance Coverage Do You Need?

We recommend renters insurance for anybody who rents their home. You might be wondering how much coverage you need. The most common policy limits for renters insurance are as follows:

  • Personal property coverage of $30,000
  • Personal liability coverage of $100,000
  • Additional living expenses coverage of 40% of your personal property coverage. ($7,500 if you have a $30,000 property limit.)

We suggest that you pause before accepting the average limits to consider your specific situation and belongings. Here are some steps to take:

  1. Take an inventory of your personal belongings. $30,000 may be enough coverage for you but if you have high cost items in your home or you rent a large space and have a high volume of personal property, you might need a higher limit to be safe.
  2. Consider what your personal liability is. If you live in a small apartment, you are likely to have limited personal liability. However, if you’re renting a home, then the chances are good that there are more ways for a guest’s property or person to be damaged or hurt, and in that case, you may need a limit higher than $100,000.
  3. Consider the cost of staying in a hotel or getting a short-term rental in your area. If you live in a high-cost area, you may want to consider upping your additional living expenses coverage to accommodate that.
  4. Check your lease or rental agreement. While renters insurance is not required in Florida on the state level, individual landlords and property management companies may require it. You’ll need to make sure you get at least the minimum coverage required if your lease has a provision about renters insurance.

We also suggest having a conversation with your insurance agent or a representative of your renters insurance company to discuss what you have and what your insurance needs will be.

How Much is Renters Insurance in Florida?

By this time, you are probably wondering how much renters insurance will cost you. We found multiple sources that cited an average cost of $16 per month for Florida renters. That works out to $196 per year. For comparison, the national average is $168 per year.

As noted earlier, your location can play a big role both on a state and local level. Florida is one of the most expensive states for renters insurance and premiums may vary depending on your city. For example, the average cost in Jacksonville is just $13 per month, while the cost in Hialeah is $19 per month.

Keep in mind that average costs are linked to average coverage as well. If you need a higher-than-usual policy limit or have scheduled valuables, you should expect your premiums to be higher than the averages we have listed here.

Even if your landlord does not require renters to purchase renters insurance, we recommend buying coverage as a way of protecting yourself in the event your property is damaged or you become personally liable for damage to someone else’s person or property. Renters insurance can give you some peace of mind and help you to avoid falling into a financial hole if something happens in your rental.

If you’re a renter and looking to buy a house instead, Addition Financial is here to help. Click here to read about our low down payment mortgages for first-time buyers!

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