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The Basics of Renters Insurance



Reading time - 2 minutes, 38 seconds 

Occasionally, I run across something that causes me to scratch my head. Here's one: The majority of those that rent DO NOT have renters insurance. In fact, numerous surveys and studies over the years have pegged renter's insurance ownership at around 40%.

Let's do the math. With around 43 million American renter households, that equates to around 26 million households out there that may not be protecting their stuff or themselves. With a typical monthly price tag of around $15, that seems like a large oversight for valuable protection at a reasonable price. If you're a renter or living in privatized housing, here's some food for thought as you consider renters insurance:

It's built specifically to protect you and your stuff. Whether it's a fire or some other catastrophic event, your landlord's coverage likely covers their structure and not your furniture, electronics, or other stuff like uniforms and military gear. At USAA, our coverage helps protect your stuff with replacement cost coverage1 – not the depreciated actual value – even in the event of flooding or earthquakes—that's very cool.

It covers living expenses if you're forced out for repairs. What if a fire at your apartment or housing complex leaves you scrambling to find a place to live? Your renter's policy is there to help cover those lodging costs and even foots the bill for other expenses like dining out.

Who's got your back?  If that seemingly staid party at your place turns into a wild scene out of "animal house" with injuries and subsequent lawsuits, your renter's policy offers liability protection and may even pay for other's medical expenses.

It protects you when you're on the move. Renters coverage through USAA can help cover items listed on a shipping or storage document prior to the move2. So, even if your stuff is lost in transit or storage, you won't be.

It protects your stuff…even in your car. Ever had something stolen out of your car? If so, you probably didn't have much luck being made whole through your auto policy. Renters insurance can help cover your stuff around the world3 and even if it's stolen from your car.

Every policy has limits and limitations, so check with your insurer, and if you've got some jewelry or other high-value stuff, you may also want to look at a valuable personal property policy. In any case, renters insurance can play an important part in your overall plan to protect your property and yourself.

If you're interested in finding out more about renters insurance, visit USAA's website and search "Renters" or give us a call at 800-531-8722.

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. owns the certification marks CFP® and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER TM in the United States, which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board's initial and ongoing certification requirements.

With replacement cost coverage, at our option, subject to policy limits and policy deductible, if you actually replace the property, we will pay you the lesser of our cost to restore, repair or replace the damaged property or the amount you actually spent to restore, repair or replace the property.

For coverage to apply, property must be under a bill of lading or other professional shipping document before being shipped. Policy must be in force before goods are placed in transit. Breaking and marring & scratching are excluded.

Availability of renters insurance to residents of another country is limited to qualified members.

Membership eligibility and product restrictions apply and are subject to change.

Renters insurance provided by United Services Automobile Association, USAA Casualty Insurance Company, USAA General Indemnity Company, Garrison Property and Casualty Insurance Company, based San Antonio, TX; USAA Limited (UK) and USAA S.A. (Europe), and is available only to persons eligible for P&C group membership. Each company has sole financial responsibility for its own products.


Guest Blogger, Joseph Montanaro, CFP®| Relationship Director | Military Advocacy Group

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