Renters Insurance California
An apartment. A dorm room. The prettiest house on the block. You don’t own it—you lease it. But it’s still home. Your landlord’s insurance covers the roof, floor, walls, and fixtures—but not your belongings. Renters insurance protects you in case your stuff is stolen, damaged, or destroyed. Earthquake, fire, storm, or thieves: good rental insurance will protect your valuables whatever perils come your way.
A standard renters insurance policy will contain two parts. Part I provides you coverage for your property (A, B, C and D) while part II provides you liability coverage (E and F).
- Coverage A – Dwelling
- Coverage B – Other Structures
- Coverage C – Personal Property
- Coverage D – Loss of Use
- Coverage E – Personal Liability
- Coverage F – Medical Payments to Others
Unlike driving a car, you can legally rent a home in California without renters insurance. However, your landlord may require you to carry some form of renters insurance coverage as defense liability claims, such as being sued.
How Much Renters Insurance Coverage Do I Need?
Renter’s insurance is basically a standard homeowner’s policy without or limited coverage for the primary structure or dwelling. This is because the person purchasing a renter’s policy does not own or have any financial interest in the actual residence. The primary concern when purchasing a renter’s policy is with protecting the renter’s personal property and defending against liability claims.
A typically renters policy outline is listed below:
|Coverage Component||Typical Limit of Coverage|
|Coverage A – Dwelling||N/A|
|Coverage B – Other Structures||N/A|
|Coverage C – Personal Property||You Choose Limits|
|Coverage D – Loss of Use||$2,000|
|Coverage E – Personal Liability||You Choose Limits|
|Coverage F – Medical Payments||$1,000|
What Is Covered By My California Renters Insurance Policy?
Coverage A – Dwelling coverage provides protection for your dwelling or primary structure and attached structures, like a garage. This coverage is typically excluded in a standard renters policy because it is the homeowner’s responsibility to cover the building under their own landlord insurance policy.
Coverage B – Other structures coverage provides protection to your structures or buildings on the premises that are not attached to the primary dwelling. Structures typically covered include tool sheds, back houses, detached garages, etc. Again, this coverage is usually excluded in a standard renters policy because the renter does not have any financial interest in the dwelling or other structures.
Coverage C – Personal property coverage provides protection for the contents of your home and other personal belongings owned by you and other residents of the household. Along with liability coverage, this is considered a primary coverage with renters insurance. Your personal property limits can be adjusted to established agreed upon or stated values depending on the your needs.
Personal property coverage typically has set limits on certain types of property that are especially susceptible to loss, such as:
- Fine Arts
If you own property listed above, you may want to consider scheduling these items separately. Scheduling your personal property will allow for additional limits of coverage for high-value items.
Coverage D – Loss of use coverage will help you with any additional living expenses if your home is damaged by a covered peril and you cannot live in your home. These expenses include, but are not limited to, temporary housing, meals, and warehouse storage. This coverage is typically does not exceed a few thousand dollars.
Coverage E – Personal liability coverage will provide you protection in the event you or a resident of your household are legally responsible for injury to others. This coverage normally provides a defense and will pay damages, as deemed appropriate by the insurance company. Of course, there are exceptions. The liability coverage will not protect you in all situations, such as an intentional act. All of the exclusions and specific language can be found in your policy.
Coverage F – Medical payments to others coverage pays for reasonable medical expenses for anyone who is accidentally injured on your property. For example, if your neighbor is injured while helping you paint in your living room, the medical payments portion of your renter’s policy may pay for necessary medical expenses. medical payments coverage does not apply to your injuries or injuries of those who reside in your household and is not a substitute for health insurance. Business activities are also excluded. All of the exclusions and specific language can be found in your policy.
Who Are the Best Most Responsive, Renters Insurance Carriers?
There are over 150 California admitted insurance companies that do business in our State. So just like the home you live in, your ideal insurance coverage is going to be unique to your circumstances, your preferences, and your needs. As a result, you need an insurance agency that offers a large variety of vetted carriers—and can find you the best policy for the best price. Here is a list of the top 30 insurance companies by market share, as of 2016. In alphabetical order:
- AIG Prop Cas
- American Modern
- American Reliable
- Amica Mutual
- California Capital
- California Casualty
- Century National
- CSAA Ins Exch
- First American Specialty
- Hartford (Sentinel)
- Horace Mann
- Horace Mann P & C
- Liberty Ins Corp
- Metropolitan Direct
- Oregon Mutual
- Pacific Specialty
- Stillwater Ins Co
- Stillwater Prop & Cas Co
- Tokio Marine America
- Unigard Group
What Perils are Generally Covered by My Renters Policy?
Standard renters policies generally cover a wide range of potential disasters, from fire and lightning strikes, to winter storm damage caused by weight of ice and snow, to windstorms and tornadoes. Most renters policies will cover all the common disasters listed below; however, some policies may only provide limited coverage. It is important to check your insurance policy for the specific perils covered.
- Fire or lighting
- Riot or civil commotion
- Damage from electrical current
- Windstorm or hail
- Vandalism & malicious mischief
- Tearing, cracking, or bulging
- Breakage of glass
- Falling objects
- Weight of ice, snow, sleet
- Volcanic eruption
What Perils are Generally Excluded by My Renters Policy?
The most common exclusions on a standard renters insurance policy are flood, mold, earthquake, “wear and tear”, and earth movement. When an insurer writes homeowners coverage, California law states that they are also obligated to offer you earthquake coverage every year for an additional premium. The earthquake coverage may be written through the California Earthquake Authority (CEA), directly by the insurer, or by a separate provider.
Other common exclusions include:
- Insects, rats or mice
- Earth movement
- Ordinance or law
- Water damage caused by seepage or leaks
- Losses to home vacant for 60+ days
- Wear and tear or maintenance
- Intentional loss
- Nuclear hazard
- Tidal wave
You may elect to buy specialized coverage that provides additional protection for your dwelling and contents beyond the standard coverage limitations in most renter’s policies. Regardless, it is still important to read the exclusions section in your insurance contract.
What Discounts are Available for My Renters Insurance Policy in California?
You can score major discounts for things like having an alarm system, emergency sprinklers, well-maintained walkways, and up-to-date wiring. If you can show that you’re home is less of a risk, they’ll reward you by lowering your premiums. The list below can help you figure out what discounts you’re already eligible for—and advise you on what you can do to lower your insurance costs even more.
- Multi-Policy Discount
- Group Affiliation Discount
- Claims Free Discount
- Early Signing Discount
- Automatic Payments Discount
- Senior Discount
- Pay-in-Full Discount
- Non-Smoker Discount
- Protective Devices Discount
- Age of Construction Discount
- Marriage Discount
- Bundling Discount
- Home Maintenance Discounts
- Renewal Discount
- Career Related Discount
- Fire Sprinklers Discount
Roommates and Storage Spaces—Covering Special Circumstances
Maybe you share your sofa and flat-screen with roommates. Maybe your stuff is in a storage unit while you travel the world. Whatever the circumstance, our agents can help you determine the right renters insurance policy for you. We’ll talk actual value, reimbursed value, deductibles, and claims, and make sure you understand what you’re paying for.
Plus, when you bundle your rental insurance with your auto and other types of insurance, you might qualify for multi-line discounts that give you better coverage, for less.
You’re not the one who charged $500 worth of takeout to a hotel room in Chicago? Your roommate’s latest Tinder date slipped on your throw rug and knocked a tooth out? Good renters insurance covers unauthorized transactions on your credit cards and accidents that happen in your apartment. Our agency will make sure you understand the ins and outs of different types of rental coverage and help you decide what’s best for you.
Protect what’s yours. Call us for a quote.