Last updated: May 2024

Cheap Renters Insurance

If you come home to find your TV and laptop stolen, could you afford to replace them? What if a fire destroys some of your most prized possessions?

You'd probably find it hard to pay to replace these things, especially if you're on a tight budget. That's one reason many renters choose to get covered with cheap renters insurance. A renters policy or renters coverage endorsement to your auto policy (where available) can provide an affordable security blanket that helps protect you and your belongings from some of life’s unpleasant surprises.

What is renters insurance?

Renters insurance is a type of coverage that helps protect you and your belongings from multiple unfortunate scenarios and types of damages if you lease your house, apartment, condo, or townhome. It can come in handy when something happens to your personal property, someone gets hurt in your rented home, or you're temporarily unable to stay in your rental because it's damaged or undergoing repairs.

Why is renters insurance important?

What if your residence is damaged by a storm and you must stay elsewhere? What if a thief steals some of your valuables? If you don’t have renters insurance, you could be paying for these expenses out of your own pocket. Here are five reasons renters coverage could be one of the most important investments you make.

1. Provides protection for your personal belongings

What if a pipe bursts and water floods your apartment, ruining your clothes? Renters insurance helps cover your possessions from damage and theft by helping you replace them.

2. Covers additional living expenses in case of displacement

Bad weather, a fire, or a water leak can make your home temporarily uninhabitable. During this time, you must live somewhere. Renters insurance can help pay for a hotel or short-term rental while your residence is fixed.

3. Offers liability coverage in case of accidents

If someone slips and falls on your house’s icy steps, they could have costly medical bills and potentially file a lawsuit against you. Renters insurance can help in both scenarios.

4. Affordable premium rates for budget-conscious renters

The average annual cost for renters insurance is often less than $200 per year or roughly $12-$20 each month, according to NerdWallet. This price point makes it an affordable option for renters on a budget.

5. Easy accessibility and convenient purchase options

Renters insurance can often be purchased online or with an agent by phone or in-store. Direct Auto offers affordable renters insurance in select states and our friendly agents can help you get the coverage you need as a tenant. Stop by a local store or give us a call today.

What does renters insurance cover?

Renters insurance policies generally include three distinct categories of coverage: personal property, personal liability protection, and temporary living expenses.

1. Personal Property

Renters insurance covers the cost to replace your damaged or stolen belongings up to your coverage limit. That means your renters policy could help pay to repair or replace things like jewelry1, furniture, clothes, appliances, and electronics if they're damaged in a covered incident.

Many renters policies cover personal property damage caused by the following events:

  • Weather, like lightning, fire, smoke, hail, wind, and volcanic eruptions
  • Riots, explosions, and vandalism
  • Airplane and vehicle collisions with your home
  • Theft
  • Falling objects
  • The weight of snow, ice, or sleet
  • Water-heating appliances
  • Leaking pipes
  • Freezing plumbing
  • Short circuits from electrical appliances

Renters insurance could also cover damage you might cause to others' personal property. For example, if your washer leaks into your neighbor's apartment and ruins his TV, your renters policy might help pay for your neighbor's expenses.

On the flip side, renters insurance typically does not cover damages caused by:

  • Certain natural disasters, like flooding, earthquakes, and sinkholes
  • Pests, like termites, cockroaches, and mice
  • Nuclear warfare

2. Personal Liability Protection

Renters liability insurance is part of a renters policy that covers the cost of injuries to other people or damage to their property that you caused. In short, it covers other people and their belongings — not you and yours. 

Under liability coverage is guest medical coverage: This add-on is listed under your liability coverage, and while similar, it can kick in any time a guest is injured in your home, unlike liability coverage which only covers situations where you're at fault .

Here are some typical liability situations where renters insurance might cover you:

  • Someone slips and falls in your home and requires medical treatment. 
  • Someone gets hurt in your home and files an expensive lawsuit filed against you. 
  • Your pet bites someone and sends them to the ER.2
  • A burglar breaks into your home and steals some personal items.
  • A guest causes damage to your home or a neighbor's property.
  • You accidentally damage someone else's property.

Whether or not your landlord is responsible for these incidents depends on your lease, the circumstances of the incident, the location of the incident, and who is at fault.

3. Temporary Living Expenses

Renters insurance could also cover your temporary living expenses if your home becomes uninhabitable due to a storm, fire, or other damage.

While you're away, renters insurance could help with:

  • Hotel, motel, or short-term rental costs.
  • The cost of food that exceeds your regular grocery bill.
  • Extra gas you need to commute from your new location.

What may be affecting your renters insurance quote?

Other factors can influence your renters coverage and cost, including the type of compensation you select, your deductible amount, and your landlord's insurance.

Actual Cash Value vs. Replacement Cost Coverage

Actual cash value and replacement cost coverage refer to the way your insurance plan will compensate you for damages to your personal property.

If you choose a policy that compensates you for the actual cash value of your lost items, you'll get the current market value of your personal property (accounting for its depreciation).

If you choose a policy that compensates you for the replacement cost of your lost items, you'll get the amount it would cost to replace your property at today’s retail prices. Policies with replacement cost coverage almost always cost more because they don't account for depreciation. Talk through your options with your agent or renters insurance company.


Before you get any insurance payout, you'll have to pay a deductible. Renters insurance policies have deductibles, just like auto and health insurance policies.

Higher deductibles generally mean lower premiums, but higher out-of-pocket costs in the event of a claim. Lower deductibles generally mean higher premiums, but lower out-of-pocket costs in the event of a claim.

Landlord Insurance

Your landlord will usually have insurance coverage for his liability and damage to the building where you are renting, whether it's a house or apartment complex. This coverage will not extend to your personal belongings, but it may include any contents that belong to the landlord. That might include appliances, light fixtures, and heating/cooling systems.

Where can I get cheap renters insurance?

At Direct Auto Insurance! Call 1-877-GO-DIRECT or visit a location near you today.

1 To include rare or expensive items in your coverage, you may need to add a specific provision in your policy. Check with your renters insurance company.

2 Be sure to check with your agent or carrier because some renters policies will exclude animal liability.

3 Renters and homeowners insurance are produced by Direct Auto Insurance agents and underwritten by affiliated and unaffiliated insurance companies. All coverages, features and benefits referenced are summary descriptions and are subject to the individual product’s terms, conditions, deductibles, and exclusions. Availability, qualifications, and amounts of coverages may vary. Not available in all states.