Are tenants supposed to have some kind of rented property damage insurance? What are the customs in the US? In other words: should I find an insurance company that covers expenses if I damage anything in the apartment or common areas of the apartment building? Do people do that?

In Europe this kind of insurance is usually provided by the property owner.

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    “In Europe this kind of insurance is usually provided by the property owner.” What country are you thinking about? I don't think that's true in general, there are many differences between countries regarding who is liable for what (landlord or tenant) and different insurance products reflecting this.
    – Relaxed
    Sep 30, 2022 at 14:16
  • This isn't about SE Personal Finance & Money and still, the obvious Answer to that Question might well be No; not specifically, but what exactly are you hoping to protect? Isn't there a world of difference between a flood for which the land-lord is responsible damaging your favourite outfit, and (who cares what) you might do causing a flood that damages the property or, more likely, damages the downstairs neighbour's favourite outfit? I've never heard of tenants legally needing the 'rented-property' insurance you describe… and so what? Do legal needs match useful precautions? Oct 1, 2022 at 20:43
  • In Europe this kind of insurance is usually provided by the property owner → in France it is the responsibility of the tenant.
    – WoJ
    Oct 2, 2022 at 14:25

2 Answers 2


In the US, renter's insurance typically covers the tenant's personal property and can also include liability coverage that could cover accidental damage to the rented property caused by tenant or guest of tenant. The landlord will typically have insurance that just covers basically the unit as it was when you occupied it, so in case of a fire that burned the rental to the ground their policy would help them recover but would do nothing for your lost possessions.

Typically you will put down a damage deposit equal to one month's rent at lease onset that the landlord will use to cover damages (caused by you or your guests) in excess of common wear/tear. That damage deposit does not free you from liability if the damages caused exceed the amount deposited, but renter's insurance can cover these accidental damages.

It is generally a good idea to carry renters insurance and some landlords require it, the policies are relatively inexpensive. Just be sure to understand what the specific policies you consider do/don't cover.

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    I would think apartment landlords are more likely to require liability renters insurance. If I leave the stove on and it starts a fire, more than just my single apartment is at risk. (Anecdotally, this is my experience. Apartment required liability insurance, rental house did not).
    – Nosjack
    Sep 29, 2022 at 19:13
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    @Nosjack I think you are correct, my guess is that it's more likely to be required by companies/landlords with more units than by those with just one or a few rentals who might underestimate the value of renter's insurance. Typically there is some layering of insurance as well, I don't count on my tenant's renter's liability insurance alone, it gets backed up my by own policy too.
    – Hart CO
    Sep 29, 2022 at 19:39
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    As a chronic renter in the U.S., I have found in the last ten years that nearly every property managed by a company (so, not including individuals renting out a room or second property), has required me to not only carry renters insurance with a minimum liability coverage, they have now started requiring that their holding company be added as a named insured on the policy. Sep 30, 2022 at 2:51
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    @ToddWilcox This helps reduce the cost of insurance on the landlord's end since their insurer can then count on that coverage and reduce/eliminate overlapping/redundant coverage on the landlord's policy.
    – Hart CO
    Sep 30, 2022 at 14:02
  • This applies in the UK as well (except that the tenant's deposit is capped at 5 weeks' rent). Sep 30, 2022 at 16:25

In the past it was highly recommended to get renters insurance. It protects you if stuff is stolen, or damaged. It also provides some protection for the landlord.

Recently family members moved into apartments. In both cases the leasing company not only suggested renters insurance, but they required it. They dictated amounts, and the language of some parts of the policy to get them the protection they required. Proof of insurance was required before the move in date.

This is in addition to the damage/security deposit.

  • Interesting that a renter would require insurance, since they're not liable for anything that renter's insurance would cover. Maybe they're afraid you'll stop paying rent if you spend all your money replacing stuff? (caveat: It's been a long time since I rented, but I never had insurance)
    – D Stanley
    Sep 29, 2022 at 16:25
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    @DStanley - Renter's insurance also covers liability. So if someone trips and falls in your apartment, your renter's insurance covers that accident. Same if you overflow the tub and cause water damage in a neighboring apartment. Otherwise, even if the tenant is liable, it's likely to be tough to recover the funds-- most renters don't have a whole lot of assets. Sep 29, 2022 at 16:36
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    @DStanley The liability coverage is nice, but renter's insurance is another measure to help ensure ability to pay which is primary concern for most landlords.
    – Hart CO
    Sep 29, 2022 at 16:41
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    In my last apartment, the requirement was $100,000 in liability coverage. They didn't care about insurance on your property of course, just damage to others.
    – Ezekiel
    Sep 30, 2022 at 3:17
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    @Ezekiel They should care about damage to tenant's property, as DStanley points out someone hit with a financial hardship like losing their possessions is more likely to struggle to pay rent.
    – Hart CO
    Sep 30, 2022 at 14:04

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