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Publication #FAR5007

Renter's Insurance1

Mary Harrison and Donna Davis2

Figure 1. 
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Whether you're a family living in a rental house or apartment, or a parent whose children are in a rental situation, one of the costs that people tend to forget or ignore is renter's insurance. But according to consumer science researchers, everyone renting an apartment or a house should have renter's insurance. It will protect you and your family against losses from disasters such as hurricanes and fire. A dear friend of mine learned this recently when her apartment burned to the ground only two weeks after moving in. We may think it will never happen to us, but, unfortunately, it does.

Renter's insurance is moderately priced. You can choose a policy that pays the value of your loss, such as the present value of your furniture. You can choose insurance that pays the replacement value of the loss. Of the two kinds, replacement insurance is recommended as the better choice.

Some renters believe the landlord has insurance that protects them. That is not correct. The landlord is not responsible for your loss from fire or other disasters unless the landlord is directly responsible for causing the loss. Renter's insurance will also protect you in other ways. For example, it helps you when your dog bites a neighbor, or if your child's playmate breaks his arm at your home.

When disaster or accidents occur, a few hundred dollars in annual renter's insurance can potentially save your family thousands of dollars at a time when emotional loss doesn't have to be matched with financial loss.

Listening, learning, and living together: it's the science of life. "Family Album" is a co-production of University of Florida IFAS Extension, the Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, and of WUFT-FM. If you'd like to learn more, please visit our website at

To listen to the radio broadcast:


Harrison, M. (2005). Handling money: Renter's insurance. Gainesville: University of Florida Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences. Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Retrieved April 12, 2006, from



This document is FAR5007, one of a series of the Family Youth and Community Sciences Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Broadcast as program 416 in January 2007. Published on EDIS August 2012. In the interest of time and/or clarity, the broadcast version of this script may have been modified. Visit the EDIS website at


Mary Harrison, professor, and Donna Davis, senior producer, Family Album Radio, Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.