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A Student’s Guide to Renter’s Insurance

By Cristina

Are you a student confused about renter’s insurance? Trust us, you’re not alone.

We know the process of renting an apartment as a student can be confusing, and you probably have a lot of questions. What even is renter’s insurance? Do you have to have it? What does it cover?

At Rambler, we’ve helped hundreds of students through the leasing process, and we’re also here for you through the steps that follow signing your lease. That’s why we’ve created this guide to help you navigate the process of getting renter’s insurance.

In this article, we answer your questions about renter’s insurance, including:

A UT Student’s Guide to Renter’s Insurance in Austin

A North-facing view of the UT Austin Main Building and Tower

What is renter’s insurance?

Generally, renter’s insurance covers damage to you or your landlord’s property caused by theft, fire, natural disasters or other catastrophes

However, there are many types of renter’s insurance, so it’s important to check a policy to see what it actually covers. For example, while some policies cover personal property (belongings that you own), others cover personal liability (legal costs if you are liable for an injury that happens to someone in your home).

Do you need renter’s insurance?

The answer is almost always, “Yes!”

While renter’s insurance isn’t required by law, a landlord in Austin can require its tenants to have it. The landlord is also allowed to set a minimum dollar amount for the policy’s coverage.

In West Campus, nearly every apartment requires renter’s insurance. Most student housing complexes will offer their own policy, however, most of the time this only covers the building’s property. This means that if there are any damages, it does not cover the resident’s personal property.

Four college girls studying together at an outdoor table on campus

Many people make the mistake of assuming their landlord will cover damages just because the tenant didn’t cause it. However, there are very few cases where the landlord is liable to cover your losses if you don’t have renter’s insurance, even if the damage isn’t your fault.

Say a pipe bursts in your apartment, destroying your laptop and textbooks. If you don’t have renter’s insurance, it’s your responsibility to replace these damaged items out-of-pocket.

It’s important to get renter’s insurance to cover your personal belongings in case they are destroyed or stolen. Then, when these accidents happen, your insurance will reimburse you to replace your personal items.

What does renter’s insurance cover?

Renter’s insurance provides protection for tenants during their lease in a rental property. Plans typically offer coverage for damages to the renter’s personal property or belongings caused by fire, theft, natural disasters, or other unforeseen events. There are different coverage types, including personal property coverage, personal liability coverage, and additional living expense, or loss of use, coverage.

Personal property coverage protects your belongings from covered incidents like fire or theft. 

Personal liability coverage protects you if you’re held responsible for injuries in your property or damages to someone else’s property. For example, if someone slips and falls on your property, or you accidentally damage someone else’s property, personal liability coverage can help cover medical expenses and legal fees. 

Additional living expense, or loss of use, coverage helps cover the cost of any extra expenses you may face if forced to leave your property. This can include additional costs associated with food, transportation, pet care and boarding, and so on.

How much does renter’s insurance cost?

In Austin, renter’s insurance can vary anywhere from $5 to upwards of $25 per month.

This price can vary greatly depending on where you live and how much coverage you decide you need when selecting your policy.

Two college students looking at a computer together in a coffee shot

How do you get renter’s insurance?

There are many ways that students living in an off-campus apartment can get renter’s insurance.

  1. Landlord Insurance
  2. Parents’ Homeowners Policy
  3. Your Own Policy

First, you might find that your landlord offers their own insurance policy that you can opt into, or it may be added automatically. A landlord’s insurance usually covers damages to the building and personal liability, but it often won’t cover your personal items. If your landlord offers their own policy, read through it and ask questions to find out exactly what is covered.

Rambler requires that you have renter’s insurance, and we offer a policy that meets our minimum of $100,000 in liability coverage. You’ll find that this is a standard amount for apartments around West Campus.

Next, it’s possible that your parents’ homeowners policy covers your belongings even if you’re living elsewhere. This coverage is typically limited to 10% of the policy’s personal property coverage, so your family should check with both your insurance company and your landlord’s requirements to see if this is an option for you.

Lastly, many students decide that they want a completely separate policy to cover themselves. There are many affordable options online that are customizable to the amount of coverage you need. 


We hope that this article helps you understand the importance of renter’s insurance at any apartment in West Campus. If you have any questions about renter’s insurance at Rambler or about your housing search in general, contact our leasing staff!


Cristina is the Lease Up Specialist for Rambler. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland.

June 08, 2022

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