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Texas renters insurance guide

Learn everything you need to know about Texas renters insurance, including what's covered, what you're protected from, available discounts, and more.

Why get Texas renters insurance?

Everything is bigger in Texas, including natural disasters. The state is prone to hurricanes, tornados, wildfires, and more. And most people buy things over the course of months and years, so you may not realize how much your stuff is worth. The average renter in Texas has over $20,000 in stuff sitting around their apartment, and without renters insurance, it’s totally unprotected. If a disaster destroys everything you own or your apartment gets robbed, could you afford to replace all of your stuff at once?

Your landlord has insurance for the building, but covering the things inside it is up to you. The good news? Texas renters insurance is extremely affordable, with a typical policy starting around just $8 a month. When you consider how much protection renters insurance offers, that’s a great deal.

What does renters insurance cover?

Way more than just your stuff. Renters insurance in Texas has four main parts, broken down below.

Personal property

This is probably what you think of first. Personal property coverage protects the things you own up to the coverage limit you choose (plus some category limits). In Texas, the minimum amount of personal property coverage is $10,000, and the maximum is $100,000. Examples of items covered by personal property include…

  • Electronics (like TVs and computers)
  • Jewelry and collectibles
  • Clothes
  • Furniture
  • Cameras
  • Musical instruments
  • Sports and camping equipment
  • Other odds and ends

Living expenses

If a covered peril makes your apartment uninhabitable, renters insurance will help cover a hotel while you can’t stay at home.

Personal liability

Personal liability coverage protects you from lawsuits for bodily injury or property damage. If someone trips in your apartment and breaks their ankle, this will help pay for legal defense and judgments.

Medical payments

Related to liability, medical payments coverage helps pay for medical bills of someone who’s injured on your property. It’s important to know it won’t pay for medical bills for you or anyone who lives with you, since that’s what health insurance is for.

What you're protected from

In the insurance world, anything that causes a loss, like a fire or hurricane, is called a “peril.” Exactly which perils are covered and which aren’t depends on your insurer and your policy, so it’s extremely important to look at more than just the cost when you’re buying renters insurance. Getting the lowest price doesn’t mean you’re getting the best value.

Texas renters insurance policies sold through Quilt come standard with coverage for these perils:

  • Fire, smoke, and lightning
  • Windstorm (including tornados and hurricanes) and hail
  • Theft, vandalism, and riots
  • Freezing
  • Explosion
  • Aircrafts, vehicles, and falling objects
  • Weight of ice, snow, or sleet
  • Accidental discharge/overflow of water (like burst pipes and overflowing tubs)
  • Sudden and accidental electrical current discharge
  • Volcanic eruption

What's not covered

Renters insurance covers a lot of things, but it doesn’t cover everything. Earth movement, like earthquakes, landslides, and sinkholes, aren’t covered, but if an earthquake causes a fire or explosion, it would be. You can add coverage for earth movement to your policy with an endorsement though, which is something we recommend if your area is at risk.

Most water damage is also excluded. If a pipe bursts or a fire sprinkler goes off, renters insurance will cover it, but floods, tidal waves, or sewer backups require flood insurance, which is a separate kind of policy. You can check out this article for more info on why, plus tips on purchasing flood insurance.

Power failure is also excluded, depending on the cause. A renters policy covers you, not the power grid, so widespread outages aren’t covered. But if the outage is caused by damage to the place you live, it’s covered. Other notable exclusions include war, government action, and neglect.

Texas renters insurance discounts

Which discounts are available depends on the company you choose. Quilt’s partner for Texas renters insurance offers the following discounts:

  • Mature citizen credit (5%)
  • Multi-product discount (up to 15%)
  • Smoke alarm, dead bolt, and fire extinguisher (3%)
  • Active central station reporting fire alarm (10%)
  • Active central station reporting burglar alarm (10%)
  • Maximum discount (10%)

ACV vs. RCV

There are two ways insurance companies use to calculate how much your stuff is worth when they pay a claim. The first is called replacement cost value, or RCV. With RCV, you get the full amount it costs to replace your stuff with items of the same kind and quality, minus the deductible.

With actual cash value (ACV) policies, you would only be entitled to the replacement cost minus depreciation. That means you might not be as covered as you think. If you have a two year old laptop, an ACV policy would deduct the two years of use you got along with the deductible. How much is deducted for depreciation depends on a lot of factors, but the bottom line is that you won't get enough to replace the items you lost.

All of Quilt's renters insurance policies come standard with replacement cost value. It costs a little bit more per month, but we think it's worth it. If you ever have to file a claim, you'll be made whole again.

Texas renters insurance FAQs

Is renters insurance required in Texas?

Not by law, no, but many landlords and property management companies require tenants have a policy, especially around large cities like Houston, Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio. That’s because renters insurance comes with personal liability coverage in addition to covering your stuff, so if someone gets hurt at your place, your policy can help pay for legal defense and judgments.

But required or not, you really should have renters insurance if you live in Texas. It offers a lot of protection for not a lot of money – especially considering how prone Texas is to natural disasters like hurricanes, tornados, and wildfires.

Does Texas renters insurance cover hurricanes?

Yep! The policies Quilt sells cover you from most natural disasters, like fires, tornados, hurricanes, freezing, and some kinds of water damage. The standard policy doesn’t cover earthquakes, but earthquake coverage can be added if your area is prone to tremors. Floods are also excluded by renters insurance, so you’ll need to buy a flood insurance policy if your home is in a flood plain. (Check out Why aren’t floods covered by renters insurance? for more on why.)

How much does Texas renters insurance cost?

Less than you might think. Prices vary by where you live, how big your place is, and how much stuff you need to cover, and a couple other factors, but most Texas policies are between $8 and $15 a month. That’s less than you probably spend for streaming services, which is a good deal when you think about just how much protection renters insurance offers.

What's a deductible?

It’s the amount you need to pay before insurance kicks in. The amount varies depending on where you buy your policy and what you choose. At Quilt, we decided on a standard low deductible of $500 for our renters policies, which is on the low end. You could save a little money by going with a $1,000 deductible, but you’d have to have over $1,000 in damage to file a claim. We think $500 is the right balance of affordability and protection.

Do college students in Texas need renters insurance?

It depends. Students living in on-campus housing probably don’t need their own policy, provided their parents’ have a homeowners or renters insurance policy. Both provide some coverage to dependents – typically 10% of the total value. So if the family has $40,000 in coverage, the student would be covered up to $4,000, which should be enough for a dorm.

For students living off-campus, the answer really comes down to how valuable the furniture, clothes, and electronics inside the apartment are. A parent’s homeowners or renters insurance won’t necessarily apply in that situation, so getting a separate renters policy might be a good idea.

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