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Guide to NYC Renters Insurance

NYC renters insurance is imperative to keeping yourself financially protected when living in the city. Here’s our comprehensive guide to renters insurance and how it pertains to life in NYC.

What’s covered

Renters insurance in NYC covers three main categories of expenses:

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  • Liability: Liability coverage usually covers property damage and medical bills if you unintentionally damage someone else’s property, or if somebody hurts themselves in your residence.
  • Personal Property: This covers the cost of repairing or replacing your personal belongings if they are damaged or stolen.
  • Additional Living Expenses: If it becomes necessary for you to move out of your apartment while it is being repaired, food and lodging expenses can add up quickly. This is a provision that’s covered by most renter’s insurance. It is also known as loss of use coverage, when the damages cause you to lose the ability to use the property you’re renting.


Most policies cover most, not all, of your personal property. This includes clothing, furniture, art, and electronics. Keep in mind that there are usually limits on coverage for luxury belongings like jewelry, flatware, and fur.

Sources of Damage

NYC renters Insurance covers a specific set of damage sources, referred to as perils. You’re protected from theft, fire, smoke, and explosions. Water damage from bursting pipes and overflows is covered. Water damage from flooding typically is not. Wind damage is typically covered. However, water that flows through the roof or walls is typically not covered.

Most Common Renters Insurance Claims in NYC

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  1. Water Overflows: Whether it’s your tub, sink, or toilet, water overflows are the most common types of claims when it comes to renter’s insurance. Just one inch of water on the floor can cause an average of $25,000 in damage.
  2. Dog Bites: Our furry friends are accountable for a pretty sizable portion of renter’s insurance claims. Dogs are much more likely to engage in abnormal aggression when they’re living in vertical, confined spaces like highrises. They are especially susceptible to this behavior in elevators, where they have nowhere to escape to and likely feel cornered. It should be noted that many insurance companies will not insure you if you own certain “aggressive-breed” dogs like pitbulls or rottweilers.
  3. Malfunctioning Air Conditioning: Malfunctioning air conditioning units have caused many water leaks and overflows. This can be especially true if your A/C unit is off for extended periods of time. If the drains get clogged with a buildup of dust or mold, they will not drain properly, and there’s a chance the water could get absorbed by the wall, causing all types of costly and hard to notice problems.

Injuries from Accidents Inside Apartment

The liability portion of renters insurance covers the renter in case a guest hurts themselves in the apartment. For example, if someone slips and falls on the bathroom floor, the liability portion of the insurance policy will pay for their hospital bills.

Note: NYC renters insurance typically does not provide coverage for Airbnb guests, or tenants subletting the apartment. If you’re planning on using Airbnb or subletting, be sure to talk to your insurance provider.

Who’s Covered?

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Spouses and immediate family members are typically covered under renter’s insurance. This does not include roommates.

Dog Bites

The liability portion of your insurance covers dog bites, in case your furry friend betrays your trust. Dog bites are one of the most common renters insurance claims, so take extra care when choosing your policy if you’ve got a dog. Also, be sure to consider the fact that renter’s insurance may only cover damages from certain, “non-aggressive” dog breeds.

Does Renters Insurance Cover Me Off-Premises?

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The great thing about renter’s insurance is that your belongings are typically covered whether they’re in your apartment or not. Typically, your belongings are protected from damage caused by fire, water damage from burst pipes, and vandalism. Sometimes it also covers off-premises theft, but not always. Be sure to check out your current policy, especially if you live in an area with higher property crime.


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