Pennsylvania Renters Insurance

Rental insurance in Pennsylvania will cover property damage and personal liability, but check to make sure fires, frozen pipes, and snowstorms are covered.
Written by Nick Kunze
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
Updated on May 02, 2022
The average Pennsylvania renters insurance policy costs $194 a year. For that price, you’ll have property coverage, loss of use coverage, personal liability coverage, and medical expense coverage. 
While only 41% of renters have rental insurance, this inexpensive policy offers a large swath of useful financial protections. All Pennsylvania renters should consider getting a renters insurance policy for their own peace of mind.
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What is renters insurance?

Renters insurance is an insurance policy specifically for those renting a property. It offers protections relevant to their possessions and personal liability, without protecting the physical property. 
Here’s the type of coverage to expect in most renters insurance policies:
  • Property coverage (Coverage C): This covers your possessions if they are damaged or lost. 
  • Loss of use coverage (Coverage D): This covers living expenses, like housing or food delivery, if you are temporarily unhoused after your rental is damaged. This is also called additional living expenses coverage.
  • Personal liability (Coverage E): This covers legal fees and payments if someone is injured or their property is damaged while at your rental.
  • Medical payments (Coverage F): This covers medical expenses if someone is injured on your property. 
To calculate how much property coverage you need, you’ll have to inventory your belongings. Itemize and tally up the cost of all your art, furniture, electronics, and jewelry. 
Plus, you will need to decide on a personal liability limit. This will affect your monthly cost and how much you can claim for personal liability. Some landlords have a required amount of personal liability—usually $300,000 or $500,000

What does renters insurance cover?

Renters insurance covers all the perils named on your policy. These are always sudden and unexpected incidents. Wear and tear or poor upkeep will never be covered.
Common named perils include:
  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Frozen plumbing
  • Windstorm
  • Vandalism
  • Hail
  • Lightning
  • Impact by a vehicle
  • Falling objects
  • Explosion
Be sure to check what you’re covered for before signing a policy. You don’t want to be caught without proper coverage after an accident. 
Pennsylvania renters should make sure their policy covers them for fires, frozen pipes, and snowstorms—all of which are likely issues in Pennsylvania. 

What does renters insurance not cover?

While renters insurance offers widespread coverage, it is not completely comprehensive. Here are a few things that aren’t covered:
  • The property: Renter insurance will never cover the rental itself. Any repairs to the rental will be covered by the landlord's insurance (and is not your responsibility).
  • Work items: Renters insurance is for your personal property. Any work-related items—like a work laptop or your company’s inventory—are not covered.
  • Your vehicle: Your vehicle is only covered by its
    car insurance
    policy, even when parked at your rental. 
Key Takeaway Renters insurance doesn’t just cover your belongings—it’s important for legal liability if an incident takes place on your property.  

Is renters insurance required in Pennsylvania?

Renters insurance is not legally required in Pennsylvania; however, your landlord may require a renters insurance policy to sign the lease.
Even if you’re not required to buy one, a renters insurance policy is a great investment. It offers a large amount of coverage for a low price. Renters insurance only costs an average of  $194 a year for Pennsylvania renters. That comes out to just over $16 a month!
This price is a bit above the U.S. average, with the U.S. average coming out to $159.

How to build a Pennsylvania renters insurance policy

When you’re starting your renters insurance policy, the first thing you’ll need to do is inventory your personal assets. Go room to room and take note of this information for all your furniture, art, appliances, and electronics:
  • Quantity
  • Purchase date
  • Purchase price
  • Brand number
  • Serial number (if available)
While inventorying, it’s wise to take pictures of your possessions. Photos simplify the claims process if any of your possessions are damaged.
Next, you’ll need to select a personal liability limit. The higher the limit, the more your bill will be. Some landlords will require a certain amount of liability (usually between $300,000 and $500,000).

Actual cash value vs. replacement cost

When starting your renters policy, you’ll need to decide between two options: actual cash value (ACV) and replacement cost
Actual cash value pays for the current worth of your possessions, with depreciation factored in. That means a payout will likely be less than the cost to replace the item.
Replacement cost will reimburse you for how much it’ll cost to buy a full replacement of the item.
While replacement cost will give you larger payouts, it also costs more each month. 

How to find cheap renters and car insurance

If you’re trying to save on your
renters insurance
policy, you should consider bundling your renters and auto policies! Bundling is when you purchase multiple insurance policies from the same company. When bundling, you can often get discounts of up to 25%! That means the savings you get from your car insurance can easily pay for the entirety of your renters insurance.
If you want help finding the best insurance deals, you need to download
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saved me a ton of money when I decided to bundle my auto and renters insurance. Plus, the whole thing took ten minutes, tops.”—Connor E.
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