North Carolina Renters Insurance

With North Carolina renters insurance property damage and personal liability will be covered, but keep in mind some damages from hurricanes may not be.
Written by Meaghan Branham
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
Updated on Jun 01, 2022
North Carolina renters insurance costs an average of $106 a year or around $9 a month—to cover personal belongings, personal liability, and medical bills in case of injury and loss of use. 
With small-town charm and big-city perks, North Carolina has the best of both worlds. For those who live there, that usually comes with a low cost of living. For renters, that’s true even of their insurance rates, with North Carolina renters insurance costing $53 dollars less than the national average. 
For all its charm, there are a few factors for residents that make getting renters insurance a priority. Living in an area prone to floods and hurricanes with high winds means renters will need to pick a policy that offers the right coverage.
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We’ll help you navigate everything from the basics of a policy, to what it might cover, to how to build one that’s right for you. 
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What is renters insurance?

Renters insurance is a policy that protects you financially in the event of personal property damage or theft. It also covers personal liability or any cost incurred by injuries occurring on the rental property. 
North Carolina renters insurance policies will often include: 
  • Property coverage (Coverage C): This insurance covers either the actual cash value (ACV) of your belongings at the time of damage, or the cost to replace the items if they’re destroyed by a covered peril. Whether you receive the replacement cost or the ACV depends on the type of coverage you get. 
  • Loss of use coverage (Coverage D): This covers additional living expenses in the event that you have to find temporary housing because of damage to your home. It can include hotel rooms, additional food costs, even extra car mileage or gas costs. 
  • Personal liability (Coverage E): In the event that someone else is injured or their property is damaged in your home, this covers the amount you are required to pay, including legal fees.
  • Medical payments (Coverage F): If someone is injured on your property, this covers the medical expenses incurred. This coverage pays for any medical expenses when someone is injured on your property. 
There are some exceptions to these basics, however. For instance, some policies may include injuries caused by pets, while others may exclude them. Some may even include stipulations about certain dog breeds. 
To figure out the amount of property coverage you will need
, you can conduct an inventory of your belongings. For liability protection, most renters insurance policies include coverage of at least $100,000, but landlords may require up to $500,000 of liability coverage in their agreement. 

What does renters insurance cover?

While it varies depending on your policy and your place of residence, many North Carolina insurance policies cover costs from the following:
  • Fire 
  • Lightning
  • Windstorm
  • Hail
  • Explosion
  • Smoke
  • Frozen plumbing 
  • Volcanoes
  • Falling objects
  • Theft 
  • Vandalism
While your renters insurance may not cover all of these incidents, it will include many of them. Read your policy carefully to be sure you know which events are covered and which might require other protection. 
Those who live in North Carolina are familiar with the hurricane season storms each year. Some damages inflicted by those storms, like those that occur from strong winds, are covered in many policies. Others, like flood damage, will usually require separate coverage.

What does renters insurance not cover?

The list of perils renters insurance can protect you from is long, but it isn’t comprehensive. Here are a few exceptions to what renters insurance can cover:
  • Earthquakes and floods: If you live in an area where these events aren’t unheard of, it’s important to note that they are not covered by most renters insurance in North Carolina. They can be covered by a separate policy or added-on for an additional cost. 
  • Work-related items: Many of us may work from home these days, but if you have any items associated with a business (like a work laptop or other specialized equipment), you may need additional coverage. This is especially important to keep in mind if you run a business out of a rental home. 
  • Valuables and collectibles: Your favorite family heirlooms, along with more expensive items like jewelry, furs, silverware, and some electronics are often not covered by basic policies. 
  • Your roommate: Technically,
    you can add your roommate to your policy
    , but keep in mind any coverage on that policy will be split between the two of you. 
  • Your car:
    Your car can’t be covered
    by a renters policy, even if it’s parked on your rental property. You may be able to bundle your auto and renters insurance, which can help you save on both policies. 
Key Takeaway Renters insurance covers you financially for property damage and personal liability, but each policy may differ. 

Is renters insurance required in North Carolina?

Renters insurance is not required by law in North Carolina. Your landlord can still require you to purchase a renters insurance policy, however, and many do make this a requirement of their lease. In any case, many people decide to get some renter’s insurance for their own peace of mind, as it casts a wide security net for a relatively low cost. 
Luckily, renters insurance is one of the most affordable types of insurance you can get. North Carolina renters insurance costs an average of $9 a month, or around $106 on average each year. That’s around $53 dollars less than the national average. 
A low monthly payment for renters insurance covers thousands of dollars in property damage and personal liability, making it an easy and wise investment in your security. 

How to build a North Carolina renters insurance policy

It’s easy (and maybe even a little bit fun!) to create your renters insurance policy. You’ll need to conduct a personal asset inventory for the items in your home. You can do this by going room to room, making note of each item. 
You may want to also take pictures of your items or create a video inventory. That will make filing a claim a bit easier if you ever need to. For each item, make sure to take note of: 
  • Quantity
  • Purchase date
  • Purchase price
  • Brand number
  • Serial number (if available)
Then, choose your personal liability limit. Most renters insurance policies cover at least $100,000. Check your lease to see if your landlord has specified this limit; some may require up to $500,000 of liability coverage. 

Actual cash value vs. replacement cost

Finally, you’ll need to choose whether your policy will cover actual cash value (ACV), or replacement cost
Imagine you're just minding your business sitting on your front porch. Suddenly, a meteor out of the sky and lands right on your favorite porch swing. 
If your policy only covered ACV, you would claim whatever that swing was worth at the time of its demise. If your policy covered replacement cost, it would cover the full cost of a comparable new swing. 
It’s important to note that you will pay more for a policy that includes replacement cost. Consider the kind of coverage that makes the most sense for the risk level in your area, and your own needs. 
Key Takeaway Renters insurance in North Carolina, is not required by law, but it is a good investment and is often required by landlords. 

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