Washington Renters Insurance

Your Washington renters insurance will cover your personal property and provide liability coverage, but you should consider adding landslide coverage.
Written by Emily Maracle
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
Updated on May 03, 2022
Renters insurance in
costs $118 a year or about $10 a month on average. With a standard renters insurance policy, you’ll get coverage for your personal property, personal liability, loss of use, and medical payments coverage for others injured in your home. 
Getting a new apartment is an exciting time, but having renters insurance ensures those good times aren’t cut short! Renters insurance provides financial and legal security should anything happen at your home. 
Car insurance
broker and super app
has everything you need to know about renters insurance in Washington. We’ll go over what
renters insurance
is, how to build your perfect policy, and how to save money on both your renters and auto insurance. 
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What is renters insurance?

Renters insurance protects your personal property from damage and provides legal protection through personal liability coverage. 
A renters insurance policy typically includes:
  • Personal property coverage (Coverage C): Your personal property coverage protects your belongings for their actual cash value (ACV) or replacement cost if a covered peril damages them. 
  • Loss of use coverage (Coverage D): Also known as additional living expenses (ALE) coverage. If your home is uninhabitable after damage from a covered peril, this coverage will help maintain your normal standard of living by covering things like hotel expenses or food. 
  • Personal Liability coverage (Coverage E): Personal liability coverage provides legal protection if someone is injured or their property is damaged while they’re in your home. 
  • Medical Payments to Others (Coverage F): This is a separate coverage to help reduce the likelihood of submitting a liability claim after someone is injured on your property. 
When getting renters insurance, you’ll need to calculate the total value of your personal property. The easiest way to do this is to take inventory of your belongings. You should include anything essential to your everyday life and things like jewelry, art, or electronics.
Additionally, if your landlord requires renters insurance, you’ll typically need to purchase at least $300,000 of coverage, but they may require up to $500,000

What does renters insurance cover? 

Standard renters insurance covers the
16 named perils
in homeowners insurance. While this can vary between providers, your policy will typically cover:
  • Fire
  • Lightning
  • Wind
  • Hail
  • Smoke
  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Falling objects
  • Volcanic eruption
  • Explosion 
  • Freezing
  • Weight of ice, sleet, or snow
  • Accidental discharge of water or steam
  • Accidental tearing, cracking, burning, or bulging of HVAC
Depending on the type of policy you choose and the coverage you need, your policy may cover more or less than this. 
You’ll also want to find out whether your policy covers landslides. Since landslides frequently occur in Washington, you may need a separate landslide insurance policy. 

What does renters insurance not cover? 

Renters insurance protects most of your belongings, but it won’t protect everything you own. Some non-covered items include:
  • Work-related items: If you work from home or own a business, your renters policy won’t cover these items. You’ll likely need a separate policy for coverage. 
  • Valuables: Fine art, collectibles, and jewelry often require additional coverage to ensure you are entitled to their full value should anything happen. Otherwise, you may only have coverage up to a certain limit or no coverage at all. 
  • Your car: Your renters insurance doesn’t cover your car, even if it's on your rental property. To protect your vehicle, you’ll need a
    car insurance
    policy that meets your state’s requirements. 
Key Takeaway Renters insurance covers both your stuff and you should anything happen on your property, especially if someone is hurt or their property is damaged while at your home. 

Is renters insurance required in Washington? 

Washington state law does not require a renter to purchase renters insurance. That said, your lease may require you to purchase renters insurance, meaning your landlord has a right to enforce it. Even if you aren’t required to carry renters insurance, it still is incredibly beneficial to have. It can protect you legally and financially should anything happen at your home. 
Thankfully, renters insurance is quite affordable. Renters insurance in Washington is $41 cheaper than the national average, so expect to spend only about $118 a year or $10 a month for coverage. The low price means you and your belongings are safe and secure without breaking the bank!

How to build a Washington renters insurance policy

While it may seem complicated, building a renters insurance policy is simple. First, you’ll want to look at your personal belongings and inventory each room in your home. You’ll want to document the following information for each item, including electronics, appliances, furniture, and anything else of value:
  • Quantity
  • Purchase date
  • Purchase price
  • Brand number
  • Serial number (if available)
It’s also important to take pictures showing the current condition of the items. You’re more likely to get a claim approved if you can show before and after photos when a covered loss occurs. 
Beyond personal property, you’ll need to select a personal liability limit. This amount covers injuries or damages that occur in your home, and most policies start at $100,000 worth of coverage. However, your landlord may require more coverage, such as $300,000 or $500,000. 
Find out whether your policy covers landslides. Since Washington state is at high risk for landslides, you may need to purchase a separate policy to supplement a standard renters insurance policy. 

Actual cash value vs. replacement cost

Standard renters insurance covers the actual cash value (ACV) of your belongings, but you have the option to choose replacement cost instead. 
For example, let’s say your new laptop was stolen from your apartment, and you purchased it for $1,000 six months ago. With actual cash value, your policy will only pay out the cost of your laptop after depreciation—potentially only $700, depending on the rate of depreciation your insurance uses. 
If you had replacement cost coverage, your policy would pay out $1,000 or the amount to replace your laptop with a similar one. That said, replacement cost does increase your policy’s premium. Before deciding what coverage to get, you’ll want to review your needs and determine the cost of either option. 

How to find cheap renters and car insurance

If you’re looking for a cheap
renters insurance
policy, it’s pretty easy to find, but you can save even more on a renters policy by
bundling your renters and car insurance policies
. The discount varies between companies, but you can save an average of 5% to 25% when you bundle both policies. 
To find the best rate when bundling your renters and car insurance, download the
app. A licensed broker, Jerry does all the hard work of finding cheap quotes from the top name-brand insurance companies and buying new home or renters insurance. Jerry will even help you cancel your old policy.
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