Does Renters Insurance Cover Family Members?

Apr 12, 2024 2 min read

As a renter, you likely don’t need to insure the structure where you live, but you do need to protect everything inside your residence should disaster strike. Should your furniture, clothing, household necessities or other personal items be stolen or damaged, renters insurance is designed to help you replace what you’ve lost. But what about family members and their belongings? This guide can help you understand what is covered by renters insurance — and what isn’t. 

What Does Renters Insurance Cover?

Put simply, a renters policy provides financial reimbursement for covered losses to your personal belongings. Events and disasters that are typically covered include smoke, fire, explosions, theft, vandalism, windstorms, lightning and sudden water damage from internal sources, such as plumbing or water overflow from a neighboring unit, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). 

To decide what insurance coverage will best meet your needs, you need to know the value of all your personal possessions — including furniture, clothing, electronics, appliances, kitchen utensils and even towels and bedding. The easiest way to tally it up is to create a home inventory, a detailed list of all of your personal possessions and their estimated value. 

You should also consider liability coverage. Liability coverage is included in your renters insurance policy and is for when you are found liable for other’s injuries or damage to other’s property. Having liability coverage is important because it ensures that you are protected financially – it covers  damages to others that you could potentially be held liable for. 

Who Does Renters Insurance Cover?

For families with kids, people who have roommates or unmarried couples, understanding who is covered can seem a bit more complex — here’s what you should know to ensure your entire household is protected.

Minor Children

Your children, if residents of your household, are generally covered by your renters insurance. In addition to replacing items that are damaged or destroyed, your policy can help provide financial protection against covered liability claims and lawsuits for accidental bodily injury or damage to property of others caused by your children. 

Spouses and Significant Others

Generally, married people living together are both automatically covered under one policy. If you and your partner live together, married or not, simply ask your agent to list both of your names on the renters insurance policy to ensure everything you own is protected and you’re both covered in the case of liability. 

Friends and Roommates

Unless your roommate's name is listed on your policy, they won't be covered under your renters insurance. While you can add their name to your policy much like you would with a significant other, most experts advise that roommates buy their own policies due to the tenuous nature of the roommate relationship. 

If there's a dispute or falling out between you and your roommate, it may complicate an insurance claim. If your roommate suffers a covered loss on your policy, your insurance rates could be higher in the future as a result. Keep in mind, too, that roommates tend to come and go, which means you could end up having to update your policy every time you change living situations.

Get the Coverage You Need

Always check with your Farm Bureau agent to see what coverage is best for you. Renters insurance might not be top of mind when you’re settling into a new place, but having a policy provides peace of mind that your belongings are covered, and you have personal liability protection.

Want to learn more?

Contact a local FBFS agent or advisor for answers personalized to you.