Does Renters Insurance Cover Vandalism?

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Vandalism is one of those things in life that you can’t control, and it seems to only happen at the absolute worst time. Although there’s no good time to fall victim to a vandal, your renters insurance policy can help you in a few different ways. Let’s dive into the topic.

Does Renters Insurance Cover Vandalism?

Yes, renters insurance covers vandalism to your personal property if your belongings are suddenly and unexpectedly damaged or destroyed by a vandal. However, since you’re renting the home from a landlord, your policy won’t cover any vandalization to the exterior of the property or to anything you don’t personally own.

Personal Belongings

Since renters don’t own the property they live in, the most imperative and in-depth part of a renters insurance policy centers around the renter’s personal belongings. Things like furniture, clothes, electronics, jewelry and phones are all covered by renters insurance — whether the damage is caused by vandalism or that vandal goes one step further and becomes a thief in the process.

Since every renter has a various number of belongings at different incremental values, no policy is cut the same. As the renter, you get to choose how much or how little personal property coverage you get. The best way to determine how much coverage you need is to create an inventory list of all your belongings.

By doing so, you can more accurately figure out whether you’ll need $10,000 or $40,000 in personal property coverage. Keep in mind that getting too much coverage is simply wasting money on monthly premiums, while getting too little coverage will put you at risk of being underinsured should you need to file a renters insurance claim.

There are also a few types of personal property coverage you should know about before securing a policy. Let’s take a look at each.

Actual Cash Value vs. Replacement Cost Coverage

You can choose between two types of personal property coverage: actual cash value and replacement cost. Replacement cost coverage is the more straightforward of the two, reimbursing you the exact dollar amount you paid for each item — no matter how long ago it was purchased.

Actual cash value coverage, on the other hand, is reimbursed at the discretion of your insurer. This coverage takes depreciation into account when valuing your items. For instance, if you bought a laptop five years ago for $2,000, your insurer may give it a lifespan of eight years and simply reimburse you $750 because they feel that it loses $250  in value every year it ages.

Since replacement cost coverage always pays out more for your belongings than actual cash value does, opting for the coverage will also increase your monthly renters insurance premiums. But since renters insurance averages about $15 per month, it likely won’t make too much of a difference.

Scheduled Personal Property Coverage

Whether you choose replacement cost or actual cash value coverage, your insurer still puts limits on high-value items like jewelry, artwork, fine china and expensive electronics. These items are capped at a certain dollar amount per claim, so you’d have to purchase additional scheduled personal property coverage to ensure you’re efficiently protected.

Loss of Use

While it’s a long shot, if the vandal causes so much damage that you must temporarily move out of your rental home, your policy’s loss of use coverage would step in and pay for many additional living expenses you incur.

This coverage would help pay for things like storage fees, moving expenses, temporary housing like a hotel stay and many other expenses you wouldn’t have otherwise incurred.


Your landlord should have their own landlord insurance policy, which would be used to take care of the damage to their property. So even though renters insurance includes liability coverage, there’s pretty much no scenario that could happen where your policy picks up the damages instead of theirs.

Does Renters Insurance Cover Vandalism to Car?

If a vandal damages your vehicle, your renters insurance policy would only cover the personal belongings that you keep inside. So if they damage, destroy or outright steal your possessions, you’d have to file a claim and your insurer should reimburse you for the belongings.

However, personal property coverage outside the home is usually limited to 10% of your policy’s personal property coverage maximum. So if you have $20,000 in coverage, your policy would only cover up to $2,000 of items that were vandalized or stolen from your vehicle.

However, renters insurance would never cover any damage to your vehicle. That would have to be covered by your auto insurance policy, and you’d have to have comprehensive coverage for that coverage to kick in.

Common Vandalism Incidents Covered By Renters Insurance

Some common instances of vandalism would include someone who breaks into your home and graffiti your belongings, trashing them with a baseball bat or breaking the windows to allow rain to come through and create water damage to them.

Vandalism is more common in big cities and more heavily populated areas, so those people living in rural towns are less likely to experience vandalism. Therefore, renters insurance would likely be cheaper in rural areas than urban areas.

While renters insurance isn’t required by law, your landlord can write a clause into your rental agreement that requires you to purchase it. Whether they do or don’t, we always recommend purchasing and maintaining a policy throughout the length of your lease.

Protect Your Belongings With Renters Insurance

Averaging just $12 per month, renters insurance can protect your belongings for the cost of a few cups of coffee.

The editorial content on Clovered’s website is meant to be informational material and should not be considered legal advice.

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