Woman returning to her apartment to find her belongings rummaged and items stolen.

How to file a renters insurance claim

Understanding how renters insurance works and how to file a claim if you need to do so is important.

Typically, when you rent your residence, standard lease agreements require tenants to carry renters insurance. This requirement is intended to protect the landlord and their property as well as the tenant's personal property. This may include furniture, clothing, electronic devices, jewelry and other valuables. A State Farm® insurance agent can help you determine how much renters insurance you may need.

Be prepared in case of a renters insurance claim

Knowing how to report a renters insurance claim is important and allows you to provide a detailed list of your belonging in the event you need to file a claim. Many renters insurance policyholders record their possessions room to room as they pack to move into a new place. Here are a few tips.

  • Conduct a home inventory. This will come in very handy when/if you should have to file a renters claim.
  • Take photos. It is a good idea to take photos of every room in your rental and all your valuables.
  • Keep important records. It is important to save receipts, photos, registrations and other important documents in a safe or fire-proof container.

Claim values are generally based on current actual cash value or replacement cost, so having these records is extremely helpful.

When to file a renters insurance claim

Talk to your insurance agent or contact a claim associate to discuss a potential claim. A few common claim scenarios renters insurance policyholders report are:

  • Burglary or break-in
  • Items stolen from their vehicle
  • Fire damage
  • Water damage
  • Injury to a guest

Renters insurance claim tips

Before performing any repairs, read your lease to determine what repairs you or your landlord might be responsible for. Make sure you have completely filed the claim with the insurance company. Retain any receipts associated with the repairs.

Renters insurance claim process

After a claim is reported and you provide all the needed information including receipts and details of the occurrence, the insurance company proceeds to investigate the claim. Here is the typical renters insurance claim handling process.

  • Reviews and investigates the claim. The insurance company will review claim details, possibly through an onsite claims investigation.
  • Evaluates damage and requests documents. The insurance company may request an inventory of damaged property. They may also ask for documentation and/or details about the lost items including receipts, photos, brand names, model numbers, age, purchase price and place of purchase.
  • Assesses the damage. An assessment of the damage is done based on the information and review conducted.
  • Contacts the policyholder. The renter/policyholder is contacted with an explanation of rental insurance coverages and endorsements.
  • Requests a personal property inventory or estimates. A claim associate works with the policyholder to estimate the damaged or stolen items and/or covered repairs.
  • Reviews estimates. The insurance company, through its claim associates, reviews the claimed items or repair estimates and determines what payments or repairs need to be offered.
  • Approves or denies the claim, and if covered, offers payment. Based on the findings in the claim's review process and the policy provisions, the insurance company authorizes repairs or provides payment to the renter.

If another individual is responsible for the damage, your insurance company may pursue subrogation. This is the process where your insurance company attempts to collect the money it paid to you from the responsible party.

If you are a State Farm customer and need to file a renters insurance claim, please visit statefarm.com/claims to file or manage your claim.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm® (including State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates). While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. State Farm is not responsible for, and does not endorse or approve, either implicitly or explicitly, the content of any third party sites that might be hyperlinked from this page. The information is not intended to replace manuals, instructions or information provided by a manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional, or to affect coverage under any applicable insurance policy. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.

This is only a general description of coverages and is not a statement of contract. Details of coverage or limits vary in some states. All coverages are subject to the terms, provisions, exclusions and conditions in the policy itself, and in endorsements.

State Farm Fire and Casualty Company
Bloomington, IL

State Farm General Insurance Company
Bloomington, IL

State Farm Florida Insurance Company
Winter Haven, FL

State Farm Lloyds
Richardson, TX

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