Renters Insurance in Texas: What to Know

If you’re a renter in the Lone Star State, purchasing a renters insurance policy can protect your belongings.

Stephanie Colestock
Stephanie Colestock

Stephanie is a DC-based freelance writer specializing in personal finance. Her work covers insurance, loans, real estate investing, retirement, and more.

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Chris Schafer
Edited byChris Schafer
Chris Schafer
Chris SchaferSenior Editor
  • 15+ years in content creation

  • 7+ years in business and financial services content

Chris is a seasoned writer/editor with past experience across myriad industries, including insurance, SAS, finance, Medicare, logistics, marketing/advertising, and many more.

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Updated July 3, 2024

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Renters insurance coverage offers valuable protection for your belongings when you live in a home, condo, or apartment that you don’t own. This policy type covers your belongings and can even provide you with liability coverage and temporary living expenses if you’re displaced.

While renters insurance isn’t mandatory in Texas, many landlords will require you to buy a policy. Here’s what you need to know while shopping for renters insurance in Texas.

Quick Facts
  • Texas renters insurance protects your belongings against damage, loss, or even theft.

  • Some renters policies may even cover your belongings if they’re stolen while you’re away from home.

  • Most insurers offer renters insurance, and you can often bundle it with other coverage types.

What does renters insurance cover?

Renters insurance provides personal belongings coverage for tenants, or people living in a dwelling they don’t own.[1] Renters may assume that their landlord would cover any damages to their personal items if they’re damaged or destroyed, but this isn’t true.

Landlords and homeowners are responsible for any property damage to the building in which you live. But if you want to protect your items, you’re responsible for purchasing renters insurance.

Renters insurance coverage offers financial protection for:

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    Personal belongings

    If a covered peril damages or destroys your furniture, clothes, electronics, or other valuables — or if they’re lost or stolen — renters insurance can help pay to repair or replace them.

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    Personal liability

    This coverage can help pay for medical expenses, legal fees, and more if someone injures themselves on the property.

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    Additional living expenses

    If something displaces you from your rental home, this portion of your coverage can help pay for a hotel, temporary rental, restaurant meals, laundry services, and more.

What renters insurance doesn’t cover

Renters insurance protects you, the renter, and your personal interests. But it doesn’t cover the actual building that you rent; that’s the responsibility of the property owner.

Renters insurance doesn’t cover:

  • Dwellings: The owner’s homeowners insurance policy should cover the house you rent.

  • Additional structures: The property owner’s insurance will also cover other structures on the property, such as a garage, patio, fence, pool, shed, and more. 

  • Fixtures within the home: Renters insurance doesn’t cover fixtures in the home, such as walls, floors, ceilings, appliances, HVAC systems, or plumbing.

Do Texas renters need flood insurance?

Like homeowners insurance policies, renters insurance coverage only offers financial protection for damages that certain perils cause.[2] A covered event may include things like fire, lightning, hail, and smoke damage, but standard insurance generally doesn’t cover flood damage.

Storms, poor drainage, broken sewer lines and water mains, or area construction can cause flooding. If flood water enters the home you’re renting, you may find yourself on the hook for repairing or replacing any of your belongings that get damaged, even if you have a traditional renters insurance policy.

Important Information

Texas House Bill 531 requires landlords to notify renters if the home they’re renting is in a 100-year flood plain.[3] Even if your rental home isn’t in a known flood area, buying a separate flood insurance policy can help protect you against many forms of water damage. Many insurance companies offer these policies, and they may even be available through your renters insurance company — sometimes as an optional endorsement or rider.

Cost of renters insurance in Texas

Renters insurance costs about $20 per month for a typical renters insurance policy, according to the Texas Department of Insurance. But your cost may vary based on a few different factors, including:

  • Your location

  • The deductible you choose

  • The policy’s selected coverage limits

  • Your personal claims history

  • Your credit history

  • Any discounts you qualify for

You may be able to lock in a lower rate by bundling your renters coverage with an auto insurance policy, for example, or by choosing a higher deductible.

How to choose a renters insurance policy in Texas

You should buy your renters insurance policy before moving into your new place. This protects your belongings against any number of perils.

As you start your search for a new renters insurance policy, follow these steps:

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    1. Decide what kind of policy to buy

    Some renters insurance policies only protect against a limited number of perils, while others provide more comprehensive coverage. Take note of where your rental home’s location is and the natural disasters that are most prevalent, then look for policies that offer coverage against them.

  • illustration card

    2. Calculate your coverage needs

    Renters insurance protects your belongings against damage and loss. Spend some time calculating how much coverage you need to adequately protect yourself against a total loss, such as your rental unit being completely destroyed. Be sure to think about your furniture, clothing, decor, electronics, and other personal items.

  • illustration card

    3. Shop around to compare pricing

    Gathering quotes from multiple insurers will help ensure that you get the coverage you need at the best possible price. Look into the coverage options offered by your existing insurer; many times, you might qualify for discounts when bundling coverage with your auto insurance or even life insurance policies.

How to file a renters insurance claim

Hopefully you never need to file an insurance claim, but if you do, follow these steps:

  1. Notify your landlord. If your rental home is damaged or destroyed, let the homeowner know as soon as possible. This allows them to also file a homeowners insurance claim, if needed, or at least take steps to mitigate damage and make repairs.

  2. Document everything. Take photos of any damage, write down events, and make a note of any damaged or lost belongings.

  3. File a police report (if applicable). Some losses may require a police report — such as vandalism, burglary, or theft. Your own insurance company may require this police report as part of your claim, so file this in a timely fashion.

  4. Notify your insurance company. As soon as possible, let your insurance company know about the loss; many policies require you to notify it within 24–72 hours.[4] It may take a statement from you, send an adjuster, or give you next steps for the claims process.

  5. Submit your losses and any documentation. Depending on the extent and nature of your losses, you may need to provide certain documentation. This could include a list of items damaged or lost, receipts for valuables, statements, and more. Be sure to provide these in a timely fashion to avoid claims delays.

Common renters insurance claims in Texas

Renters insurance policies cover a wide range of losses. Some common claims Texas renters file include those related to:

  • Vandalism

  • Theft/burglary

  • Fire and smoke damage

  • Lightning and hail

Many renters also file claims for alternative living expenses, such as temporary housing, if the home they’re renting is suddenly inhabitable. In Texas, this could be due to things like storm damage, power outages, sewage backups, or flooding.

Renters insurance in Texas FAQs

Want to know even more about renters insurance coverage and claims in Texas? Here’s some additional information that can help as you search for a policy.

  • Is renters insurance mandatory in Texas?

    No. Renters insurance isn’t a legal requirement in Texas, but your landlord may require you to buy a policy as a condition of your lease agreement. Even if renters insurance isn’t required, it’s usually a good idea to purchase a policy because coverage is relatively inexpensive, and it offers you valuable financial protection.

  • Can my landlord force me to get renters insurance in Texas?

    Yes. Your Texas landlord can require you to purchase renters insurance coverage as part of your rental agreement. Be sure to read your lease carefully to see whether renters insurance coverage is required, how much coverage you need, and whether your landlord requires you to add them as an interested party to the policy.

  • What is the average cost of renters insurance in Texas?

    The average cost of renters insurance is about $20 per month in the Lone Star State, or $240 per year. You may be able to adjust your premiums by bundling coverage, choosing a different deductible, or shopping around for quotes before buying.

  • Is renters insurance worth it?

    Renters insurance only serves to protect you, the renter, and is worthwhile in most cases. It offers you valuable coverage for your personal property in addition to liability insurance protection and even coverage for living expenses — often for just a few dollars a month.


  1. Insurance Information Institute. "Renters Insurance."
  2. Texas Department of Insurance. "Texas law encourages renters to buy flood coverage."
  3. Texas House of Representatives. "House Bill No. 531."
  4. Justia. "Renters Insurance Law."
Stephanie Colestock
Stephanie Colestock

Stephanie is a DC-based freelance writer. She primarily covers personal finance topics such as insurance, loans, real estate investing, and retirement. Her work can be found on CBS, FOX Business, MSN, Yahoo! Finance, Business Insider, and more. When she isn't helping people plan for their financial futures, she is traveling, hiking with her kids, or writing for her own website, She can be reached on Twitter @stephcolestock

Chris Schafer
Edited byChris SchaferSenior Editor
Chris Schafer
Chris SchaferSenior Editor
  • 15+ years in content creation

  • 7+ years in business and financial services content

Chris is a seasoned writer/editor with past experience across myriad industries, including insurance, SAS, finance, Medicare, logistics, marketing/advertising, and many more.

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