Does Renters Insurance Cover Holes in the Wall

(Here's what you need to know about your coverage)

Written by Ashley Surinak
Written by Ashley Surinak

Insurance doesn’t have to be boring. That’s why we hired Ashley Surinak to be our BA insurance writer. Ashley specializes in making mundane subjects hella-entertaining.

paul martin Reviewed by Paul Martin
paul martin
Reviewed by Paul Martin

Paul Martin is the Director of Education and Development for Myron Steves, one of the largest, most respected insurance wholesalers in the southern U.S.


Table of Contents

Does renters insurance cover holes in walls?
Will renters insurance cover holes in walls put there intentionally?
Does a landlord insurance policy cover holes in the wall?
Is there an additional policy I can purchase to cover holes in the walls?

Does renters insurance cover holes in walls?

I had to purchase a renters insurance policy as part of my lease, and as someone who has never held a renters insurance policy before, I'm curious about the extent of damage it covers. 

For example, what if there is damage to the unit like a hole in the wall? Does it matter whether the accident was intentional or accidental? Do I need to purchase an additional policy if I'm worried about this kind of damage? 

This is a great question, especially because a lot of insureds under renters policies are unsure of the extent of their coverage. Plus when it comes to damage to the unit itself, it's important to distinguish between what you're responsible for as a tenant and what your landlord is responsible for.

Let's start at the ground level. A renters insurance policy protects your personal property and provides liability coverage. The liability coverage matters if you're sued because someone was hurt while they were visiting your home or if you accidentally injure someone or cause property damage to others. 

What you'll notice from this description is that damage to the structure of your unit is not included in this definition. The reason is that your landlord is responsible for damage to the unit, not you.

That being said, your landlord's policy will cover any accidental damage to your unit. This would provide coverage if you accidentally put a hole in the wall moving furniture. 

However, intentional damage is likely excluded. So if you get mad and punch a hole in the wall, your renters insurance isn't going to help and neither is your landlord's policy. All that means is that you're going to be on the hook for the cost of repairs.

If you're confused about why your renters insurance policy doesn't help cover wall damage — including holes in the wall — your independent insurance agent can help explain the coverage in greater detail.

Will renters insurance cover holes in walls that were put there intentionally?

Again, the answer is no. I bring this up separately from the answer above because it's important to note that intentional damage is virtually never covered under your renters insurance policy or by your landlord's insurance policy. 

So while your landlord's policy would cover negligent damage (i.e., you put a hole in the wall moving furniture) it won't cover damage if you punched the wall on purpose. 

The lesson here is to remember that negligent or accidental damage will almost always be covered, at least in part, by your landlord's policy, whereas intentional damage is going to leave you on the hook for the full cost of the damage. 

If you'd like to discuss this distinction in greater detail to better understand your renters insurance policy, your independent  insurance agent can help. 

Does a landlord insurance policy cover holes in the walls?

As I briefly mentioned above the answer is yes, provided that the damage was accidental. The best example of this is that you damaged the wall while moving a new couch into your unit. Your renters insurance won't cover this, but your landlord's insurance policy likely will. 

If you're still unclear on the distinction between your renters insurance policy and your landlord's policy, talk to your independent insurance agent.


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Is there an additional policy I can purchase to cover holes in the walls?

Because renters insurance isn't designed to cover damage to your unit, it isn't going to help you out with structural damage to the unit. 

If you're concerned about other potential sources of damage or liability that aren't covered by a standard renters insurance policy, you can speak with your independent insurance agent to discuss potential riders you may want to purchase.

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