Will My Renters Insurance Cover My Phone?

As some phone models breach four-figure price points, properly insuring these devices is becoming increasingly important. Whether your phone is covered under your Massachusetts renters insurance policy depends on what happens to your phone, where the loss or damage occurs, and your policy’s terms and conditions.

Is My Phone Covered by My Renters Insurance?

You Lose Your Phone: Likely Not Covered

If you simply lose your phone, your renters insurance policy likely won’t cover the loss regardless of where the device is lost. It probably doesn’t matter whether the phone is misplaced somewhere in your apartment, lost while you’re out somewhere or dropped in the ocean while on a whale watch. Insurance policies generally don’t cover losses like these.

Unless you have a protection plan from your phone manufacturer or service provider, be prepared to pay out-of-pocket for a new device. Don’t expect your renters policy to cover the incident.


You Damage Your Phone: Likely Not Covered

Similarly, your phone probably isn’t covered against damage you cause. For example, don’t expect your renters policy to pay if you accidentally drop your phone in the broth while looking up a recipe for bouillabaisse. Water damage caused by toddlers, impacts from hammers and other similar incidents also normally aren’t covered.

If you or a family member is the source of your phone’s damage, you might have coverage through a protection plan from the manufacturer or service provider. The incident likely won’t be covered by your insurer, though.

A Physical Peril Damages Your Phone: Maybe Covered

If the damage isn’t caused by you but by a physical peril, then your renters policy might provide coverage. For instance, if an electrical surge, fire or overflowing sink made your phone malfunction then you might have a valid claim.

How your policy treats the claim will depend on whether the peril that covered the damage is covered under the policy’s terms and conditions. Most renters policies cover fire, smoke, ice, volcanic eruptions (not frequently an issue in Massachusetts) and a range of other physical risks. Your policy’s documentation will delineate exactly what your policy does and doesn’t cover.

Your Phone is Stolen While in Your Apartment: Probably Covered

Should your phone be stolen out of your apartment, the loss will probably be covered under the personal property coverage in your renters policy. This portion of your renters policy is the part that protects your personal belongings.

There are some exceptions that might impact coverage (e.g. if your roommate steals the device), and personal property coverages can vary from policy to policy. Nonetheless, the claim will likely be covered. How well it’s covered will depend on how good your policy’s personal property coverage is.


Your Phone is Stolen from Somewhere Else: Maybe Covered

Should your phone be stolen while it’s somewhere other than in your apartment, whether the claim is covered will in part be determined by the type of personal property coverage you have. Some policies have coverage that only protects belongings while they’re in the policyholder’s residence, while other policies have coverage that protects belongings most places in the world. The latter have what's often called “worldwide coverage.”

(Worldwide coverage frequently still excludes a few places, such as war zones.)

Ask a Massachusetts Agent About Your Renters Insurance Policy

The above is broadly true, but every renters policy has its own terms and conditions. To find out how your particular renters insurance policy would treat each of the above scenarios, talk with one of the experienced and independent Massachusetts agents at John P. Russell Insurance Agency. Our agents are well-versed in this type of insurance and they’ve seen many different claims. They’ll gladly review your policy and answer any questions you have, and they can also help you find a more robust policy should you need to.