Can a Landlord Require Renters Insurance

You’re out apartment hunting and finally find the one that has everything you’ve been looking for — and the landlord says it’s all yours! But there’s a catch… you have to show proof of renters insurance.

You aren’t really sure what renters insurance is or how it benefits you, and you start thinking the landlord is just trying to squeeze more money out of you. The reality? Renters insurance benefits you just as much as the landlord — if not more.

Let’s take a look at why your landlord wants you to have renters insurance and why you might want to get coverage even if it’s not required.

But Really... Can a Landlord Require Renters Insurance?

Though renters insurance is not required by law, your landlord can choose to make it a requirement by including a provision in the lease that requires you to have it. So, if you sign a lease that requires you to have renters insurance, then you are required to get it.

Your landlord will require proof of insurance and in the event that you don’t have it as you agreed, they may be able to take action as provided in the lease, which could include a monetary penalty or even eviction. Keep in mind, the requirement of having renters insurance is something that you will want to know about before signing any lease, so be sure to read through the lease completely and ask questions of your landlord about it before signing.

Why Do Landlords Require Renters Insurance?

A landlord typically requires renters insurance so that in the event the tenant is legally liable for damage to the unit, the claim can be made to the tenant’s policy instead of the landlords, or at least allow for subrogation later.

For example, if you accidentally leave your water on in the bathtub and it overflows, leaks into your neighbors unit and ruins any of their personal property, the landlord can hold you liable for costs associated with paying for damages — whether to the neighbor’s personal property or the landlords property, like the cost to repair damages. So, it benefits both you and the landlord because it can save you from paying the full costs resulting from certain insurable losses.

You might believe that the landlord’s insurance will cover any of your property in the event of theft or other damages, but that’s not true. Your landlord’s insurance actually only covers their building — any structural damage to their own property — and they aren’t responsible for any of your belongings.

Find out more about why landlords may require tenants to get renters insurance.

How Does Renters Insurance Benefit Me?

Since your landlord’s insurance only covers their property and not yours, you’ll want a way to make sure your things are protected. That’s where renters insurance steps in. Renters insurance offers you a number of benefits:

Personal property coverage. Helps cover all of your personal property, including bikes, TVs, computers, furniture, etc., if they were to be damaged from fire, smoke, storms or theft. Even better? Your belongings are protected when you’re on the go. Find out more about renters insurance coverage that follow you.

Liability coverage. You can be covered up to your policy limit if you’re legally liable for bodily injury, property damage or medical expenses due to a covered loss. Your landlord isn’t going to pay for your friend’s broken arm after they fell on your wet floor!

Loss of use. If something were to happen to your building, like a fire or storm damage, and you have to find temporary living arrangements, your landlord is not going to help foot the bill. Another win for renters insurance! Your policy will cover your living accommodations, like a hotel, and other expenses while you’re temporarily displaced — up to your policy limit.

How Much Is Renters Insurance?

The cost of your renters insurance depends on your own unique circumstances. Your agent will help determine the coverage you need based on a few things, including how much your possessions are worth, your location, and other optional coverages you choose, including identity theft protection, pet insurance, travel insurance or home business coverage.

That being said, renters insurance is actually very affordable — often less than the price you’d pay for one dinner out a month! Keep reading to find out more about the cost of renters insurance and what goes into deciding your price.

Connect with an American Family Insurance agent to talk about your renters insurance options — you’ll gain peace of mind that you’re protecting all the things that make you uniquely you.

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Related Topics: Renters