Can Landlords Require Renters Insurance?


Your apartment hunting has come to an end as you just found the perfect place. You begin to look over the leasing agreement and notice that your landlord requires renters insurance. This isn’t your first merry-go-round so you know that you should get renters insurance anyway, but are concerned because you didn’t think that landlords could require it…but, they can because it is often included as a term of the lease.

Although your landlord should have insurance that covers the structural property, this insurance likely does not protect the tenant or their items. Also, renters insurance may help to avoid legal disputes between the landlord and the tenant in the case of damage to the tenant’s personal property.

Your Landlord’s Insurance
Your landlord’s insurance policy typically helps to protect the physical structure of the home or apartment you are renting. For example, if there is hail damage to the roof of your rented space, this may be covered by your landlord’s insurance. Additionally, your landlord’s insurance policy might include liability insurance, which may protect the landlord from tenant lawsuits involving structural damage. However, their insurance policy does not cover the tenant or any of their property. So, if the previously mentioned hail managed to break through your roof and land on your brand new laptop causing it to break, their insurance may not cover the cost of repair of the laptop.

Renters Insurance Protection
Although your landlord should have structural protection, renters insurance may help to protect the valuable things inside of the home and at-fault structural damage. There are a variety of coverage options, but most include a few standard protections:

  • Personal property coverage helps protect your personal belongings inside the home and other structures.
  • Additional living expense coverage may help cover additional living expenses if you have to be temporarily relocated due to a covered loss.
  • Personal liability coverage may help pay for at-fault bodily injury and property damage. Additionally, medical payment coverage may help pay for reasonable medical payments if someone is hurt on your property.

How Much Renters Insurance Do I Need?
A landlord may require you to obtain a minimum amount of renters insurance coverage, but there are a few key things to think about when deciding coverage amount.

  • How much are the contents of your home worth? Think about everything inside of your home from furniture to kitchen items to clothes. Keep an ongoing list of everything inside of your home and its value. Use our personal property calculator to get started.
  • How much is your property worth? If you were at fault for structural damage, how much do you think it would cost to repair your home or apartment?
  • How much can you afford for your deductible? In the event of a claim, you will have to pay a deductible. Choose an affordable deductible that you will be able to handle at a given time.

Renters insurance is often mutually beneficial for the landlord and the tenant, which is why it can and may be required by your landlord. If you have any questions about a renters insurance policy and what it covers, contact your local Shelter agent today!

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