Renters insurance benefits the landlord because it protects some of their liability
Renters insurance can also lower the landlord’s risk because it covers the cost of reimbursement for you and your stuff
Overall, renters insurance benefits the renter more than the landlord
Renters insurance is financial protection for your personal property and liability. It can also reimburse you if there is extreme damage to your home and you can no longer live there. It’s a smart investment for renters of all kinds, whether you’re renting a home, apartment, condo, or room.
For example, if there is a fire in your apartment and your couch gets destroyed or damaged, your renters insurance will reimburse you up to your policy’s limit for the cost of your couch. Your limit is the maximum amount of money that your renters insurance will pay you for a covered peril. If you have expensive items that exceed your policy’s limit, like souped-up electronics or an engagement ring, you can schedule riders to your policy for those individual items to make sure they have additional coverage. Renters insurance covers your personal possessions if they get damaged or stolen both on and off your rental property, like if your laptop gets stolen while you’re on vacation.
Landlord insurance is different than renters insurance. It provides landlords with protection and coverage for their building, their liability, and their income if they decide to use their properties as a source of livelihood.
That being said, landlords sometimes require their tenants purchase a certain amount of renters insurance coverage, even though they have their own landlord insurance. But if landlord’s have their own landlord insurance, why do they want their renters to purchase renters insurance on top of it?
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Many landlords require their renters to buy a certain amount of renters insurance coverage. There are a few reasons landlords require this, but it mostly revolves around minimizing their risk. They will not be liable for your belongings, or have to deal with a renter trying to make them liable for the renter’s belongings if something happens to them. Some covered perils renters insurance includes are:
Destroyed by fire or smoke
Damaged from a leak
Ruined by vandalism
Freezing of plumbing, heating, air conditioning
Damage by explosions
Damage by riots
Damage by aircraft
Damage by vehicle (not your own)
Landlords are often the person renters blame when something goes wrong in their home. That is part of the reason landlords might require renters to buy renters insurance — it covers their own backs and saves them money if something does go wrong that’s out of their control.
Certain states expect the landlord to pay for the tenants relocation if the apartment or home becomes uninhabitable due to a fire or other covered peril. If landlords have their tenants purchase renters insurance, that means their renters insurance will pay for the loss-of-use and additional living expenses coverage. Renters insurance reimbursing the tenant the cost of a hotel stay and other additional expenses will let the landlord focus on fixing the apartment and not spending additional money on their tenant.
Landlord insurance doesn’t cover the landlord’s liability when it comes to people getting hurt in a tenant’s apartment, but renters insurance does. This means if someone gets hurt in the tenants apartment, the tenant’s renters insurance will pay the victim’s medical expenses or legal fees if they choose to sue. Meaning the landlord doesn't need to worry about liability coverage for the tenant.
Renters insurance also reimburses a tenant for their personal property if it’s damaged or destroyed by a covered peril, whether that happens inside or outside of the rental property. This means it is not the landlord who is responsible for reimbursement and it also makes it less likely that the tenant will sue, since they have their renters insurance to fall back on.
Many property managers don’t allow pets because they raise the risk of damage to the property and harm to others. But renters insurance covers tenants' pets as part of the liability coverage in the renters policy, which means if a tenant’s dog gets out and bites someone, the insurance company will pay the legal and medical bills and no one will go after the landlord with a lawsuit.
If you as the renter cause damage to the building or apartment, then your renters insurance policy may help you pay for the damage. This means the landlord won’t have to pay out-of-pocket or track you down to pay it yourself.
If your landlord requires you to purchase renters insurance in order to rent from them , they are probably going to want to see proof that you actually did buy the insurance. Requiring proof of renters insurance shows that the you are responsible and obeying the lease. It also proves that you can make payments on time and have a steady income.
You can show proof of insurance in a few different ways.
Show them a copy of your policy’s declarations page
Add your landlord to your policy as an additional interested party
Have a representative from your insurance company confirm your policy over the phone
Obtain a digital copy of your policy
Your roommate is not automatically covered by your renters insurance policy, but you can add them to your policy. It’s important to know that if you do add your roommate to your renters insurance policy, then the policy will factor in the value of their personal property. This means your deductible price might change, as well as the price of your premiums.
Kara McGinley is an insurance editor at Policygenius, specializing in home, auto and renters insurance. She previously worked as a freelance writer and copywriter, and has been writing about insurance since 2019. Kara is an expert at making complicated topics like property insurance simple to understand. Her work can be found in Teen Vogue, The Culture Crush, and more.
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