Can a Landlord Force You to Have Renters Insurance?
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Renters insurance exists to protect both your apartment and your personal belongings in the event that an unanticipated disaster or emergency event takes place on your rental property.
Because most renters insurance policies provide insured parties with liability coverage, additional living expenses coverage, and personal property protection coverage, many landlords require that their tenants purchase and retain renters insurance policies throughout the entire duration of their lease to reduce their liability if something unexpected were to occur.
Here’s everything you need to know about renter’s insurance, whether it is required, and why taking out a policy can be in your own best interest.
Can your landlord require that you take out a renters insurance policy?
In most states, landlords are legally allowed to request that tenants take out a renters insurance policy for the duration of their lease. This requirement and its exact terms should be specified within your lease agreement and can never just be “added on” by a landlord unless the lease is up for renewal. In many cases, landlords require you retain a certain level of liability coverage at the minimum, and can even specify that you select from a list of their pre-approved renters insurance providers and plans.
Because most landlords are more interested in their rented property and not necessarily your personal belongings, purchasing personal property protection is typically up to the renter’s discretion even in instances where renters insurance is required.
To prove that you have taken out a renters insurance policy that meets the specifications listed within your lease agreement, some landlords ask that their tenants add them as an additional interest of the policy so they will be alerted if it is updated or canceled.
Should I take out a renters insurance policy?
Whether or not you are required to have renters insurance, taking out a policy provides you with coverage that can come in handy one day. Here are a few reasons why taking out a policy may be in your best interest.
Anything can happen in an apartment complex. If you live in an apartment complex or rental community, there are countless other tenants who can cause dangerous accidents that can negatively impact you and your home at any time, such as fire or flooding, so you want to make sure your personal belongings and other effects are covered in all circumstances. After all, you never know—so it’s better to be prepared.
Reduce stress in the event of an emergency. Should your rented space become inhospitable due to any damages or necessary repairs, most renters insurance policies provide you with additional living expenses coverage, which means that you will never be left homeless or without shelter after an emergency. This is one significant way in which a renters insurance policy can save you time and stress, as it ensures you will not be displaced and helps you maintain your lifestyle while providing you with the proper headspace to deal with any additional challenges that arise.
It’s an additional layer of protection: While landlords take out their own insurance policies to cover the cost of damages made to the physical dwelling and other essential structures within the property, their coverage plan does not extend to the personal property that is physically inside the space. Taking out your own renters insurance policy is the only way to ensure that your personal valuables and other belongings are protected, so be sure to consider your specific insurance needs before taking out a policy.