It is not required by the state to carry renters insurance. However, your landlord can require you to carry renters insurance because of the liability coverage on the policy. Typically they require you to carry $100,000 in liability, which is standard for a renters policy.
The reason they require this is because if you cause significant damage to their property, the landlord has the right to sue you for damages. Your liability coverage will protect you by helping to cover lawyer’s fees to go to court and repair damage to the property.