Jessica Fox Last Updated On: June 27, 2023

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What You Need to Know to Protect Yourself as a Tenant

landlord insurance versus renters insurance

Applying to rent an apartment or house can be stressful, there’s no doubt about it. Landlords can make tenants jump through a number of hoops in order to qualify for a rental, and one of those hoops can be showing proof of rental insurance.

But can a landlord require renter’s insurance, legally? And why do landlords require renter’s insurance in some instances, but not in others? We’ll dive into these questions below so that you can be prepared for your next rental.

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Can a Landlord Require Renter’s Insurance?

The short answer is yes, landlords can require renter’s insurance in order to approve you for the rental in almost every state. While this might seem unfair, there are a few reasons why renter’s insurance might be required

Landlord’s typically have landlord insurance, but this is separate from renter’s insurance. It protects the landlord should there be structural damage to the property, liability issues, or lost rental income. However, landlord’s insurance doesn’t protect the renters: that’s where renter’s insurance comes into play.

What is Renter’s Insurance & Do You Need It?

Renter’s insurance is designed to protect those that are renting. It covers a few different components:
  • Personal property: if your belongings are damaged or stolen, renter’s insurance helps cover the replacement or reimbursement cost. This would cover situations like fire, theft, vandalism, smoke damage, and more. It often even covers your belongings when they’re outside of the home you’re renting.
  • Personal liability: if someone gets injured in the apartment that you’re renting, you could be held liable and be forced to cover the costs of their medical bills and potential lawsuits. Rental insurance can help protect you in these cases.
  • Additional living expenses/loss of use: if something happens to the apartment you’re renting and you can no longer stay there, renter’s insurance typically covers the costs for you to stay elsewhere. It might cover your hotel bill, the cost of food, and even gas if you need to drive further to work.
Renter’s insurance is a great way to protect yourself, your belongings, and your finances should anything happen. 

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Why Do Landlords Require Renter’s Insurance?

Although landlords often have landlord’s insurance, they might require tenants to have renter’s insurance. This gives them (and yourself) an added layer of protection should something happen. 

The main reason is to protect the landlord financially. Renter’s insurance can shield landlords from having to pay for alternate accommodations for tenants in case of extensive repairs/renovations, from paying for damages to belongings, and reduce their liability in case a tenant is involved in a lawsuit. 

Requiring tenants to have renter’s insurance can also help landlords find responsible tenants that will help protect the home/apartment. Landlords may require renter’s insurance to also alert them to financial red flags in tenants: because renter’s insurance is quite affordable, compared to other forms of insurance, tenants unable to afford it may not be able to afford rent either. 

The Bottom Line: Renters Insurance for Landlords

If your landlord has required you to show proof of renter’s insurance, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Renter’s insurance will protect you and your landlord while giving you both peace of mind. With renter’s insurance being incredibly affordable, especially given the protection it offers should the worst happen, it makes sense for every tenant to purchase. 

Jessica Fox Jessica Fox has been a freelance writer for five years, with a specialty in health, wellness, and insurance. During this time, she’s written for some of the biggest B2B and B2C brands from around the world. Jessica is also the mother of two young daughters and loves coffee, writing, and working out.

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