Can I be required to get renter’s insurance?

By Tenant

These days, more and more landlords are requiring their tenants to get renter’s insurance. This shift in the renting process is molding the way landlords and tenants interact prior to establishing tenancy. However, tenant applicants are not the only ones affected the renter’s insurance requirement, existing tenants may also be asked to get the insurance before their lease agreement can be renewed.

Why did landlords make such a shift?

Landlords found that tenants who have renter’s insurance are least likely to sue in case their belongings get stolen or damaged. The landlord’s insurance will only kick in if it’s about damage to the structure. However, it will not cover the renters’ personal belongings. But because these tenants have no insurance, they try to get the landlords to pay for their losses by suing them.

Aside from the landlord being sued less often, the renter’s insurance can also be beneficial to the tenant in many ways, such as the following:

–          Replacement of personal belongings. If your things got burnt up in fire or damaged by water, your insurance will cover for your losses.

–          It protects you and your landlord in case your guest got injured in your apartment and would like to sue us both for the cost of the medical expenses.

–          It also protects you in case your things get stolen.

–          You will also be covered in case your friend damages the property, especially during a house party.

–          More importantly, your insurance policy will take care of your in case you get displaced and the claim is covered. So if this happens, your insurance will take care of the costs of your hotel stay as well as move out expenses.

Of course, your insurance may also pay for the damages that you have caused. In effect, that would raise your premium so you still have to be careful. In case it’s the landlord’s fault, your insurance company will collect from your landlord’s insurer. So the two insurance companies will communicate with each other in your behalf.

The monthly premium is quite reasonable too. It could range from $15-$30, depending on where you live. However, be reminded that although landlords require this, you are not forced to get it. The decision on whether to get renter’s insurance or not will still be yours to make. If you are forced to get renter’s insurance, you can file a complaint against your landlord by following this link:

Edited on: Wednesday, February 20th, 2013 11:42 pm

10 Responses to “Can I be required to get renter’s insurance?”

My response: (We welcome stories, examples, explanations, answers and a touch of your personality)


February 21st, 2013 12:00 am

Forced or not, it?s best that you have have renter’s insurance. Anyway, this is going to be for your protection – not the landlord’s.


February 21st, 2013 12:20 pm

My apartment complex just implemented this. They want us to get renter’s insurance before we could renew our lease. Of course, they’re not forcing us or anything because we can always choose to not renew. But the property manager has been really nice to us and we want to stay. After reading this post, I am more than convinced that my decision to renew and get renter’s insurance is a very wise one.


February 22nd, 2013 12:40 am

$15-$30 a month does not sound too much if it means you get coverage. I just think of it as my monthly savings for emergencies.


February 22nd, 2013 1:00 pm

It is not unusual for landlords to require renter’s insurance these days. Landlords are just protecting their investments and themselves too. Maybe they’re tired of getting sued for coverages that are not really part of their responsibilities so they thought they’ll just require you to have renter’s insurance instead.


February 23rd, 2013 1:20 am

So if I don?t get renter’s insurance then does that mean I’m waiving my rights to my security deposit?


February 23rd, 2013 1:40 pm

No, you got it all wrong. Your renter’s insurance will pay for the things that you own and got damaged. Meanwhile, your security deposit will be used to pay for the damages you incurred on your apartment, which is your landlord’s property.


February 24th, 2013 2:00 am

If you already have an existing medical or auto insurance, ask if you can also get renter’s insurance through them. They may have another department for that and you might even qualify for a multi-policy discount.


February 24th, 2013 2:20 pm

My understanding is that renter’s insurance would also have a limitation in coverage. I don’t think it covers the damages that you did to the apartment because then, it will be an overlapping of the functions of your security deposit.


February 25th, 2013 2:40 am

Just think of it this way: the security deposit is for little things while the renter’s insurance is for the big things. You’re protected for the little things, are you protected for the big things?


February 25th, 2013 3:00 pm

I think the cost of your renter’s insurance would also depend on the type of rental property you’re renting. I remember I used to live in a building where we have huge fireplaces per unit and my renter’s insurance was really high. Then I moved to this apartment that does not have a fireplace and is relatively new and my insurance premium went down. To think, both apartments are just a block away from each other so there’s not much differences in location.


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