Can a Landlord Require You to Have Renters Insurance?

Making the move into a new apartment can get expensive. Between coming up with first and last months rent, extra deposits and utility hook up charges, it all can be quite a chunk of change. And now, there's a good chance your prospective landlord could require one more charge onto the list. Renters insurance.

Renters Insurance


While renters insurance isn't very expensive in most cases, it can be difficult to deal with for those who have not budgeted for it. However, not having renters insurance is a much bigger problem, should something happen. Whether or not your landlord requires renters insurance, it is something that you should have.

In many cases, renters assume that the property insurance that the landlord or owners of the apartment complex has will protect them in the case of a theft or fire. However, this is not true. In most cases, landlord and owner's policies cover the actual structure of the building and grounds -- not the possessions of the people who live there.

Requiring Renters Insurance Might Not Be A Landlord's Idea

More often, landlords are getting pressure from their insurance companies to require renters insurance. By requiring residents to carry their own policy, more of the responsibilities are shifted away from the landlord - including some responsibility for those who were injured in your apartment. Because of this, they can often charge lower premiums and save money overall. In some cases these savings could translate into fewer rent increases for you.

Renters insurance policies fit a variety of budgets, because there are many different levels of protection. You can choose a high deductible in order to lower insurance premiums, or select coverage that covers items in your apartment based on the actual value of the item instead of the replacement value. Of course, those choices also offer fewer option should a claim ever need to be made.

You Never Know When You'll Need It

Another good reason to carry renters insurance is because the fact of the matter is, when you live in an apartment you aren't in control of what happens in most cases. Someone else in the building could buzz in a thief, or start a fire that spreads to your apartment. No matter how careful you are, there are never any guarantees that your neighbors will be, so it's best to protect yourself in any way you can.

If you are the person who starts a fire or a flood, a landlord who has required you to carry renters insurance is at an advantage, because it shows that they take the well being of the residents seriously and want everyone to be protected.

Some people think that they can just self insure by carrying a savings account, but it is an awful hassle to avoid an extra $10-$20 bill. Besides, if something is going to happen, there's no way to predict whether it will happen in a month or in ten years. If you need to, think of it as an extension of your rent. Would another $20 a month really be a deal breaker? Probably not.

Do you have renters insurance? Why or why not?