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Can a Landlord Require Renters Insurance?

Some tenants have the misconception that the landlord maintains apartment insurance. They believe the policy covers both the structure and their belongings. In reality, landlord insurance is completely different from apartment renters insurance.

Similar to the insurance that homeowners buy to protect their properties, there is a similar option in the form of renters insurance. This type of policy offers protection of your personal possessions. As for the structure, that’s the responsibility of the landlord.

Considering that renters insurance coverage is so affordable and highly beneficial, a lot of people buy a policy. However, is this something that a landlord can mandate? The answer – yes. While not all do, a lot of property owners recognize the advantage of requiring renters to purchase and maintain tenant insurance.

On average, renters insurance runs $20 a month. Of course, the actual renters insurance cost depends on the amount of coverage. For instance, you would pay slightly more in renters insurance with $150,000 coverage compared to $50,000. Even then, it’s not much.

Items Covered With the Best Renters Insurance

When buying tenant insurance, it’s important for you to do business with a reputable company. That way, you have the assurance of buying the best renters insurance available. With this, everything you own has protection from theft. Coverage applies to a home that’s burglarized in the same way as having items stolen from a vehicle. In fact, renters insurance even provides protection while traveling.

Also, with tenant insurance, you have liability protection. That means if someone visits your home and while there, slips only to sustain an injury, your policy would cover that person’s medical expenses. If the individual decides to sue you for some reason, the policy would cover both your legal fees and damages.

Items Not Covered

Having apartment insurance gives you added peace of mind. While it covers a lot, there are some things not covered under the policy. As an example, your personal possessions don’t have protection associated with natural disasters. Included are earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, flooding, and even sinkholes. Surprisingly, the coverage does include windstorms and volcanic eruptions.

The Necessity of Renters Insurance

While having renters insurance is not required by law, it’s something that landlords can mandate. Under the law, they have that right. Rather than a luxury, you should look at renters insurance coverage as a necessity. Therefore, if your landlord requires this form of protection, be thankful. If something happens, you’ll feel relieved that your landlord made this part of the lease agreement.

Real-life Scenarios

To better understand just how important renters insurance is, consider the following real-life scenarios:

  • You forget to lock your vehicle overnight only to discover that someone had stolen your CD collection, sports equipment, and an expensive pair of tennis shoes.
  • You travel out of state for a friend’s wedding. While at the grand event, someone breaks into your hotel room, grabbing some personal belongings. The hotel might compensate you. If not, you have renters insurance.
  • Your neighbor decides to take a nap, forgetting about the pot of food on the stove. A fire breaks out that extends to your unit. Fortunately, you have apartment renters insurance.

How the Claims Process Works

Even for cheap renters insurance, the claim process is virtually the same across the board. After an incident, you would contact your insurance provider and receive a case number. Depending on the situation, an inspector may visit the site. Otherwise, an agent will push the claim through the system.

After paying the deductible for tenant insurance, the company will send you a check at 60 percent of the policy’s value. If you have $100,000 in renters insurance coverage, you would receive a check for $60,000. For that, you’re not required to provide any proof of what it cost to replace items or what you buy.

As you begin buying new things, you can then submit receipts to receive an additional check. This continues until you reach the $100,000 limit. If you didn’t lose that much, then you would simply submit a claim for the actual damages. An example — the insurance company pays a predetermined amount to replace a laptop. Once you provide a receipt for the full replacement value, you would receive the difference.

The Bottom Line

While landlord insurance covers the structure, you need renters insurance to protect your belongings. Without question, renters insurance cost is money well spent.

If you’re shopping for renters insurance, you’ve come to the right place. USAgencies offer affordable renters insurance in Alabama and Louisiana. Get a fast, free renters insurance quote online or over the phone by calling 800-420-3712.