If you are a renter, you are most likely required to carry insurance policy on your property. Wolf & Kline requires proof of renter’s insurance upon picking up your keys on the day your lease begins.
But why is this a requirement, especially if the landlord has homeowner’s insurance on the property? And what do the terms on the renter’s insurance policy mean for the tenant?
There are multiple reasons renter’s insurance is a good idea and why most landlords and management companies require it.
For starters, homeowner’s insurance does not cover tenants’ property in the case of a theft, fire, or other disaster. But your renter’s insurance policy will. If anything were to happen to your belongings while inside the rental, your “personal property” insurance should be high enough to cover the estimated cost to replace them. Most insurances will not cover damage due to floods or earthquakes, so if you live in an area that may be at high risk for these you may want to see if that coverage is available.
The “personal liability” listed on your insurance provides coverage against lawsuits for injuries or damages sustained on the property. So, if the tenant were to be sued for an accident that happened on the property, or for something they were at fault for, personal liability helps cover these damages.
Renter’s insurance may also help with coverages for other expenses that may come up while a damaged property is being repaired or rebuilt. Some insurances may help cover the costs of a hotel room or meals during this time.
Another term you may hear regarding your renter’s insurance is “additional interest”. This is not the same as “additional insured”. Many landlords require their name be added as additional interest on a policy. This is only for them to be able receive information on the insurance policy, such as liability amounts, and to be notified of any changes, such as renewals or cancellations of the policy. It does not include them in the coverage of the policy.
Each insurance company and policy is different, so we do advise you to check with your local insurance agent for specifics of your policy terms.
If you are looking for an insurance company, here is a link with some recommendations from Market Watch.