Can a Landlord Require Renters Insurance?

young couple shaking hands with landlord renting a home

Updated 09/04/2020

Monthly rent and utility payments are probably the first two expenses that come to mind if you are apartment hunting. However, there’s another cost you may have to factor in: renters insurance coverage. You may not know it, but a landlord can require apartment insurance before you move-in. If it is not needed, it could seem like an unnecessary expense. Still, the truth is renters insurance can be very affordable and provides added security for you and your belongings.

What Does Renters Insurance Cover?

The primary protections offered through renters insurance include:

  • Personal property coverage. It protects your electronics, appliances, furniture, bikes, and other personal belongings.
  • Liability coverage. It protects you if you get sued or held legally responsible for injuries to another person or damage to their property. An example of the first scenario is if someone tripped in your home, and they filed a lawsuit against you. An example of the second scenario is if you left the sink running, causing water damage in another tenant’s apartment.
  • Additional living expense coverage refers to the coverage that will help pay for a hotel’s cost or food expenses if a disaster forces you to move out of your rented home.

How Can a Landlord Require Renters Insurance?

Your landlord will most likely have a landlord insurance policy to protect the property. However, this policy would not cover your personal belongings. For example, if a tree falls on your landlord’s building and causes damage to the roof, it should be covered under their insurance policy. 

But what if the hole in the roof allowed rain to come in, causing water damage to your furniture and new TV? Renters insurance coverage will cover your property and avoid any liability disputes with your landlord.

Another reason your landlord may require you to have tenant insurance is it could lower the cost of their premium or be a requirement of their insurance company.

How Much Does Renters Insurance Cost?

Renters insurance is often more affordable than most people think. Policies can be as inexpensive as having a latte each day or eating out once a month. Policies can range from $15-20 per month or less than $200 per year, depending on what type of coverage you choose.

You have two options when it comes to selecting your property coverage:

  1. Replacement cost coverage means that your policy will cover the cost it would take to replace your items with brand new ones. Renters insurance premiums are typically higher for this type of coverage.
  2. Actual cash value means that your property is covered for the replacement cost minus depreciation. Depreciation refers to how an item is devalued based on factors such as age and use. 

Another factor that will impact the cost of your policy is the deductible. Typical ones range from $500 to $1,500, and this is the amount you must pay when you file a claim. Regardless of which coverage options you choose, your protection will have a maximum dollar amount covered in the event of a claim.

Is Renters Insurance Coverage Worth It?

You might think that you don’t have many “valuable” belongings, but if you do the math and begin to add up how much it would cost to replace your computer, furniture, couch, clothing, and everything else in your home, it may be a lot more than you can afford. Do some research to determine how much a renters policy would cost you and the best renters insurance option for you.

If you’re ready to purchase renters insurance in California, Cost-U-Less can help. Start your free renters insurance quote online, over the phone, or at one of our offices near you. We compare rates from top insurance companies to ensure you get the best coverage and lowest price.