Of course, renters should understand how important renters’ insurance is. However, more often than not: the lesson is learned the hard way. Many landlords consider at some point, requiring their tenants to get renters’ insurance.

This is a specific type of policy which would cover damages to their personal property if something like water, fire and smoke, or vandalism should occur. The reason this is actually an intelligent line of thought is more than just a consideration for their property, it can also be a protection for landlords. If they do not have renters’ insurance and something should happen, you may be liable for their losses.

Additionally, some policies will allow for bundling and depending on the carrier, adding renters insurance offers discounts that can help your tenants save money. Renters’ insurance also offers a wealth of protections for them and is relatively affordable with most policies covering around $15,000 in property damage and $100,000 in liability for $200 per year- sometimes less than that.

Most state laws will uphold a landlord requiring renters’ insurance as a provision of the lease. As a condition of the lease, it is considered a reasonable request- after all, renters’ insurance is typically not that costly, particularly compared to replacing items of value.

However, if your lease does not spell it out, you cannot later ask them to do so. If you don’t have it in an existing lease, you can add it when it’s time for renewal, but expecting your tenants to obtain it out of nowhere isn’t allowed. Another thing that you cannot do is require them to get it through any certain agency. You can offer a list of recommendations, but if they obtain proper coverage through someone else, it fulfills the requirement.

Whenever you do add that clause, you may also want to add in that you will need to see proof of insurance within a reasonable deadline. Usually, 30 days from acceptance and signing the lease. If proof of insurance isn’t shown at that time, then you are allowed to have them served with a comply or quit.


Photo credit: WLWT.com

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Kurt Kroeck has written articles in real estate, law, and art related niches for a number of high profile publications. He is an avid WW2 re-enactor, artist in graphite, charcoal, and digital media. He volunteers in animal rescue and enjoys spending time with his children.