Why You May Need More Renter Insurance Than Your Landlord Needs

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Landlords often require tenants to carry tenant insurance. This requirement is generally intended to limit the potential liability of the owner. If someone is injured by a tenant’s dog or in a tenant’s apartment, that victim could potentially sue the landlord. The chances of this are reduced if the tenant has insurance coverage.

Not all leases require tenant insurance, and the amount and type of coverage a landlord needs can vary. In many cases, tenants may want to do more than purchase the minimum insurance as their lease term. Here’s why.

Why would tenants need more than mandatory tenant insurance?

Renters should not base their home insurance choices on the requirements set by a landlord, although they should have at least the minimum amount of coverage required.

Rather than focusing on what’s mandatory, tenants should consider how much risk they are willing to take and how much risk they would prefer to transfer to an insurer. Renters’ insurance covers many costs when problems arise, including:

  • Damage resulting from injuries for which a tenant is responsible. Renters’ insurance can pay for legal fees, court costs, and compensation if someone is injured on their property and is held responsible.
  • Replacement of a tenant’s property if it is damaged or destroyed. A renters insurance policy can pay a tenant to repair or replace any personal property destroyed or damaged by a covered cause. This includes everything from sofas and electronics to clothing.
  • Living expenses and loss of use costs if the tenant’s accommodation is being repaired. Renters often incur additional costs if their apartment or rental property is damaged or destroyed. This could be the cost of hotels or eating out, for example, if they don’t have a working kitchen.

Without sufficient tenant insurance coverage, a tenant would generally have to pay for these expenses out of pocket. A homeowner’s insurance would not cover them in most cases.

While a landlord should have insurance coverage in the event that people are injured in the common areas, the landlord’s policy generally does not extend to protect a tenant from loss if someone is injured due to problems in a tenant’s house or injured by a tenant’s dog. And it usually doesn’t cover a tenant’s personal belongings.

The minimum coverage required by the homeowner may not be sufficient to replace all property of a tenant, or to ensure that they will not face a claim for damages beyond the limits of their policy.

No tenant should be unprotected and risk losing their belongings to pay for damages or replace everything they own. It is crucial to consider the coverage needs and get the insurance that is right for the situation.


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