Can Landlords Require Renters Insurance?

freelance writer, Avail

Can Landlords Require Renters Insurance?

Purchasing renters insurance is a smart move, but most tenants won’t purchase it unless you require it. As a landlord, you may help your tenants and yourself by adding it as a lease term.

In this article, we’ll cover:

  • What is renters insurance
  • How you and your tenants could benefit
  • How to require it

What is Renters Insurance?

Renters insurance compensates tenants for lost, stolen, or destroyed belongings. While a Renter Dwelling Policy covers the building itself, renters insurance covers the tenant’s belongings (and liability) inside.

It’s easy for tenants to purchase renters insurance, and the cost is roughly $12/month for most rental units depending on the depth of coverage.

Benefits For Tenants

Adding a requirement for your tenants can sound like you’re adding a headache for them, but truly you’re helping your tenants in the long-term. Here’s how your tenant could benefit from renters insurance:

  • It’s the only way tenants may guarantee they’ll be compensated if their belongings are lost, stolen, or damaged
  • If a guest is injured on the property, renters insurance will protect your tenant from being liable for damages
  • Renters insurance will cover your tenant’s property regardless of where it’s located (it may be covered even if it’s stolen from their car)

If your tenants have any questions about renters insurance, we recommend pointing them to these 2 helpful resources:

5 Answers About Renters Insurance

How Can I Save Money on Renters Insurance

Benefits For Landlords

Tenants clearly benefit from renters insurance, so why should you care enough to actually require it?

By requiring renters insurance, you may help avoid liability. If a tenant’s belongings are stolen, they might sue you for failing to protect their property. However, if their renters insurance covers the damage for their lost belongings, they’re less likely to sue you for damages.

You may also rest easy knowing you’re doing the right thing. You’re helping tenants protect themselves — they might not know that they truly need insurance.

How to Require Renters Insurance

You may require renters insurance by including a clause in your lease that says:

“Lessee is required to provide proof of renters insurance within 14 days of the lease start date.”

If you’re not sure how to create or update your rental lease, we recommend customizing a state-specific rental lease template with Avail and sign it online. You may edit and add clauses as needed.

Next Steps

Check out Avail — the only platform designed for landlords with less than 10 units. The app allows you to post rental listings, request screening reports, sign a rental lease, and collect rent all online.

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