More Apartment Companies Requiring Renters Insurance

According to a survey of apartment companies conducted by the National Multi Housing Council (NMHC), 66 percent of lessor respondents required renters insurance, which is up from 44 percent in 2009, and in 2008 only 24 percent required the insurance.

Why Renters Insurance?

There are a variety of reasons why apartment companies are beginning to implement renters insurance more, the most important benefit being the owner’s ability to recover damages. If a resident happens to damage the property the apartment company’s master insurance may cover the cost, but there’s the possibility of a deductible and raised rates.  With renters insurance the landlord would simply recover the costs from the resident’s insurance company. Landlords are also protected in the event that there is a theft or loss that a tenant blames on the property owner.

What Does Renters Insurance Cover?

Coverage under a renters insurance policy usually covers damage caused by smoke, fire, explosions, and water. The typical policy has three fundamental components of coverage: Liability coverage, personal possession coverage and external living expenses coverage.

Although landlords are increasingly electing to require tenants to carry renters insurance, there are often state statutory limits on the amount of control a lessor can exercise over the resulting insurance purchase transaction.  Under most states’ laws, apartment companies are not allowed to require residents to use a particular insurance company. However, the landlords are allowed to provide a list of insurance companies as an option to residents. Indeed, landlords may identify favored insurance companies with which they have agreements for lower rates and pre-approval. Such arrangements offer incentives for both the landlord and tenant.

As the requirement of renters insurance becomes more common in the apartment marketplace, there appears to be little push back by renters. In fact, it is reported now that residents have begun to not only accept, but almost expect the requirement.