Do I Need Renters Insurance if My Landlord is Insured?
One very common reason people give for electing not to carry renters insurance is the idea that they do not need this coverage because they are already protected under the insurance policy their landlord carries. It is very true that being a renter has its advantages as far as insurance is concerned. The largest expense homeowners face in their insurance bill is the property portion. In other words, not having to insure the physical dwelling where you live saves you a lot of money as a renter. But with this said, landlords insurance does not cover everything.
More specifically, a landlords policy does not really provide much protection to you as a renter at all. The intent of a landlords insurance plan is to protect the owner's financial interest in the property. There is coverage for the building itself, and also some liability protection. For example, if someone slips on ice in the common areas outside an apartment building, it could be a liability situation for the owners. But events transpiring inside individual rentals generally are not the domain of the landlord in terms of liability. There are exceptions to this rule when it can be proven that the negligence of a landlord caused an injury or other similar situation. But generally speaking, renters should never assume that liability protection is strictly the concern of the property owner.
The Issue of Property Protection
On top of that, there is also the issue of property protection. The owner of a house, condo, loft, or other rental property is responsible for insuring that property. But the contents on the inside of the rental are the responsibility of the tenants. In other words, if a small fire destroys your couch and coffee table, it is your loss in most cases. It's your responsibility to make sure your things are protected against the threat of loss or damage. This includes loss from theft and vandalism as well as destruction from many other sources.
Renters insurance is not legally required by state law the way car insurance is. As renters, we have the choice of deciding whether or not to carry this coverage to protect ourselves. There are circumstances when a landlord will require tenants to buy renters insurance as one of the terms of the lease agreement. In fact, this trend is becoming more common in recent years. But in a legal sense, renters insurance is optional.
Renters Insurance an Excellent Investment
But even so, given the small cost of coverage and the tremendous level of protection it offers to insured policy holders for that cost, renters insurance is an excellent investment, and getting into a policy a smart financial move. Whether or not your landlord requires you to carry this form of coverage, you should really consider a renters policy as much a part of the things you need to get for your new apartment as a welcome mat and for the front door.