Landlords are in business to make a profit and protect their assets, and requiring tenants to have renters insurance helps them achieve that goal. The concern is that if you’re not protected with a policy, they may be financially responsible in part if someone brings legal action against you. It’s not illegal, but it can prevent you from renting an apartment if you choose for whatever reason not to buy a policy. There are a number of reasons why a landlord would require you to buy renter’s insurance. Let’s look at 3:
1. Legal Protection
The landlord’s primary concern is that there will be more than enough money to protect you and them in a lawsuit arising from accidents or injuries of others who visit you in your apartment. For example, if you invite a guest who slips and falls in your apartment and breaks a bone, you could be sued for liability. If you don’t have money to defend yourself in a lawsuit and pay a judgment awarded against you, your guest may include your landlord in the lawsuit to recover damages. They might do that anyway, but your landlord is protected if you own a renter’s insurance policy. This is the main reason why a landlord requires tenants to have renter’s insurance.
2. Avoid Additional Claims on Property Insurance
Another reason why landlords require renter’s insurance is to avoid filing claims on their own insurance. Each claim they file will result in higher premium payments for them, and there may come a point where their insurance company will decide to stop insuring them. If you live in an apartment building with many tenants, there’s a greater chance of this happening. Each tenant has the potential to cause the landlord to file a claim to pay for liability, medical payments or other damages. A landlord views this as a burden, and wants each tenant to take that on themselves.
3. Protection for Other Tenants
It’s also to ensure that the other tenants are protected. If you live in a duplex, or a building with multiple units, each tenant is potentially at risk due to negligence of other tenants. For example, if one tenant floods their apartment by mistake, such as by leaving the tub on while at work without realizing it, it can destroy the belongings of tenants on the bottom floor or even tenants in the adjacent apartment. Those tenants will have to pay to replace any damaged items, such as electronics, and they may not have enough money to pursue you in court. However, if the landlord requires everyone to buy renter’s insurance, then all tenants can sleep at night knowing they can file a claim if necessary.
A landlord who requires renter’s insurance should provide property security for the apartment, such as dead bolts, security cameras if appropriate and the prompt removal of tenants engaging in illegal activity. They should also be held accountable for maintaining the premises and making reasonable repairs in a timely manner, to avoid accidental injuries to guests.