What are the Advantages to Requiring Tenant Insurance?

By E-Renter Tenant Screening
Posted on March 12, 2010 under Landlord and Tenant FAQs, Landlord Tips | icon: commentBe the First to Comment

home-and-money1Not every landlord or property management company requires tenants to hold renter’s insurance policies.  And according to some reports, the majority of tenants do not have renter’s insurance. What are the advantages to requiring tenant insurance? Are there any disadvantages?

First, the cost for renter’s policies is solely borne by the tenant, and is only $15-$20 per month, on average. So, while there are those tenants who cannot afford it, are they the best fit for your rental properties? An insurance requirement automatically screens out the potential tenants who have financial difficulties.

What’s in it for the tenant? Just as homeowners who have property insurance to protect against loss due to fire, injury or natural disaster, tenants with insurance enjoy a level of protection and peace of mind that is well worth the investment. In the event of a fire, for example, replacement property can easily be obtained, helping the tenant begin again with necessities like furniture and clothing. Some policies offer temporary housing coverage, so the tenant can stay in a hotel worry-free.

Now, let’s imagine that the fire in this example was caused by the tenant’s negligence. Without insurance, the tenant would be responsible for reimbursing the landlord’s insurance company for any damages caused by the fire—which could be tens of thousands of dollars. With renter’s insurance, the tenant and landlord are both covered.

What’s in it for the landlord? Certainly, landlords who require tenants to carry insurance will have fewer hassles in the event of a disaster. Tenant insurance also adds a layer of protection when a visitor is injured in a tenant’s unit, for example. That visitor will likely seek damages from the tenant’s policy, rather than the landlord’s. If an uninsured tenant’s negligence results in major damage (like a flood or fire) to a multi-unit building, the landlord would be liable for all damages to the structure as well as other tenant’s injuries or losses.

Rental property owners—there are many advantages of requiring tenants to hold renter’s insurance—with more than just minimum coverage. Think about the potential for large losses due to the tenant’s negligence, and have your insurance agent advise on the minimum. Just make sure to require the same for all tenants. Together, the owner’s and tenant’s policies offer both parties a broader range of protection.

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