A recent San Francisco Chronicle article notes that more and more landlords are requiring their tenants to have renters insurance before they are approved for a lease. That makes good business sense for the landlord (because it limits potential exposure to lawsuits in the event of a loss and makes cleanup easier) but what about for you, the renter?
Renters insurance is a great value. For around $20 – $25 per month, you can get $30,000 in contents coverage and $100,000 in liability coverage.
Liability coverage? Yes! If you accidentally cause a fire, the landlord’s insurance company will, most likely, come after you to recoup the repair costs. Also, even if the fire is contained to your apartment, the other tenants can sue you for smoke damage to their property. You wouldn’t drive without auto insurance, you shouldn’t ‘live’ without renters (or homeowners) insurance.
Some other reasons, if you rent, you need renters insurance:
- Rented dwellings are more likely to be burglarized than owner-occupied properties, yet none of us think that it will happen to us. Despite an increase in renters nationwide due to the housing slump, less than half have a renters policy.
- Most renters don’t think about the value of their possessions until a fire or theft occurs, and many renters mistakenly believe that their personal property is covered by their landlord’s policy.
- Nearly nine out of 10 renters own one or more valuable electronic devices, such as computers, video cameras and home-theater systems
- Half of all renters own pets, and these tenants face increased liability exposure, especially with dogs or exotic pets