Should I require renter's insurance?

14 Replies

I don't have rentals anymore - but I would require it - even if you help pay for it. It names you as additional insured; covers their belongings and some liability if someone is injured. Look at the attached photo. I sold this little beauty last month. A fire started in the dryer when the tenants weren't home. They had insurance. They got a fat check and just left all the smoke & water damaged items behind. Of course the owner / landlord had insurance too that paid off the mortgage. I sold it as a "flip". 

I dont require it but I rent to low/middle class tenants.

I only require it if they have a pet to help cover any potential liability that may cause. But for $9 a month it really is a no brainer that any tenant should have it.

@Teri S. Interesting idea! If you found tenants being hesitant, to help pay for it would be smart! Thanks for that advice. From that picture, it's true. You really can never do enough to protect yourself and your rental! 

@Samantha Klein I agree, with how inexpensive it is, everyone should want to have it! Do you find any tenants hesitant to get renter's insurance? 

Require tenants have it, however don't enforce the requirement. Probably a good idea, however have not had a problem yet, letting em slide.

Originally posted by @Jenifer Kynor :

I am curious to know whether or not a landlord should require renters insurance for for their properties? What's your argument for why you do or don't? I am curious to see how many landlords require renter's insurance versus how many that don't really have preference. 

The rental agreement (lease) that we use in Virginia requires the tenants to have it. I always, always, always stress them to get it. 99% of them don't. I buy it  for them and it comes out of their deposit.

Chinmay, forced placed great idea.

Originally posted by @Jenifer Kynor :

@Chinmay J. That is a really smart idea to ensure you are always covered. Thanks for the advice! 

Overall, are your tenants pretty happy with that method of getting renter's insurance? 

There are some things, as a landlord, that you will have to do that ends up bruising their ego. This is one of them. This is what I do..For the things that I need them to do, which I  know they are probably not going to be happy doing. I always have them initial the clause on the lease. Plus I document the emails that I send them prior to them taking over the possession of the place.  Never delete any emails. 

Plus in VA, we have 45 days to return the deposit after they have left the place. That's plenty of time after the landlord-tenant relationship has ended officially. So even if they are a bit pissed, who cares.. lol. Its better than finding each other in court if something bad were to happen, and also better than poor saps losing all their belongings worth 1000s of dollars.

I put in the lease tenants Signing saying they will get renter's Insurance, but I don't check on it!


I require it....I also buy a policy for them on top of requiring them to have it.

The reason I require it is because they are responsible for all damage to the house outside of normal wear and tear.  If they don't have the money to pay for it, then a judgement against them is all but useless.  That being said, there is no reason why they can't get it, then cancel it after a month or this instance, if it were ever to come to court, I have documentation that stated I required it that the tenant agreed to, then didn't get.

I also buy a policy through a "tenant protector plan" that gives them $10,000 worth of coverage.  It costs me less than $10 per month and it's a just in case, just in case policy.

(720) 598-0793

Have a clause putting the onus on the tenant to be insured, then make sure YOU are properly insured. I would speak with an insurance broker you trust and look at how you are currently insured and where you want to be. 

@Jenifer Kynor I always require renters insurance. I share the requirement with my applicants prior to them even filling out the app. The cost is typically between $95. - 150.00 / year, so the expense is very minimal. I explain the benefit to the tenant and have honestly never had a tenant question it or not want it. I provide them with my agents number, I give my agent a heads up on who's calling, and it's done in 10 minutes. I also have my name listed on the policy but NOT as a guarantor. This way I get notifications of any claims and renewal notices. 

We require it. If they don't already have it, we pay for a minimal policy through our agent. The cost is  $50-100/year & provides them $100k in liability. So if they start a fire or overflow the tub or ... our house is covered & we don't have a claim on our insurance. 

Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

Lock We hate spam just as much as you

Join the Largest Real Estate Investing Community

Basic membership is free, forever.