First of all, we should take a moment to say good for you actually reading the lease. The vast majority of people don’t, and then they’re surprised by this. More Americans should read their lease. If they did, they’d find that a renters insurance requirement is pretty standard across the board.
But as to why that mandate is there? There are three main subsets of people who in some way gain protection from it.
A Renters Insurance Requirement Protects You
Your landlord isn’t responsible for your personal property. Never has been, never will be. There remains a myth that landlords somehow are accountable to you for your stuff, but it’s just that – a myth. There is no world in which you can expect the landlord to pay for your things if they are lost, damaged, or destroyed.
Your personal property is worth more than you think, too. Remember that if there’s a fire or a break-in, you’ll have to go buy those things new. Your TV may have an actual cash value of ten dollars, but you’re going to want to replace it with a new one. After a theft you don’t want to replace all that stuff with your buddy Chumlee, do you? Of course not, you want new things off the shelf.
Your renters insurance will generally include replacement cost coverage on personal property. That ensures that you won’t have to visit Chumlee to buy new items. You’d be surprised how much of your stuff you depend on on a daily basis, so replacing things piecemeal isn’t really an option. You can’t just buy a pair of jeans here and a shirt there, you need all of your clothes to be replaced now if there’s smoke damage.
Don’t forget about loss of use coverage that comes with your policy, as well. Whether the loss is due to a fire, a broken pipe, or another covered peril on renters insurance, you’ll need someplace to stay while repairs are being made. Loss of use coverage takes care of that for you by paying for a hotel while you’re not able to use the residence premises.
A Renters Insurance Requirement Protects Other Residents
When you leave a pan on the stove and walk out the door without thinking about it, what happens? There’s a fire, of course. If you lived in a single-family home, that might only affect you. When you live in an apartment, duplex, townhome, or other multiple dwelling unit, that fire impacts many more people.
Your neighbors will have significant losses arising from your fire. Whether it’s fire damage, smoke damage, water damage, loss of use, or other losses caused by your negligence, you’re responsible for those costs. Your neighbors and their respective insurance companies will sue you to recover those losses.
If you don’t have much to take, you’re only partially vulnerable to that suit, but that only helps you. A renters insurance requirement means that the person responsible for the loss will have liability coverage to make whole all of the people who suffered that loss.
In addition, it prevents you from being sued with nothing to take. You’ll have a defense provided by your insurance policy, as well as coverage for the judgment or settlement as applicable. You’d expect someone else who was responsible for your loss to make you whole, so why wouldn’t you do the same for them?
In addition, your medical payments to others coverage protects people who are injured in your apartment because “one of those things” happened. If someone falls on your steps, but it’s not actually your fault, they’re still going to hold you responsible. Medical payments to others takes care of that injury and protects them, which thereby protects you because they won’t come after you for the cost of the injury.
This is especially important when there are injuries, because health insurance companies work hard to subrogate and recover the money that was paid out to their policyholder from the person who is responsible for the injuries.
A Renters Insurance Requirement Protects Your Landlord
Your apartment building probably is insured for anywhere from several hundred thousand dollars to several million dollars. Your landlord probably has a ten thousand dollar or more deductible on that policy. Insurance deductibles for losses caused by tenants shouldn’t be part of the regular operating expenses of an apartment. A renters insurance requirement makes sure that it’s not.
Beyond that, however, a renters insurance requirement protects the community at large. The housing market in the Pacific Northwest can be out of control, with very little room to absorb the loss of availability of several units due to a fire. When those units can be brought back into use quickly, that helps to prevent an even tighter squeeze on the market, which plays a part in keeping housing affordable.
When you have renters insurance, you’re not just protecting yourself. You’re protecting the entire community ecosystem. By doing so, you ensure that the housing market remains sustainable. You also make sure that you’re not responsible for significant disruptions in the lives of other people. A renters insurance requirement isn’t just about protecting you, or even about protecting other people, it’s also the right thing to do.
In closing, never forget that fifty-six percent of Americans lack renters insurance. That means one half of your neighbors wouldn’t be able to make good on a loss that they caused to you, leaving you to fend for yourself. Renters insurance covers you against that risk. To find out more and to get covered in just sixty seconds, just call (800)892-4308 or click to get covered - whether you need Eugene, OR renters insurance quotes online or coverage anywhere else!
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