Patricia, who rents in Charleston, called us with a question about renters insurance recently. She was deeply concerned about a letter she had received from her landlord, and asked…
I received a letter requiring renters insurance. Can a landlord do that? I try hard to protect my rights, and I’m not sure this is any of the landlord’s business! Why do they care if something happens to my stuff?
That’s a great question, and it’s one that we hear often. Can a landlord require Charleston, SC Renters Insurance?
My Landlord Sent A Letter Requiring Renters Insurance, Can A Landlord Do That?
You bet! South Carolina landlords from Charleston to Spartanburg can require that you have renters insurance as part of your lease. It’s most often found in the major cities at professionally managed communities, but any landlord anywhere across America has the ability to mandate renters insurance as part of your lease.
A letter requiring renters insurance is a standard part of enforcing those requirements. Any time a lease is signed or the terms of the lease change, such as the dates changing at renewal, other changes can be made to the lease as well.
Your landlord can add a renters insurance requirement on a new or renewal lease, and your signature means you accept that requirement and agree to abide by it.
A lease is a contract between people. The terms of such a contract such as the amount of rent are often negotiated. Once the contract is signed, it’s a binding agreement between the parties. This means that if you sign a lease requiring renters insurance, you’ll be held to it.
Penalties for violating the terms of your lease can be strong, so you’ll want to make sure you comply with those requirements. There may be additional things they want to see, such as naming the property management company as an “additional interest.”
That doesn’t give them coverage, of course, and you’re not insuring the buildings. Additional interest just makes sure that they are made aware if the policy lapses or cancels or any reason.
We’ve touched elsewhere on why your landlord should be additional interest, and not additional insured.
Why Is My Landlord Requiring Renters Insurance?
Requiring renters insurance has become quite common even among small private landlords with only a few units. It’s been commonplace for larger property management companies for a number of years now.
It’s a way for landlords and property managers to reduce the risk of losses caused by tenant negligence, and it’s quite effective at that.
The landlord probably has a substantial deductible on their insurance policy. For private landlords, this might be a few thousand dollars. For property management companies, this risk retention might be as high as twenty-five thousand dollars.
The landlord wants to know that you’re able to cover the amount of risk they’ve retained if your negligence causes a fire or another kind of loss that would be covered. Requiring renters insurance does that.
Requiring renters insurance has another benefit. If your negligence causes a loss to the property, the landlord’s insurance company is likely to subrogate, or proceed against you to collect the money they paid on the claim. Since you’re at fault, and the landlord’s right of recovery is assigned to the insurance company when he makes a claim, they absolutely can do this.
When you have renters insurance, you’ll have coverage for the amounts that are sought by the other insurance company. In addition, since it’s a liability claim, your insurance will pay for you to be defended against that claim. The insurance company funds a lawyer to defend you, but it’s your lawyer and their duty is to you as the client.
With coverage for the amounts the insurance company wants to collect, and coverage for your defense against the claim or subrogation, you know that the incident doesn’t have to cost you money out of your own pocket. All of this coverage is available for just a few dollars a month.
Landlords also know that tenants frequently misunderstand who’s responsible for their property. The landlord doesn’t have any responsibility at all for your stuff. Requiring renters insurance means that you have personal property coverage. That prevents those misunderstandings, and also helps you to recover after a loss.
A tenant who has a fire might well stay in the building or community if they’re able to put their life back together. Requiring renters insurance helps to reduce turnover, as well. In addition, your policy can pay for you to stay somewhere else while repairs are being made to your apartment. That helps to avoid you infringing on family and friends, and makes it easier to get back on your feet and back in your apartment.
Requiring Renters Insurance Of All Residents Benefits You
If your landlord is requiring renters insurance from you, they’re likely requiring the coverage of all residents. That means the person upstairs has coverage available when they start to fill the bathtub, get distracted by the kids, and it overflows and causes damage to your property in the apartment below.
You can file a personal property claim on your policy, which generally has replacement cost coverage like most Charleston, SC Renters Insurance. Your policy can then recover some of that amount from the negligent person’s liability coverage. In some cases, this can even include getting your deductible back.
When everyone in the building or apartment community has renters insurance, things just work better in the long term. People aren’t forced to sue other residents for damages they suffer, and you know the coverage will be there for you when you need it. Most renters insurance in South Carolina is quite affordable, often below the national average!
The national average price of renters insurance is just $187.00, according to the III. That works out to as little as fifteen dollars per month. The vast majority of families can budget renters insurance easily at those prices.
Additionally, it's important to note that renters are at a significantly higher risk of experiencing loss than homeowners. Renters occupy roughly one third of total housing stock in the country, and yet they are fully fifty percent more likely to experience theft than homeowners, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.
It only costs a few dollars a month to protect your family, and this cheap renters insurance is a great way to mitigate the additional risks that come with being a renter.
Effective Coverage offers the nation's only completely mobile platform to quote and purchase renters insurance right from your phone or tablet in just one minute. Get an online renters insurance quote today and protect your family.
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