A reasonable requirement
Renters are being asked to be adopt practices of increased responsibility for their possessions. Currently, signing a lease doesn’t always require renter’s insurance, but this is slowly turned into a compulsory requirement.
A survey of large apartment owners by the National Multi Housing Council revealed that 84 percent that required residents in at least some — if not all of their properties to have insurance, up from 62 percent the previous year.
“We started requiring renters insurance in 2007, and we were on the forefront of doing that,” reported Shanna Teague Berrien, director of insurance risk for CWS Apartment Homes in Austin, Texas, and a member of the National Apartment Association. “In the last three years, everybody who’s anybody has made that a requirement.”
Generally, all bigger complexes ask for their renters to have their belongings ensured, just because it’s a good idea for both parties involved:
- For the renter, it provides protection against catastrophic events. If the apartment complex where the renter lives burns down, the renter’s insurance will cover replacing the contents of his/her apartment.
- Landlords can use the tenant’s liability coverage, up to the policy’s limit, in the case where the renter causes a fire that destroys several units. Typically the owner’s property insurance would pay for the repairs and then, the landlord’s insurer would seek reimbursement from the tenant’s insurer. This reimbursement would include recovery of the owner’s deductible, saving the landlord thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket costs. Another bonus for both parties is cost savings — insurers often offer discounts to apartment complexes that ask their tenants to have renters insurance, and renters can enjoy the reduced rates.
Renters insurance is growing, mostly because renters are forced into it. Those who aren’t, simply skip it, thus explaining the small percentage of renters who own such insurance – 31 percent. Researchers show that despite efforts to educate the renter on the importance of renters insurance, most of them still don’t understand the concept correctly – many believe that in case of fire or water damage the landlord’s insurance will cover their belongings as well, which is not the case. Better safe than sorry, and better off insured.