Is Renter's Insurance Required?

While it isn't illegal to not have renter's insurance, it is legal for your landlord to require it. When else is it required?

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Adam Moelis
Sep 17, 2021
8 min

Across many aspects of our everyday life, insurance is seen as a non-negotiable necessity. There are always events that are out of our control, which is why life insurance, health insurance, and auto insurance are basic prerequisites that the vast majority of Americans pay into.

However, one often overlooked aspect of the insurance market that is equally important is renter's insurance. According to the latest figures, a mere 37% of American renters have any form of rental insurance, a number that has barely risen at all in recent years. Many people wonder, is renter's insurance required? When assessing the benefits of renter's insurance, being able to determine "is renter's insurance mandatory?" is a vital first step.

Renter's insurance may not get the same level of attention as homeowner's insurance, but the coverage that it offers is just as essential for keeping your possessions, finances, and security covered. If you are considering reaching out to a renter's insurance agency, read this essential guide to find out everything you need to know about renter's insurance in 2021 and beyond.

1. Is Renter's Insurance Required?

If you are looking for renter's insurance Knoxville, for example, you might be wondering whether having it is mandated by the state, county, or federal law. First, it is important to note that there is no legally-mandated requirement to have renter's insurance anywhere in the United States. There are no laws mandating renter's insurance for renters anywhere in the US.

However, landlords and property managers are legally allowed to demand that tenants take out AGI rental insurance. They are likely to do this because it means that, should damages occur, you will not seek compensation from the landlord or property manager. Instead, the insurance company will deal with your claim.

2. Is Renter's Insurance Important?

In a nutshell, renter's insurance is very important. As a renter, you do not have the same protections that a homeowner might have when it comes to your use of the property and your possessions that are held in that property. Without renter's insurance, a burglary or a fire that causes significant financial loss for you could be devastating, as nobody is required to take up your case or pay you compensation. You might be able to take a landlord to court if you suspect your damages are the result of negligence, but this is a drawn-out and expensive process that you might not win. Rental insurance keeps you covered when things go wrong.

3. What Does Renter's Insurance Cover?

Renter's insurance varies depending on the provider and the policy you take out. However, there are some essential aspects that virtually all renter's insurance policies will cover. It is first important to note that a renter's insurance policy will state that it will "payout" if your losses are the result of a particular event. These events are usually listed clearly in the policy description and often include:

  • Property fire
  • Burglary
  • Natural Disaster
  • Loss of power
  • Sudden and significantly disruptive renovations
  • Injury of another tenant or guest caused by your actions (in which you are liable)

If your insurance covers a certain event, there are a number of damages that the policy will then cover. These include:

Personal Property Damages

If an event that is covered in your renter's insurance results in the loss and damage of your personal property, your policy will pay the cost of these losses up to the limit of your policy. You may have to provide documentation and evidence testifying the value of your lost property.


This covers expenses that result from damages and injuries for which you are liable. For example, if a guest in your apartment has an accident and injures themselves, the renter's insurance may cover their medical expenses.

Medical Expenses

If you or another person is injured in your residence as the result of the events listed in your policy, then your renter's insurance policy will cover the medical bills. This may prove especially important if you are using travelers renter's insurance and living in a short-term rental overseas, where medical costs can be exorbitant for foreign travelers.

Loss of Use of the Property

Any event covered in your policy that renders your home temporarily or permanently uninhabitable should be fully covered. For example, if a burst pipe floods your apartment and you have to live in a hotel for a while, a good renter's insurance policy should cover the cost of the hotel stay, within reason.

4. Who Needs Renter's Insurance?

If you are trying to be smart with your finances and security, you should absolutely be taking out a renter's insurance policy. Anyone who rents a home as their primary place of residence, either in the US or overseas, should be taking out a renter's insurance policy. That being said, renter's insurance is especially urgent for you to take out if any of the below criteria apply to you.

Lower-Income Renters

If you do not have a large income, you will not be able to cover the losses that the renter's insurance is designed to cover. If a fire or burglary results in you losing your laptop, cash savings, jewelry, or car, then you will find it difficult to recover from this if you have a low income. Renter's insurance premiums typically cost a few dollars a month and can be an absolute life-saver in the event that you need to use them.

Off-Campus College Students

If you are a college student living in dorms on campus, you probably do not need renter's insurance. This is because you will either be covered by your parent's existing insurance policies or you will be covered by a scheme that your college has in-place. However, if you live off-campus, then you will have none of these protections. That is why you should always get renter's insurance as an off-campus college student.

People with Significant Valuables

If you have valuables that are stored in your place of residence that are worth a sigificant amount of money, get a renter's insurance policy with a high premium. Whether it is technology, artwork, jewelry, or hierlooms, renter's insurance will cover the cost of unaffordable losses.

Renters with Pets

If you have a pet and your landlord allows you to move in with your pet, you should defitely get renter's insurance. Many policies will cover you if your pet is injured or stolen in your rented home. It may also cover expenses if your pet bites another person while that person is in your property.

5. How Much Renter's Insurance Do I Need?

Another crucial question to answer is how much renter's insurance you actually need. It is better to get more coverage than less, but there is no need to splash out on coverage that is unlikely to ever apply to you. Most policies cost between $5 and $25 a month, making renter's insurance an incredibly affordable form of protection.

The cheaper option might cover a more limite range of events and only pay for damages up to a smaller limit, such as $10,000. Meanwhile, more expensive renter's insurance will cover a larger range of eventualities and can pay millions of dollars in damages.

6. What to Look Out For When Choosing Renter's Insurance

Whether purchasing renter's insurance in Henderon or Los Angeles, it is important to select a package that is applicable to you and fits your needs and budgets. With that in mind, here are some of the essentials to look out for when choosing your policy.

Know What Is Not Covered

While knowing what is covered is important, it is crucial to get concrete information on what your policy explicity does not cover. This may be easy to figure out yourself, or you might need to ask the provider to clarify. For example, some policies do not cover losses caused by earthquakes, which is not ideal if you live in California.

Consider Deductibles

As with any other form of insurance, rental insurance will offer a range of deductibles. You should opt to pay a higher deductible in exchange for lower fees. While this means you will pay more upfront if damages do occur, it also means you monthly payments will be at the bare minimum.

Bundle Up

While you can purchase renter's insurance as a standalone package, this is not the most cost-effective way to do it. Many insurers offer renter's insurance alongside other insurance policies such as car insurance. Bundle your policies together under one provider to save time and money.

Read the Small Print

Finally, it is vital to read the small print. Some policies might state in the small print that they will refuse to pay under certain circumstances. Read your policy carefully to ensure that you are getting exactly the right type of coverage that you and your family need and deserve.

Future-Proof Your Finances in 2021

Now that you know the answer to the question "is renter's insurance required?", you have taken one step forward toward's greater financial security in the year ahead. If you wish to future-proof your finances with a savings account that pays real dividends, make sure to sign up for a Yotta Account today.

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