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A landlord can make renters insurance a part of the lease agreement, and many do. Requiring a tenant to provide proof of a renters insurance policy has become more common in recent years, and it protects both the landlord and you.

If you have already signed a lease agreement, the landlord can't force you to buy renters insurance, as you are both bound by the terms of the agreement until it expires. When it comes time to renew, however, the landlord can add renters insurance as a requirement for renewal.

Key takeaways

  • Renters insurance provides liability coverage for renters to pay for any damage or injuries they might cause.
  • Renters insurance is not required by law, but landlords often require it to protect themselves and the renter.
  •'s rate analysis shows that the national average yearly cost for a renters’ policy is $347, or about $29 a month.

Why do landlords require renters insurance?

Landlords generally require that tenants have renters insurance to ensures that the landlord won't be held responsible for liability involving their tenants, and so there is coverage for any damage done by the tenant to the landlord's property.

The landlord's own insurance policy covers the house itself and provides liability insurance for any injuries or damage for which the landlord could be held responsible. When the tenant has their own insurance, such claims can be charged to that insurance policy instead. Renters insurance prevents complicated liability suits that might wind up in court.

It can also provide coverage for damage the tenant does to the landlord's property, preventing them from needing to file a claim against their own policy.

Renters insurance also provides coverage for the tenants' personal property. Landlords are not responsible for their tenants' property, but in the event of a fire or other claim, tenants may sometimes try to hold the landlord responsible to get their property replaced. Renters insurance prevents this.

How much does renters insurance cost?

Rates vary based on coverage amounts, the renter’s credit history, and where he or she lives. Based on an rate analysis, the national average yearly cost for a renters policy with coverage levels of $40,000 for personal property, a $1,000 deductible and $100,000 of liability protection is $347, or about $29 a month. Vermont Mutual is the cheapest renters insurance provider with an average rate of $130 per year. Louisiana has the highest renters insurance rates, at $540 a year. Wyoming has the lowest, at $183 per year.

To find out how much renters insurance you need and to see how much you can expect to pay, use's average renters insurance rate tool, which shows rates by ZIP codes for 75 coverage levels.

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