Renters Insurance

How to Give Proof of Renters Insurance

How to Give Proof of Renters Insurance

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When you rent a home, your landlord may require proof that you've purchased a renters insurance policy. In most cases, this simply means either sending over a copy of your policy or requesting that your insurer add your landlord as an interested party to your policy. Renters insurance isn't required by state or federal law, but landlords have the right to make it a condition of your lease.

Even if your landlord doesn't require you to purchase a policy, having tenants insurance is often a good investment — especially since renters insurance costs on average only about $187 per year.

What is proof of renters insurance?

Proof of renters insurance can refer to any way you show your landlord you've bought a policy.

There's no uniform benchmark for proof, however, so your landlord can use their discretion. Talk with your landlord or consult your lease to understand your obligations.

When you purchase renters insurance, your landlord may ask you to add them as an interested party. Your insurance company will contact interested parties if your policy lapses or terminates unexpectedly. This is an effective requirement because it prevents you from canceling your policy after you've fulfilled your landlord's request.

Ways to prove you have renters insurance

There are several ways to prove you've purchased renters insurance. Your lease may specify a certain method, but if it doesn't you can:

  • Provide your policy's declarations page. Your renters insurance policy's declarations page outlines the details of your coverage. This document contains your name, provider, policy number and how much coverage you purchased, including endorsements. You can typically find a digital copy in your online account or request a physical copy from your insurance company. Then, email a copy of your declarations page to your landlord, send it through the mail or deliver it in person.
  • Ask your insurer to notify your landlord. After you purchase renters insurance, you can ask your insurance company to send proof to your landlord. An insurance representative might send a copy of your declarations page to your landlord digitally or through the mail.
  • Upload a digital file. Some property owners — usually large companies with multiple tenants — use property management software to communicate with their renters. In these cases, you may be able to supply proof of your renters insurance by uploading a digital copy of your declarations page directly into the program.
  • Give a verbal confirmation. With some landlords, a verbal confirmation from you might be enough proof that you've purchased renters insurance. But don't lie to avoid buying coverage. If you suffer a loss and your landlord discovers you never fulfilled your lease requirements, you may face eviction.

How much renters insurance do landlords require?

Your lease will tell you how much renters insurance to buy if your landlord requires coverage.

Here's what a typical renters insurance policy includes:

  • Liability: Landlords typically ask tenants to carry personal liability insurance, the kind of coverage that pays for injuries others suffer in your apartment.
  • Personal property coverage: This portion of your policy covers your belongings. But because your landlord only owns the building you live in, they often won't be concerned about whether your own stuff is covered.

For the most part, your landlord can decide how much coverage you need to buy. But it also depends on the state.

  • Oklahoma is the only state that prohibits landlords from requiring tenants to buy coverage.
  • Some states, like Oregon, limit how much your landlord can require you to buy.
  • In some states, like Virginia, landlords can purchase renters insurance on behalf of their tenants and include the price of a policy in the rent. Before you purchase your own policy, make sure this isn't the case for you — otherwise you'll pay twice for the same coverage.

But keep in mind: If your lease doesn't make renters insurance mandatory, your landlord can't legally hold you responsible if you choose to remain uninsured.

How long does it take to get renters insurance?

If your lease requires you to get renters insurance, it doesn't take very long to get coverage. Unlike other forms of insurance, there are no waiting periods for purchasing renters insurance. You can also buy coverage online or in person. Since most insurance companies maintain an online presence, you could reasonably buy tenants insurance and provide digital proof of purchase in less than half an hour.

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