At what point is it good to start considering making renters insurance a requirement of the lease. Well, the answer is easy, when your tenant’s son drives a car through the living room! This really happened and there was a time when we weren’t sure if the tenant’s auto insurance would cover the damages. The tenant of course didn’t have the cash to pay for the damages and I was nearly left with a big expense. Luckily the auto insurance pulled through in the end and the repairs were made. Unfortunately however the tenants belongings that were run over were not covered by the auto insurance. If the tenant had renter’s insurance however; their TV, various other electronics, coffee table, etc would have been covered.

Do you discuss renter’s insurance with your tenants or make it a requirement of the lease? We usually try to convince the tenants that it is a good idea to have renter’s insurance and even share some motivating real life stories. Despite the fairly inexpensive cost of the insurance it seems most tenants still opt to go without. I haven’t ever had a tenant file a claim against me when tragedy strikes but I really would rather avoid the risk. Besides this latest issue with the car I’ve had flooding from; toilets and bathtubs failing, sump pumps malfunctioning and of course mother nature. We remedy the issue as soon as we’re notified but often times some of the tenants belongings get destroyed. Many tenants incorrectly assume that the landlord is responsible for the loss of their personal belongings. I’ve had some pretty upset tenants but really all I can do is tell them I’m sorry and ask them if they ever obtained that renter’s insurance I suggested.

Do you require tenants to obtain renter’s insurance?