Renter’s insurance can cost your tenants as little as $10-20 per month and could save you as the landlord thousands in claims, out of pockets expenses and insurance rate hikes.

A typical Renter’s insurance policy covers property for the tenant’s belongings, emergency housing and moving expenses plus liability insurance which can serve as the primary insurance coverage in some claims.  A claim you or your insurance company could end up paying if there was no other coverage available. 

Some of the coverage of a basic Renter’s insurance policy includes:

Liability Coverages

  • Covers acts of pets
  • Unintentional acts from the insured or qualified family members
  • $5,000 in medical payments for those injured on the premises regardless of liability
  • Emergency First Aid for Others
  • Damage to Property of Others- For example: A toilet over flows into a neighboring unit damaging their TV and sofa

Property Coverages

  • Theft or vandalism of tenants belongings
  • Loss of Use – Covers the cost of living elsewhere while the apartment is being repaired due to a covered claim, such as, fire or water damage
  • Moving expenses and emergency housing in a loss situation whereby the unit is uninhabitable
  • Damage to Property  (Their Unit) For example: The tenant causes a fire in their kitchen.  The apartment insurance policy would pay for the damage to the unit however, may come after the tenant for repayment.  If the carrier can subrogate and receive repayment, the landlord’s policy will have a lesser payout for the claim, thus decreasing the landlord’s policy “loss ratio” which affects the rating and cost.
  • Contents - damage or theft of your tenants belongings

It is suggested that the landlord is added to the renter’s insurance policy as an “Additional Insured”.  This not only gives the landlord notification if the policy cancels but in some cases can extend coverage of the policy to the landlord.

Transferring these risks from your tenant to renter’s insurance policy is an inexpensive and easy solution.  Call your agent today to get a program started.  They can provide you or your property manager with the basic information to start implementing a renter’s insurance program for your building.  Remember that you cannot make this a mid-term lease requirement however, you can implement this for new tenants and as existing leases renew.


This article was written by Stacey A Scott a Farmers Insurance, Commercial Elite and Presidents Council Agent and Owner of Madison Avenue Insurance Group Commercial Insurance Brokerage in Woodinville.  If you have any questions regarding this article, she can be reached at 14522 NE North Woodinville Way Ste. 205 Woodinville, WA 98072
Telephone: 425.481.1430 Email:
Web: or


This article is not meant to provide legal advice.  Please contact your lawyer or the RHA for up to date housing/landlord law.