Charlotte is the largest city in North Carolina, and renters there, especially those living in multifamily buildings, have plenty of neighbors. Anytime you share a building with other individuals, you face a higher risk of damage to your belongings from events out of your control—fire, water, or even theft. When you own valuable items, it’s wise to shield yourself from loss. As a tenant in Charlotte, buying renters insurance can help protect your belongings.
What Is renters insurance?
When you are a tenant in a rental property in Charlotte, renters insurance provides coverage for you and your belongings, similar to homeowners insurance. Renters insurance covers personal property in case of damage and offers some liability protection if a renter causes injuries or property damage. Renters insurance also helps reimburse the cost of alternative living arrangements if the rental becomes inhabitable.
Renters insurance is very affordable, much less than replacing or repairing your belongings. Make a thorough inventory of your property to be sure you have enough coverage to replace or repair your belongings. Be sure to account for the value of rare items or things that would be hard to replace, like art, photographs, or antiques.
What does renters insurance cover for tenants?
Renters insurance in Charlotte provides the following coverage for tenants after they pay their deductible:
Personal possessions—Renters insurance covers the cost to replace or repair a tenant’s belongings, such as electronics, clothing, and furniture, if damaged or stolen. Unexpected events like fire, theft, plumbing leaks, vandalism, electrical issues, or damage caused by a storm are also covered.
Personal liability—A renters insurance policy that includes liability coverage will pay for repairs if renters accidentally damage the rental property. Such a policy will cover medical bills incurred by visitors injured while on the property or costs if their personal property is damaged and they sue the renter. It also helps pay legal fees and settlements if the tenants are found at fault.
Additional living expenses—If the property is damaged and uninhabitable, renters insurance helps pay for food, hotel bills, and other costs if you have to live somewhere else temporarily while the unit is repaired.
Tenants can add optional coverages to their basic renters insurance policy, such as:
Replacement costs—additional coverage covers personal property damaged by a covered catastrophe. This is useful in an area with extreme weather events, like hurricanes and floods, not often covered by basic renters insurance. Basic renters insurance doesn’t cover extreme weather events.
Identity fraud—additional coverage to reimburse the cost of restoring a tenant’s credit and identity.
Sewage or drain backup—additional coverage for property damage due to a water backup from a sewer, drain, or sump pump.
Remember that renters insurance is not the same as the landlord’s property insurance. Your landlord’s insurance covers losses and damage to the building, structural issues, or problems with the building itself. The landlord’s policy does not cover the tenant's belongings. Tenants who take the extra step to purchase renters insurance gain peace of mind that if something is damaged, lost, or stolen, they will have coverage for repair or replacement.
What renters insurance doesn’t cover for tenants in Charlotte
If the property is damaged due to a weather-related event, that is covered under a landlord’s property insurance policy. Renters insurance does not cover the building itself.
If you are a tenant with a roommate, your roommate’s belongings will only be covered under your renters insurance policy if the roommate is listed on the policy. Often roommates will each purchase separate policies.
If remediation is needed for a pest infestation (including bed bugs) or pet behavior that causes damage, these remediations are not covered under renters insurance.
Renters insurance also does not cover a renter's belongings in the case of a catastrophic flood, earthquake, landslide, sinkhole, or other severe weather events.
Renters insurance will not cover claims for amounts above any stated limits in the policy. You may need to purchase a higher coverage level than a basic policy. If you have a lot of belongings or high-dollar items, it’s best to do a complete inventory of your possessions, so you know how high your insurance limits need to be in case of loss.
What if I don’t have renters insurance?
If tenants do not have an active renters insurance policy, they could suffer a significant monetary loss if theft, fire, or other damage occurs and they need to purchase replacements.
A suitable renters insurance policy provided by a reputable insurance company will help renters recover from an insured event more quickly and with fewer out-of-pocket costs.
Is renters insurance required in Charlotte?
The city of Charlotte does not have a legal requirement that tenants carry renters insurance. Landlords in Charlotte may or may not require that tenants show proof of renters insurance when signing a lease. But even if it’s not required, it’s a smart and affordable financial move.
Average cost of renters insurance in Charlotte
When you shop for renters insurance, buy enough coverage to help you replace or repair any items damaged in an insurable event based on the value and amount of your belongings. Premiums for renters insurance policies average $103 per year, or $9 per month. These rates are 35% less than the national average of $159 for a year’s coverage. This type of basic policy pays for approximately $20,000 worth of personal property and alternative living coverage, with a $500 deductible. Liability coverage usually has coverage limits of $100,000.
Why a landlord in Charlotte might require renters insurance
Landlords benefit in several ways when they require tenants to purchase renters insurance:
- It mitigates the threat of a tenant’s lawsuit if the tenant's belongings are damaged or destroyed.
- It helps landlords find responsible tenants who are willing to protect their belongings.
- It helps protect landlords from losing rental payments if a tenant needs to replace damaged or stolen belongings and ends up in a cash crunch. Renters insurance will cover their losses, so they can continue to pay rent.
How landlords should notify tenants about renters insurance requirements
The best way to notify a tenant about a rental insurance requirement is to state it upfront during the application process. When tenants ask about the costs associated with renting the unit, such as the security deposit, monthly rent, and any other fees, the landlord or property manager should inform them of the renters insurance requirement.
For tenants renewing their rental agreement, the new lease should also include a clause about purchasing rental insurance. The landlord should send a letter notifying them about the requirement in advance of the renewal date.
When the landlord is upfront with potential and current tenants, it shows they are looking out for their interests.
RentSpree can help facilitate renters insurance coverage
RentSpree has partnered with Sure, a rental insurance provider, to provide landlords and tenants with a streamlined process for buying renters insurance. Through the RentSpree platform, tenants can purchase coverage and provide proof of insurance to the landlord in one step.
Invite tenants to purchase renters insurance with RentSpree
With RentSpree, landlords can invite tenants to purchase renters insurance during the application process and receive a digital proof of insurance after purchase. The easy-to-use tenant dashboard can provide tenants with an update on coverage and renewal reminders. Get renters insurance through RentSpree today.