If you rent a home or apartment in Orlando, you might think, “Why do I need insurance? The landlord is responsible for problems with the building; their insurance should cover my stuff if there’s a fire or a flood.”
It is in your best interest as a renter in Orlando to buy renters insurance. Unfortunately, you’d be mistaken. If your belongings are stolen from the unit you rent or damaged, they will not be covered by a landlord or property management company’s insurance policy. This means you are on the hook to repair or replace the damaged or stolen items.
What is renters insurance?
Renters insurance is a type of insurance that protects tenants from financial losses related to the property they rent. It is typically one of the last things most renters think about since they do not realize that they are not covered by the landlord's insurance if there is a problem in their home or apartment. Fire, theft, roof and plumbing leaks, and other damaging events can ruin a tenant’s personal property and expose the tenant to potential legal liability if a visitor gets injured or their property gets damaged.
What renters insurance covers for tenants in Orlando
Renters insurance typically covers three main things: personal property, liability, and additional living expenses for tenants if vandalism, theft, fire, or certain natural disasters force the tenant to incur costs to live elsewhere for a while. Renters insurance policies and limits can vary, so tenants in Orlando need to review their policies carefully and understand what is and is not covered.
- Personal liability – This helps pay settlements and legal fees (up to a predetermined limit) if an injured guest brings a lawsuit to recover their medical costs. Similarly, renters insurance covers damages to a guest’s personal property or damage to the unit itself.
- Personal possessions – This covers property damage or loss from vandalism, theft, fire, plumbing failure, electrical issues, and storms. Renters insurance also covers repairing or replacing the renter’s belongings, such as sports gear, electronics, furniture, and clothing, if they are damaged or stolen. Renters can choose policy coverage limits.
- Additional living expenses – If the rental unit is damaged and becomes inhabitable, renters insurance helps pay for food, hotel bills, and other costs incurred while the tenant relocates during the time it takes to complete the repairs.
Most standard renters insurance policies provide $20,000 worth of personal property and additional living expense coverage, with a $500 deductible. Such policies’ liability coverage is usually limited to $100,000.
What additional coverage and protection options are available with renters insurance for tenants in Orlando?
Tenants can add additional coverage to their policy, depending on their needs and the policy options offered by their insurance company.
Optional coverage for other insurable situations includes:
Identity fraud – This covers costs incurred to restore a tenant's identity.
Replacement costs – This covers personal property damaged or destroyed by a covered catastrophe, such as an extreme weather event like a hurricane, earthquake, or flood. These extreme events are not typically covered by standard renters insurance.
Sewage or drain backup – This protects tenants from property damage caused by a water backup from a drain, sump pump, or sewer.
What renters insurance doesn’t cover for tenants in Orlando
Standard exclusions in renters insurance policies include:
Damage or loss to the rental property – If the rental unit is damaged or destroyed, it is the landlord's responsibility to repair or replace it. Renters insurance policies typically only cover damage to your personal belongings, not the rental property itself.
Damage or loss caused by normal wear and tear – Renters insurance policy will not cover loss or damage to your personal belongings caused by normal wear and tear.
Damage or loss caused by certain natural disasters – Renters insurance policies may not cover damage or loss caused by extreme natural disasters, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, or floods. You may need to purchase a separate policy or endorsement to cover such events.
Is renters insurance required in Orlando?
Landlords and property management companies can choose to make renters insurance a condition of the rental agreement, although local landlord-tenant law does not require it in Orlando. As a tenant, it is still a good idea to purchase renters insurance to protect against potential losses, even if it’s not legally required.
If you are an Orlando tenant unsure whether you need renters insurance, review your rental agreement or check with your landlord or property management company.
What happens without renters insurance?
Without renters insurance, you will not have coverage for:
- Additional living expenses if you need to temporarily move out of your rental unit due to a covered loss.
- Legal expenses or damages if you are sued.
- Loss or damage to your personal belongings.
If your personal belongings are stolen, damaged, or destroyed, you will pay for the replacements or repairs out of your pocket if you don’t have renters insurance. You will also pay for any legal fees and damages if you are successfully sued for accidentally damaging a guest's property or causing personal injury. If you need to move out of your rental unit because a damaging event occurs, you will have to pay for temporary housing and other expenses.
Average cost of renters insurance in Orlando
The average cost of renters insurance in Orlando is between $8–$15 per month. This adds up to about $96–$180 per year, depending on the coverage you select. These costs aligned with the national average of $159 per year.
However, FBI statistics for 2019 show that in Orange County, where Orlando is located, there were 20,832 reported property crimes per every 100,000 people. The cost of renters insurance is a small price to pay to protect your personal property investments.
Why a landlord in Orlando might require renters insurance
Renters insurance gives landlords and property managers peace of mind because they know their tenants are protected from potential damages or losses due to fire, theft, vandalism, and other disasters. It also provides liability coverage if a tenant is found responsible for an accident on the rental property. In addition, renters insurance can help cover costs associated with relocation until repairs are complete following a disaster, which provides some assurance that the tenant will return and continue to pay rent.
How should landlords notify tenants about getting renters insurance?
Landlords should inform prospective tenants about renters insurance requirements when the tenants apply for a rental unit. Landlords can include contact information for their preferred insurer in case tenants have questions about the process.
For current tenants, landlords can send an email or letter to explain the requirement and the importance of renters insurance. This communication should outline available coverage and provide information on how to obtain a policy and any discounts offered to tenants through the landlord’s preferred provider.
Landlords can remind tenants that they are not covered under the building’s policy and are ultimately responsible for obtaining and maintaining adequate coverage for their personal belongings.
How can landlords help tenants decide to protect their belongings with renters insurance?
Many tenants have not considered renters insurance. Landlords can help their tenants make a proactive decision about coverage by ensuring they are well-informed.
Landlords can encourage tenants to:
Consider additional coverage – If your building is located in an area at higher risk for extreme weather, you can suggest additional protection, such as flood, hurricane, or earthquake coverage.
Check their coverage limits – Ask your tenant to take an inventory of their property and its value to ensure their policy’s coverage limits are enough to cover their belongings. If not, they should consider increasing the limits, so they don't have to worry about paying out of pocket in the case of a damaging event.
Keep records – Ask your tenants to keep updated records of all items they own and their estimated value. This will make filing a claim much easier if they experience a covered loss event.
By providing this information and requiring renters insurance, landlords in Orlando can rest easy knowing their tenants have protection for their belongings.
How RentSpree can facilitate the purchase of renters insurance coverage
RentSpree has partnered with Sure, a rental insurance provider, to bring landlords and tenants 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. RentSpree allows landlords to easily ask tenants to purchase renters insurance as part of the application process; they’ll receive an immediate digital proof of insurance after purchase. The easy-to-use tenant dashboard provides tenants with updated coverage information and renewal reminders. Check out renters insurance from RentSpree now.