Renter’s insurance, like homeowner’s insurance, provides protection for a tenant and their personal belongings. It typically protects against three major issues while renting:
- Personal property damage
- Personal liability for onsite accidents
- Personal and living expenses if a property is rendered uninhabitable
Renter’s insurance requirements and pricing vary by state, but it is always a good idea to carry a policy to protect yourself from damage and expenses due to unforeseen circumstances. In this guide, we’ll go over the different requirements for Florida renters and how you can protect yourself as a tenant with renter’s insurance.
Is Renter’s Insurance Required in Florida?
Renter’s insurance is not legally required in the state of Florida. Neither state nor any major cities in Florida require it in order to rent; however, this doesn’t mean you won’t be required depending on the apartment complex or rental home you’re trying to move into.
Landlords are allowed to require renter’s insurance in Florida as part of their tenant application process. If it is required, your landlord will notify you and may recommend renter’s insurance providers in your area to help you get covered. Because renter’s insurance is relatively affordable, most major providers of homeowner’s insurance also provide it.
Why a Landlord Might Require Renter’s Insurance
You may wonder, “If my landlord has this property insured, why do I also need insurance?” This is an important question to address because a landlord’s insurance covers vastly different things from a renter’s insurance. Their motives for requiring renter’s insurance as part of the application process differ from the tenants themselves.
A landlord may require renter’s insurance independently of state requirements because:
- It can help cover the cost of relocation
In some areas, landlords are partially responsible for providing relocation assistance if a rental property is deemed uninhabitable. For example, hurricane or fire damage may displace a renter until they are able to find a new home, in which case a landlord may be responsible for some of the cost of relocating. However, if the renter has insurance, the insurance company will typically cover all of the costs, rather than the landlord or tenant being responsible for such expenses.
- It helps landlords find the best tenants
For rental units in high demand, a landlord may use renter insurance as a screening tool to find the best candidates for their property. Because renter’s insurance is typically inexpensive, they may choose candidates who invest in it over those that do not.
- It helps cover pet damage
Pet-friendly properties are in much higher demand but pose risks to the property owner. In order to combat this, a landlord may require renter’s insurance to cover some of the costs of pet damage. By putting the responsibility on the renter, they can mitigate the risks and accommodate a pet-friendly rental unit.
- It lowers their own insurance premiums
A landlord’s property may be considered “high risk” depending on the number of claims they’ve made for it or other owned properties in the past. By requiring renters to carry their own insurance, they can lower their premiums by reducing the number of claims they make as the owner.
More Reasons To Get Renter’s Insurance
While these benefits protect the landlord, there are more prominent benefits of renter’s insurance that help you as the tenant. If you haven’t secured renter’s insurance yet, there are several reasons why you should start shopping now:
- It provides liability protection
No one expects to be in the midst of a lawsuit, but they happen more than you think. Renter’s insurance protects you as an individual from liability if someone is injured on the property or if their belongings are lost, stolen, or damaged. This can include visitors to your apartment, maintenance workers, or others who may be at risk in your rental unit.
- Personal property protection
A landlord’s insurance covers the rental unit itself but doesn't protect your furniture, appliances, clothes, electronics, or other valuables. If you want your personal belongings protected in the case of a flood, fire, or storm, you need renter’s insurance.
- Loss of use and relocation expenses
This protects you in the event that your landlord is not required in your municipality to provide relocation expenses, as this is not required in all areas of Florida. If your apartment or rental home is damaged beyond repair, renter’s insurance will ensure you have a place to stay until you locate another place to rent of comparable value and price.
Average Cost of Renter’s Insurance in Florida
Renters' insurance in Florida is reasonably priced, averaging between $12 and $25 per month, depending on the amount of coverage purchased. This is on par with the national average of $19 per month. However, different factors can affect the pricing of individual renter’s insurance, including:
- The amount of coverage needed
- The value and condition of the rental home
- Previous rental history and prior claims
- Location (such as areas at risk of flood or storm surge)
- Pet ownership
- Military status
For most renters, this is an affordable and worthwhile expense that protects them and makes them more attractive tenant candidates.
Landlords that work with RentSpree make it easy for tenants to submit proof of Insurance through our Renter’s Insurance Tool. We provide a simple-to-use submission and verification process that allows renters and landlords to communicate seamlessly online. If you’re interested in how this tool works for landlords or how you can get renter’s insurance in your area, contact RentSpree for help.