Depending on how long you’ve rented in Michigan, you’ve likely heard of renters insurance or have had to purchase it at some point. Renters insurance is a simple insurance policy to protect renters against losses due to apartment damage, as well as liability if there is an accident in their unit. While not everyone has renters insurance in Michigan, at RentSpree, we encourage all renters to explore their options in order to find what’s best for them. In this guide, we’ll go over some of the benefits of renters insurance and how you can find affordable coverage in your area.
Is Renters Insurance Required in Michigan?
The short answer is no, renters insurance is not required by law in the state of Michigan. However, this doesn’t mean you are fully exempt from renters insurance requirements, depending on what rental units you’re applying to. Landlords are allowed to require it as a part of their rental application, and many do in order to find the best-qualified candidates.
Will My Landlord Require Renters Insurance?
While the state does not require you to have renters insurance, your landlord could. Depending on the applicant pool size, the rental unit's value, and your previous rental history, they may ask you to submit proof of insurance during the application process. Here’s why:
It helps keep your property and assets safe
Your landlord has a vested interest in protecting you within their rental unit. If you are faced with a lawsuit or have to replace damaged property in the unit, you may have the incentive to move to a lower-cost unit. By requiring renters insurance, your landlord is protecting you as much as themselves for any financial losses that could put you out of your current unit.
Renters insurance lowers your landlord’s insurance premiums
Your landlord must carry insurance for the building, which covers accidents and general repairs and liabilities for the unit. While they are covered under their policy, having your own renters insurance can help reduce the number of claims they file. This, in turn, lowers their premiums which helps keep overall rental costs low.
It helps them find the best applicants
If your landlord owns high-profile apartments or rental homes in your city, they likely have their pick of applicants and may need help narrowing down their selection. Requiring renters insurance is an easy way to find the most qualified candidates at no cost to the landlord.
Cost of Renters Insurance in Michigan
The cost of renters insurance in Michigan is typically between $10 and $20 per month, which is on par with the national average. Several factors may influence your quote from various providers, such as:
- Your rental history
- The amount of coverage you want to purchase
- Location and condition of the rental unit
- Pet ownership
- Military status
While $20 a month for renter’s insurance may seem unnecessary, the value you receive far outweighs the cost. Consider what would happen if a fire were to destroy your apartment. You would not only lose all of your personal belongings, including furniture, appliances, and electronics, but you would also have to move out of the unit.
Moving expenses and the replacement of your belongings could put your total cost into the tens of thousands, and without insurance, that is your responsibility. By investing in insurance upfront, you could save yourself from a financial emergency in the event of a disaster like this.
Pros and Cons of Getting Renters Insurance
Buying renter’s insurance is ultimately a personal choice if your landlord doesn't require it. However, you should carefully consider both pros and cons before deciding on your policy and coverage amount.
The Pros of Getting Renters Insurance
- Personal liability coverage: Renters insurance protects you from personal liability from an onsite accident. For example, if a maintenance worker is hurt or a friend’s property is damaged, you won’t be liable for the incident.
- Personal property coverage: Renters insurance covers your belongings in the event of a fire or natural disaster. You can choose a general coverage amount and insure specific items of value, such as jewelry and electronics.
- Loss of use coverage: It covers moving expenses if the property is ever deemed uninhabitable. This is used in the event of a fire or other natural disaster that destroys the home.
- Application perks: Having renters insurance makes you a better tenant candidate in the eyes of the landlord.
- Cost/benefit: $15,000 worth of coverage at $20 per month comes to nearly 60 years’ worth of value, far longer than you’ll be in your apartment.
The Cons of Renters Insurance
- Monthly cost: Renter’s insurance adds to your overall cost of living, which can be difficult if you’re on a tight budget.
- Low value depending on the cost of your belongings: If you don’t have any personal property of value in the apartment, the deductible might be more than your insurance is worth to you.
- Landlords may not require it: If your landlord doesn’t require it, you may not gain a competitive edge when applying to rent a new space.
Renters insurance is a smart investment for most renters in Michigan, and RentSpree can help you find and verify affordable coverage in your area. If you’re looking for the best policy in your area, contact a RentSpree representative to help connect you to the right local agents. If you already have insurance, RentSpree helps you verify it with your landlord and get you on the right track to renting your next apartment.