Renters insurance is a must-have for most New Jersey renters. Not only does it help you gain a competitive edge in the market, but it can help protect yourself and your assets from financial risk. If you currently don’t have a renters insurance policy, this guide will help answer some of your questions and help you prepare for your next tenant application.
Is Renters Insurance Required in New Jersey?
In the state of New Jersey, you are not required by law to have renters insurance. However, landlords are allowed to require it as part of their lease terms, and many do. There are several reasons why a landlord might require you to carry renters insurance during your lease, from decreasing their liability to reducing their candidate pool.
Ask your landlord about renters insurance requirements before signing your new lease. They may ask for verification using our renters insurance portal, which makes it easy for you to submit coverage. If you don’t have renter’s insurance yet, you can sign up for affordable renters insurance.
Will My Landlord Require Renters Insurance?
Landlord requirements vary from property to property and market to market. In higher-value areas or larger apartment complexes, renters insurance requirements are more common. This is because landlords expect their tenants to take on more responsibility, especially if the lease is long-term.
There are many reasons why a landlord may require renters insurance, including:
To lower their insurance premiums
Landlords are required to carry insurance for their buildings and will often have to file claims for issues on your behalf. However, if you carry your own insurance policy, they may be able to reduce their number of claims, therefore lowering their premiums.
To protect you from liability
If someone is injured or has property lost or stolen within the rental unit, you may be held liable rather than your landlord. While you’ll both share responsibility, depending on the nature of the incident, you could be sued for onsite accidents during maintenance work or for issues with guests you have in your apartment. Your landlord may require you to carry insurance to protect you from these types of liabilities.
To narrow their tenant candidate pool to the most qualified applicants
In highly competitive markets like New Jersey, landlords will be looking at every part of an application to narrow their selection pool. Requiring renters insurance can slightly reduce the number of applicants to help them make the best choice of new renters.
To ensure you are covered in the event of a natural disaster, fire, or other emergencies
A landlord’s insurance only covers the building, so in the event of a fire or storm, your personal belongings are solely your responsibility to insure. If you don’t have renters insurance, you could have to replace furniture, electronics, appliances, and other essentials out of pocket.
Cost of Renters Insurance in New Jersey
The average cost of renters insurance in New Jersey is $18 per month, which is slightly less than the national average. This is typically affordable for most renters and is well worth the investment.
You may think that $20 a month for furniture insurance is an unnecessary expense, but when you look at the cost versus the value, it is well worth it in the case of an emergency. If you get $15,000 worth of coverage for personal belongings and liability, even with a $500 deductible, you’re getting decades’ worth of coverage for the price you pay.
$15,000 worth of coverage - $500 deductible (national average) / $216 per year = 67 years’ worth of value
If you have minimal belongings you want to insure, you can likely get an even cheaper policy for minimal liability protection. And if you ever are in an accident or emergency while in your apartment, you’ll be grateful you have financial protection available.
Pros and Cons of Getting Renters Insurance
The choice is up to you if your landlord doesn’t require renters insurance. However, you should carefully consider both pros and cons of renter’s insurance before signing your lease.
- Renters insurance protects you from personal liability from an onsite accident
- It can cover the cost of damaged property in the event of a fire or natural disaster
- It covers moving expenses if the property is ever deemed uninhabitable
- It makes you a better tenant candidate
- It is of high value for the monthly cost
- Renters insurance adds to your overall cost of living, which can be difficult if you’re on a tight budget
- 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
- If your landlord doesn’t require it, you may not gain a competitive edge when applying to rent a new space
If you’re looking for renters insurance in New Jersey, contact a RentSpree representative to get connected to affordable providers in your area. RentSpree will help you select coverage and verify it with your future landlord to help you find an affordable apartments faster.