With ideal weather, an appealing lifestyle, and a relatively low cost of living, San Antonio has become an attractive destination in Texas for people to live, work, and play. Now the 7th most populous city in the state, its growth has come with increased crime. Between 2021 and 2022, the local property crime rate increased by 15%.
As a renter in San Antonio, you’ll want to protect your belongings with renters insurance.
What Is renters insurance?
Renters insurance is insurance coverage designed to help tenants recover from theft, damage to their belongings, injuries that visitors incur, or other incidents while they live in a rental property.
A typical renters insurance policy has three main types of coverage that help protect renters, their belongings, and living arrangements if they need to stay in a hotel or another rental after a covered loss.
What renters insurance in San Antonio covers for tenants
Most renters insurance policies cover losses in three categories:
- Personal property—covers a tenant's belongings if damaged or stolen. According to the FBI, San Antonio had a property crime rate of 3,280 per 100,000 people in 2019––a rate almost twice the national average. San Antonio residents can shield themselves against losses from theft with renters insurance.
- Loss of use—covers living expenses a renter might incur if the property becomes unlivable and they need to pay to live elsewhere.
- Personal liability—covers the tenant from court costs if a visitor's property is damaged or they are injured while visiting.
There are also optional coverages tenants can request for other insurable situations.
Replacement costs—to cover personal property damaged by a covered catastrophe. This is useful if you are in an area with extreme weather events, like earthquakes and floods, which are not often covered by basic renters insurance.
Sewage or drain backup—covers property damage due to a water backup from a sump pump, sewer, or drain.
Identity fraud—covers the cost and time it takes to restore a tenant's identity.
What doesn't renters insurance cover for tenants in San Antonio?
Renters insurance may not cover everything a renter owns. Certain types of belongings, such as art, jewelry, or a coin collection, may have limited coverage under a standard renters insurance policy. Tenants may have to add more coverage if their belongings have a high-dollar value or they own a lot of items.
In most cases, renters insurance won’t cover a tenant's pets or pet-related damage, such as if the flooring gets ruined from a pet’s scratching, chewing, or soiling.
Renters insurance also does not cover significant weather events like landslides, sinkholes, floods, or earthquakes.
If a tenant has a roommate, renters insurance will only cover the roommate's possessions if the roommate is named on the policy.
Does San Antonio require renters insurance?
Renters insurance is not required by law in San Antonio. However, landlords can ask renters to purchase it as part of the lease agreement. Tenants in San Antonio should buy renters insurance as an affordable way to protect their assets and to help avoid potential disputes regarding damaged property and liability in legal claims.
As a tenant, you need to understand that even though renters insurance is not required, your landlord’s insurance policy doesn’t cover your personal possessions.
Landlords will be ahead of the game if they make a point to educate tenants about the value and affordability of renters insurance: these efforts can help build trust and authority. Whatever calamity happens, renters insurance can help everyone return to normal more quickly.
The average cost of renters insurance in San Antonio
For most San Antonio renters, renters insurance is a low-cost way to protect you from the expenses of loss or damage to your personal belongings. Renters insurance policies in San Antonio are very affordable, costing an average of $129 per year or $11 monthly. These rates are actually 19% lower than the national average for policies with a deductible of $500, $20,000 in personal property coverage, and $100,000 in liability coverage.
Several different factors affect specific rates: you’ll pay more if you live in a location more at risk for severe weather events like earthquakes, tornadoes, and floods; if your personal property has a high value; if you own a higher-than-average amount of personal property, how much coverage you purchase, and the actual neighborhood where you live in San Antonio will all affect your premium.
Why a landlord in San Antonio might require renters Insurance
The Attorney General’s Office of San Antonio recommends that landlords require their tenants to carry renters insurance. Renters insurance has many benefits for landlords. It can help to mitigate lawsuits and reduce legal liability in legal claims. If a landlord’s tenants have renters insurance, the landlord's property insurance premiums may be lower.
Renters insurance can protect the landlord from disruption in rent payments if tenants need to move out due to extensive property damage or if they lose belongings in a disaster affecting the property. It is a low-cost way to create a win-win scenario for renters, landlords, and property managers.
How landlords should notify tenants about getting renters insurance
For current tenants, the best way to notify them that they need to purchase renters insurance is to send a letter. This way, they have the requirement in writing when they go to procure coverage.
To inform new applicants, landlords should include their renters insurance requirement in any advertising or property brochures so prospective tenants understand they’ll have an additional cost. The requirement should also be specified in the lease agreement and agreed to with a separate signature. If the tenant chooses, they can print the proof of insurance and give it to the landlord when they sign the lease.
RentSpree provides rental insurance for tenants
RentSpree is a secure rental management platform that provides a suite of tools to help landlords manage their rentals. It includes a payment portal so tenants can easily pay rent and access to renters’ insurance.
RentSpree has partnered with Sure, a renters insurance provider that provides affordable coverage for tenants. Sure’s easy-to-use, one-step purchasing process allows tenants to purchase renters’ insurance, with proof sent directly to the landlord before the lease signing.
Renters can check their coverage at any time through the tenant portal on the RentSpree platform.
RentSpree’s renters insurance process provides landlords with peace of mind and renters with the protection they need for themselves and their belongings. Landlords and renters can avoid issues about who is responsible for what damage or loss event during the leasing process. Renters know the landlords have their best interests in mind by making sure they have renters insurance coverage for their possessions. Landlords know that if tenants care enough about their belongings to insure them, it shows they will be responsible for the rental unit in which they live.
Invite tenants to purchase renters insurance with RentSpree
RentSpree makes purchasing renters insurance easy and convenient for tenants. As part of the tenant screening and application process, the landlord can send the tenants a request for renters insurance. When tenants complete the request and payment, the landlord receives notification that coverage is in place.