Because the Texas rental market is booming, many qualified applicants are experiencing fierce competition for apartments and rental homes in both urban and suburban areas. Even with a great application and steady income, these renters struggle to find apartments that meet their needs before someone else swipes them up. However, one way Texas renters can make their applications stand out is by acquiring renter’s insurance for themselves before applying.
Renter’s insurance makes you a more qualified tenant candidate and protects you in the event of an onsite accident or natural disaster affecting your apartment. In this article, we’ll review the various benefits of renter’s insurance and how RentSpree can help you find and verify your renter’s insurance when applying to new rental units.
Is Renters Insurance Required in Texas?
In Texas, you are not legally required to have renter’s insurance. However, your landlord is permitted to require it as part of your rental application. There are several reasons for this, including minimizing their liability and ensuring the safety of those who rent or visit their properties.
Ask your potential landlord or apartment complex management about renter’s insurance requirements and if they work with any local partners to help you get coverage. Most major insurance companies provide renter’s insurance, and you can add it to your list of insurance products. Or, if you aren’t sure which is best for you, talk to RentSpree to find available providers in your area.
Why Might a Landlord Require Renter's Insurance
While Texas law does not require renter’s insurance, your landlord might. There are several reasons why landlords require renter’s insurance, and many are for your protection. The most common reasons landlords cite for requiring insurance for a renter application include:
- Their insurance covers the building but not your personal property
Many renters think that because their landlord is required to have insurance, they are also covered. However, this is not the case for rental units. The building is covered under insurance if an accident or natural disaster causes damage, but your personal belongings are not. You could face significant financial losses if you don’t have your own insurance to cover personal belongings like furniture and electronics.
- It helps them narrow their candidate pool
Some landlords will require insurance solely to reduce their applicant pool. This is especially common in highly competitive, urban rental markets. Having renter’s insurance shows the landlord that you are serious about your application and are move-in ready.
- It reduces the number of claims they file (and therefore their insurance premiums)
If you have your own renter’s insurance, your landlord can count on your policy to cover damages related to your personal property. This reduces the number of claims they have to file under their insurance, which can help lower their premiums and keep rental costs down.
- It protects you if a rental unit is deemed uninhabitable.
In the event of a natural disaster – such as a tornado or fire – you could be faced with the problem of relocation in the middle of a lease. Though these instances are rare, if they happen and you don’t have insurance, you could be left to handle these costs alone. Renter’s insurance covers relocation expenses so neither you nor your landlord are left holding the bag when disaster strikes.
Benefits of Renters Insurance
Having renter’s insurance is of benefit to your landlord, but it provides an even greater benefit to you. Whether or not your landlord requires it, you should consider purchasing renter’s insurance so that you, your personal property, and your guests are protected at all times.
Renters' insurance provides three major protections, including:
- Personal property coverage: If your apartment floods or is damaged in a fire, the building itself is protected under your landlord’s insurance. However, your belongings are not unless you have renter’s insurance. This can cover electronics, jewelry, furniture, and other valuables that are damaged even while you travel.
- Liability coverage: If someone is injured or someone else’s property is damaged or stolen within your rental unit, you could be liable for the costs. Renter’s insurance protects you from financial losses, which is especially important if you have visitors often or hire contractors to complete maintenance work within the unit.
- Loss of use coverage: This coverage pays for your living expenses if you need to relocate within your lease due to damage. Typically, this covers natural disasters and things like vandalism, mold or mildew, or other conditions that render the unit uninhabitable.
Renters insurance can also make you a better tenant candidate, showing you’ve taken the proper steps to ensure you are ready to move in. This gives you the competitive edge you may need in order to compete in Texas’ fast-growing rental market.
Average Cost of Renters Insurance in Texas
In Texas, renters insurance typically costs around $20 per month, which is on par with the national average. While this may seem like an unnecessary expense if your landlord doesn’t require it, when you crunch numbers, the benefits clearly outweigh the cost. Even with a low coverage amount and high deductible, you will almost always gain more value than you pay for if disaster strikes while you’re renting.
$15,000 worth of coverage - $500 deductible (national average) / $240 per year (Texas average) = 60 years of value
At RentSpree, we always recommend prospective renters pick up coverage before submitting a tenant application. We also make it easy for you to find coverage and verify it through our Renters Insurance Tool. So if you’re looking for renter’s insurance, or have had a landlord request verification recently, contact us for help.