Texas is one of the most popular states to move to in 2023. Influenced in part by several celebrities who ditched their Southern California homes for Texas urban life in San Antonio or Austin, many Americans are seeing the appeal of Texas culture, and affordable housing. 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, many Texas 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 renters insurance for themselves before applying.
Is renters insurance required in Texas?
In Texas, you are not legally required to have renters insurance. However, your landlord is permitted to require it as part of your Texas 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 renters insurance requirements and if they work with any local partners to help you get coverage. Most major insurance companies provide renters 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 renters insurance
While Texas law does not require renters insurance, your landlord might. There are several reasons why landlords require renters 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 renters 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 renters 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. Renters insurance covers relocation expenses so neither you nor your landlord are left holding the bag when disaster strikes.
Benefits of renters insurance
Having renters 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 renters 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 renters 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. Renters 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 verification. So if you’re looking for renters insurance, or have had a landlord request verification recently, contact us for help.