Requiring Renter's Insurance Isn't Such a Bad Idea...

Did you know that landlords in the state of Massachusetts are accountable by law for $750 in relocation benefits to all tenants should their property be struck by disaster?Apartment for Rent sign

Picture this: A fire breaks out in your building and 50 tenants are displaced for several weeks while the building is being repaired. (The National Fire Protection Association estimates that 70% of multi-unit fires are the result of a tenant's negligence.) Per the Massachusetts statute, you issue $750 to each tenant. But that $750 doesn't last the tenants very long, and very shortly you are slammed with a lawsuit by one of those tenants who is irate over being inconvenienced and having lost their personal belongings.

It is plain to see that renter's insurance would save everyone a lot of trouble in this instance. A renter's policy would not only reimburse tenants for their personal belongings, but also provide liability coverage.

Landlords also benefit from their tenants having renter's insurance. As this example would show, tenants who have renter's insurance are far less likely to sue their landlord. Also, a renter's policy would also cover the landlord's deductible on damages that are deemed to be the fault of a tenant.

Shockingly, only 40% of renters in the US have renter's insurance.

A recent trend among rental properties is that landlords are informing prospective tenants that master insurance does not protect the personal belongings of inhabitants and strongly suggest that renters obtain renter's insurance. Some even require it as a condition of tenancy.

A survey by the National MultiHousing Council found that 66% of the properties responding required insurance in 2010, compared with 45% in 2009 and just 24% in 2008.

Nothing in Massachusetts state law prohibits landlords from requiring renter's insurance of all their tenants, and as noted by the aforementioned statistics, many are beginning to do just that.

Contact our affiliate company, Murphy & Jordan Insurance, for more information on this issue and on renter's policies.