How To Provide Proof of Renters Insurance

Renters insurance is affordable and often required

Two people looking at paperwork on a clipboard in an apartment.
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Giselleflissak / Getty Images

Whether you’re renting a mansion or a studio apartment, renters insurance is must-have protection. And once you obtain a renters insurance policy, you may need to provide proof of coverage from time to time.

Renters insurance is affordable and provides a set of valuable coverages. Let’s explore what renters insurance covers, when you need it, how to buy it, and how to obtain proof of coverage.

Key Takeaways

  • A property owner’s insurance policy does not cover a tenant’s personal property.
  • Renters insurance is affordable in most locations.
  • Renters insurance policies cover personal property and provide liability protection.
  • Many landlords require tenants to carry renters insurance and provide proof of coverage.

What Is Renters Insurance?

A property owner’s insurance policy does not cover losses that a tenant might sustain. So, if a rental unit suffers damage from a peril such as a fire, the tenant might suffer losses to items such as clothing, electronics, and furniture. In such a situation, the landlord’s policy would only cover losses to the building, not the tenant’s personal property.

Similarly, a landlord’s policy does not provide liability protection for a tenant. Let’s say your guest trips over an extension cord in your apartment and suffers an injury. Because the injury occurred in your rental unit, the property owner’s liability coverage would not pay the injured person’s medical bills or cover your legal costs if they sue you.

Renters can protect themselves with renters insurance. Typically, renters insurance policies include three forms of coverage:

  • Personal property coverage: This type of coverage helps pay to replace personal possessions such as clothing, computers, electronics, and furniture following a covered loss. It also covers items stolen from your car or a location outside your home, like a hotel room.
  • Personal liability coverage: When someone from outside your household is injured in your rented home and later sues you for medical costs or damages, this type of coverage can help pay your legal bills.
  • Loss of use: When a covered loss displaces you from your home, loss-of-use coverage can help pay expenses such as hotel rooms and restaurant meals.

Personal property coverage limits the amount of money an insurer will pay for certain types of property. For example, a policy may only pay up to $2,500 for home office equipment.

When Do You Need Renters Insurance?

All renters need renters insurance. If you don’t have many valuable possessions, renters insurance might seem like an unnecessary expense. But consider the cost of replacing everything in your home after a total loss.

Renters insurance is affordable in most locations, typically $15 to $30 per month, depending on the value of your possessions and the size of your rental unit. Usually, for $300 per year or less, you can purchase $50,000 in personal property coverage.

Many landlords require tenants to carry renters insurance as a stipulation of the lease agreement. Typically, each tenant must purchase their own renters insurance, but some property owners offer policies to their renters.

A landlord-sponsored renters insurance policy may only cover liability, so it’s important to read the details of a policy to understand its coverage.

When You Might Need Proof of Coverage

Landlords that require tenants to carry renters insurance often require proof of coverage. The type of proof can vary, depending on the form required by the landlord and the types available to you by your insurance company. For example, an insurer may issue you a digital insurance card accessible through a mobile app or supply you with a hard copy of your insurance policy.

A property owner may also require you to list them as an “additional insured” party. An additional insured party is not the named policyholder, but a person or entity protected by the same coverage. You may also list a roommate as an additional insured party if you choose to extend coverage to them and their property.

When subletting a rental unit, the lessee or landlord may request proof of renters insurance. Or, a college or university may request proof of renters insurance when renting a dormitory room. In some cases, a parent’s home insurance policy may also cover a college student who lives on campus. 

How To Get Proof of Coverage From Your Insurer

Insurance companies offer various ways of obtaining proof of renters insurance. If your provider issued a hard copy of your renters policy or makes it available to download online, you could copy or print the declaration page, which lists your:

  • Name and address
  • Policy effective dates
  • Coverages
  • Deductibles
  • Endorsements, or added, coverage

Some carriers provide mobile apps, which feature a digital ID card accessible through a mobile device or enable you to request a certificate of insurance online through your account. Typically, you can also request proof of insurance by calling your provider’s customer service line or agent.

If you purchased renters insurance from a local agent, they may provide proof of insurance via email or else you should visit their office in person to obtain it.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long does it take to get renters insurance?

When purchasing renters insurance online, you can often get a quote and buy a policy in 10 minutes or less. Buying a policy over the phone or at a local insurance company office can take longer. However, the process is relatively quick and easy and does not require providing many details about your rental unit or personal property.

How much renters insurance do I need?

Buy a renters insurance policy that will cover all your personal property. For example, if you have $20,000 in personal property, buy a policy with at least $20,000 in coverage. Most such policies cover personal property on an actual cash-value basis, which applies depreciation but reimburses for the cost of the personal property at the time of the claim, minus the deductible. However, some insurers offer replacement-cost endorsements, which pay to replace your property at current prices.

How do I get renters insurance?

Many major insurance companies offer renters insurance over the phone or online through their websites. You can also buy renters insurance through local brick-and-mortar insurance agencies or brokerages.

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Article Sources

  1. New York State Department of Financial Services. “Renter’s Insurance.”

  2. Commonwealth of Massachusetts. “Renters Insurance.”

  3. Texas Department of Insurance. “Renters Insurance: What Does it Cover and How Much Does it Cost?

  4. Geico. “Renter’s Resource.”

  5. NAIC. “For Rent: Protecting Your Belongings With Renters Insurance.”