Renters Insurance: What It Is and How to Prove You Have It

By Aaron Swartz on September 3, 2022

This article is brought to you by GradGuard. We protect college students and their families from the financial risks of college life, like providing a refund for tuition or replacing a stolen backpack when your school may not. When the unexpected happens, GradGuard’s tuition insurance and renters insurance can help you get back on track.

Renting a place to stay brings its own list of issues and complications, and when other important parts of adult life like insurance enter the picture it can get even more confusing. If you’ve never dealt with it before the ins and outs of insurance can be a huge hassle to figure out, which means that when your new landlord starts asking you for proof of renters insurance you might not know where to start! Worry not, though, cause here you’ll learn exactly what renters insurance is, why your landlord cares about it so much, and ways you can prove to them you have it.

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What Is Renters Insurance?

So, you’ve been asked to provide proof of renters insurance by your new landlord, but what exactly is it? What does it do? Well, at its most fundamental level, renters insurance is exactly what it sounds like: insurance bought by a renter. But what does that actually mean? Well, renters insurance is insurance you take out to cover your personal belongings in case they get damaged or stolen while living in a rented space. You might think landlords would be liable for your loss if, for example, someone broke into your apartment and stole your stuff, but that isn’t the case. While they’re liable for damage done to the building as a whole, anything of yours is not their responsibility. Renters insurance is a way for you to protect your stuff in case the worst happens, pretty similar to most kinds of insurance.

What Does It Cover?

So now you’ve got an idea of what renters insurance is, but what’s actually protected by renters insurance? What exactly are you paying for? Well, every policy differs, but most renters insurance policies cover the same basic things. They include theft, vandalism, water damage, fire and smoke damage, some weather and storm damage, and electrical damage. Now, there are definitely areas that renters insurance doesn’t cover — for example, natural disasters like earthquakes and floods won’t fall under the umbrella, so make sure you know what you’re actually covered for when you get a policy.

Why Does Your Landlord Want You To Have It?

Renters insurance in many ways does the same thing for your landlord that it does for you: protects them. For you, renters insurance makes sure you’re reimbursed in case of damage or loss to your property. For landlords, renters insurance covers them from a related issue: liability lawsuits. When you have renters insurance it makes it much more difficult to sue your landlord for any damages you may incur, so most landlords will require you to have a renters insurance policy for your benefit, and for theirs.

How to Prove You Have It

Now that you understand the importance and purpose of renters insurance (and presumably have a policy), you’re going to need to prove to your landlord you have it. There are a few easy ways for you to show proof of insurance, and while your landlord may have a preference, most will be ok with one of these methods.

Verbal Confirmation: While this isn’t true for everyone, many landlords are willing to take you at your word if you say you own a renters insurance policy. Since owning insurance protects you from a lot of the risks that come with having a place to live a lot of renters will trust you. However, you shouldn’t lie to avoid paying the extra money, as it can open you up to a lot of problems in your future.

Provide Your Policy’s Declaration Page: Your policy’s declaration page contains all of the most relevant information: your name, address, coverage amount, and other details. This page has pretty much everything your landlord will want to see to prove you own an active renters insurance policy, so making a copy and passing it along should satisfy most landlords.

Send a Digital Copy: If your landlord wants a bit more than the declaration page you can always take an extra step and send the whole thing. Your insurance provider will be able to send you a digital copy of your policy, which you can then pass along to your landlord. In the digital age it’s easier than ever to share important documents and keep them on record, so consider sending your landlord a copy and washing your hands of the problem.

Add Your Renter As An interested Party: Last, but certainly not least, you can actually add your landlord to your policy to ensure they’re appraised of everything. This is easily done by contacting your insurance agent and requesting they add your renter as an interested party to your policy. This doesn’t give them any coverage or access to any of your money, but it should satisfy even the most stubborn landlord that you have a policy protecting your belongings.

Insurance is complicated and confusing by design, and renting a place to live has its own trials and tribulations. Hopefully, you now understand one of the places those two overlap in the form of renters insurance and know exactly how to prove to your landlord you’ve got it all covered.

It’s no secret that college costs a lot of money. Make sure your investment in higher education is protected with GradGuard. Our affordable tuition insurance and renters insurance plans are specifically designed for college students. Customizable plans make it easy to protect your tuition, room and board, laptop, bike, and so much more.

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