Most landlords and residential leases in this area require a tenant to maintain renters insurance during the tenancy period. To sometimes cash-strapped renters this may seem like an extra cost that isn’t needed. Besides, as a tenant you are paying rent – why shouldn’t the landlord take care of insurance? It is after all their home!
The homeowners fire and liability insurance covers the structure and his or her liability in case of injury. The homeowner insurance is usually also required by their lender if they have a mortgage (and is often paid by the lender on the homeowners’ behalf to ensure it is adequate and paid up.) It is so important that in a foreclosure or short sale the lender will keep paying it even if the homeowner isn’t.
Renters insurance may seem less important. It isn’t. Besides covering the personal belongings of the tenant like jewelery, laptop computers, furniture, clothing etc (that is NOT covered by the landlords homeowner insurance) The landlords insurance will cover his/her liability, but not necessarily yours. It may possibly cover smaller things like the content of your fridge (if it stops working) and possibly huge things like when you forget to turn off the bathtub, leave for work and it floods your apartment and the 15 floors below.
The lease may require you to purchase renters insurance but few landlords insist on a copy of the paperwork. In the end it is in your own best interest to purchase one and making sure it adequately covers you and your belongings. Just imagine it being your rental home going up in flames and you not having adequate insurance for all your belongings.