Some landlords and virtually all property managers require that you provide proof of a renter's insurance policy before you can sign a lease and move in. Some also ask for proof of coverage each time the lease is renewed. Minimally, they want to make sure that their liability requirement is met. A few may also want to see proof of personal property coverage.
In most cases the landlord is not responsible for damage or loss to the renter's personal property in case of an unexpected incident; the landlord only covers damage to the building. The renter's insurance policy reimburses the tenant for personal items – you can get renter’s insurance from just about any major insurance company. Provide proof to your landlord in one of a few simple ways.
If your insurance company offers this option, you can go to their website, download and print proof of renter’s insurance the way you would for auto coverage. Then email, fax or hand-deliver it to your landlord. Alternatively, you can call your insurance company and ask a representative to email or fax a copy of your declarations page, or a note on the insurance company's letterhead, directly to the landlord or property manager as proof that you have renter's insurance. The declarations page is the first page of your policy that shows your name, address, policy start and end dates, along with the policy’s limits of coverage for liability and, if applicable, personal property.
Phone or Snail Mail Proof
Another method of proving current renter’s insurance coverage is to initiate a three-way call with your landlord and your insurance company. Ask the representative to confirm your renter's insurance coverage details over the phone so the landlord can verify this information. Most property managers won’t except this method because they want to have something tangible to put in your file. If you don’t need proof of coverage immediately, you can ask your insurance company to mail it to you and then bring it to your landlord in person when it arrives.
Additional Interested Party
Some landlords may require that they be listed on your policy as an additional interested party. This is similar to the bank that has your car loan requiring that it be listed on your auto insurance policy. In both cases the additional interested party is notified if the policy lapses or is canceled. This protects the landlord from a renter who might stop paying on their policy once they’ve provided initial proof of coverage.
Proof of Coverage Not Required
Even if your landlord doesn’t require renter’s insurance, it’s a smart buy. It’s inexpensive (usually a couple of hundred dollars a year) and it can help you replace things like furniture, computers and clothing if they are damaged, lost or stolen. Renter’s insurance will often cover items you keep at a storage facility that is separate from where you live. It can even cover items that are lost or stolen from your car or hotel when you’re on vacation.
Ask your landlord directly about his preferred method of receiving your proof of renter's insurance when (or before) you sign the lease so you can save time and trouble.