The short answer to “is renters insurance required?” is “it depends.” States regulate insurance, including renters insurance. To our knowledge, there are no states that legally mandate renters insurance. Landlords and property management companies, however, may require renters insurance as part of their lease agreements. It is important to check your state rental housing laws so you understand the rights as a landlord and as a tenant. It is also important to review the lease to see if it requires renters insurance.
Landlords may require renters insurance because it provides protection for tenants and landlords. In covered events, renters insurance can protect tenant belongings, reduce tenant liability, and provide housing if temporarily displaced. For landlords, renters insurance can reduce disputes with tenants over damage caused by events like water or fire. For example, if a water pipe bursts and damages the tenant’s furniture, it is the tenant’s renters insurance that replaces or repairs the damaged furniture. It is the landlord’s property insurance that covers the damage of the pipe break.
So the next time you hear the question, “is renters insurance required?”, you will want to check with your lease and your landlord to see if he/she is making it a requirement.