Renters Insurance: Landlord & Tenant - Who Is Responsible For What?

By Compuquotes Team on April 11th, 2008

Renters Insurance

Throughout the entire world, there are many people who rent a home from a landlord. The cost of purchasing a home of your own is quite high, and for many people, the cost is simply too much. There are people who could afford to own a home, but they don`t want the extra responsibilities and costs associated with one, so they rent instead. Despite the reasons for renting your home, as a renter you have a variety of responsibilities that are quite different than those of your landlord, especially when it comes to insurance. So who is responsible to cover each of the areas of the home? Let`s take a look.

Renter's insurance responsibilities

As the renter, you are responsible for covering the contents of the home - known as HO-4 insurance, or renters insurance. This insurance covers the inside of the home, all the things you own that you brought into the house. However, unless you own the appliances in the home, your renters insurance does not cover them. This also covers furnishings if those are owned by the landlord. Your renters insurance covers all your possessions, from your jewellery right down to your socks, in the event of a peril that causes damage or loss of your items, such as fire or theft. Some renters insurance comes with liability insurance, as discussed more below, you should talk to your landlord about who is responsible for liability coverage.

Landlord's insurance responsibilities

The landlord is responsible to have insurance for the structure of the building and any of the contents that he or she owns, such as the appliances and furniture if the home was furnished when you rented it. Essentially, the landlord needs to have dwelling insurance - insurance that covers the building only and none of the contents, except those owned by the landlord. Some dwelling insurance comes with liability insurance as well - but it is important for you and the landlord to discuss responsibility for liabilities that happen inside and outside the dwelling.

Liability insurance - who is responsible for coverage?

You need to talk to your landlord about liability insurance and who is responsible to have it. What liability should you have insurance for? You should also ask if the landlord will cover liability that happens outside of your home. You will likely be told that you are responsible for liability coverage that happens within the walls of your home, but usually, you will also be responsible for liability outside the home too. Most renters are responsible to clear the walkways in front of your home and keep them clear of snow, ice and debris. If your landlord holds responsibility for liability insurance outside, and someone falls because you failed to keep the walks clear, the liability was caused by your own inaction, not the landlords. However, on the flip side of that coin, if your landlord is responsible for the walkways, they should hold the liability for the outside as well.

Double check with your landlord about your insurance requirements - some landlords have minimum levels of insurance that they require you to hold. It`s best to find out before hand what those are than risk eviction or to not know before you agree to take an apartment.

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