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  •  But it's liability insurance. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StrayCat, Involuntary Exile

    Your auto liability insurance pays claims for damage you cause to property that does not belong to you. The insurance company doesn't pay out the claim to you, they pay it to the people whose car you hit.

    Similarly, you can cause damage to your apartment (it doesn't belong to you, it belongs to the owner) and the apartments around your apartment. Most renters insurance policies have liability coverage. They protect you if you start a fire or a flood: you are responsible for paying for the damages, whether or not you have the money.

    The security deposit is not the limit of your potential liability, it's the start.

    If the landlord requires you to buy a policy from a specific company I'd start to wonder about kickbacks, but requiring renters insurance protects both parties.

    •  from the renter's insurance wikipedia entry: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      StrayCat
      Renters Insurance Requirements, Generally

      Many large and medium-sized rental properties include a requirement in their lease that tenants hold renters insurance.[1] If the tenant damages the premises,[2] such as by causing a fire, the landlord or other tenants can recover against the tenant's liability insurance. Renters insurance also makes sure that the tenant knows that the landlord is not responsible for their belongings and that the tenant has coverage for them.

      •  Do we have a jurisdictional ordinance to cite? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Involuntary Exile

        No offense, but wikipedia isn't always the most reliable resource.

        Every single renter policy I sussed out before settling with the current company was very clear--it was for the tenant and it was for their property. There was no protection at all for the owner of the dwelling being rented--that's what homeowner insurance is for.

        Renters insurance doesn't typically work like an auto insurance policy--renters insurance is generally very narrowly-limited to the policyholder's belongings. This can, however, be jurisdictional, which is why I was wondering if anyone has a set of actual regulations to cite from.

        "The “Left” is NOT divided on the need to oppose austerity and the Great Betrayal. The Third Way is not left or center or even right. It is Wall Street on the Potomac."--Bill Black

        by lunachickie on Sun May 05, 2013 at 11:14:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm not sure what ordinance you're looking for (0+ / 0-)

          One that requires renters to have liability coverage? One that prohibits requiring it? I doubt you will find one that prohibits liability coverage in a renters insurance policy.

          You can find renters insurance policies that only cover contents (your personal property), but every policy I've gotten in CA has had liability coverage as well, by my own choice.

          The owner's homeowner insurance company will pay for damages caused by a tenant - but will then seek to recover those costs from the tenant. Just because the landlord has insurance doesn't mean tenants aren't liable for damage they cause.

          •  Actually what we'd need to see here is (0+ / 0-)

            the text from an actual lease where it requires the tenant to purchase renters insurance to cover the owner's dwelling. Then we'd check it against the state or local statute to see whether or not it's legal.

            And nobody is saying owners can't recover damages from tenants...

            The owner's homeowner insurance company will pay for damages caused by a tenant - but will then seek to recover those costs from the tenant. Just because the landlord has insurance doesn't mean tenants aren't liable for damage they cause.
            Let me be clear--what's at issue here is whether a dwelling owner can require a tenant to buy renters insurance to cover damages to a dwelling that the tenant does not own.

            The diarist indicates that the renters insurance was a requirement to executing a lease, and that insurance was specified not to cover the tenant's belongings but the owner's dwelling.  That is either mis-stated or mis-understood, or else it's illegal as hell.

            As always, California may be an exception--but again, we'd need to see the wording of the lease and check it against state or local law.

            "The “Left” is NOT divided on the need to oppose austerity and the Great Betrayal. The Third Way is not left or center or even right. It is Wall Street on the Potomac."--Bill Black

            by lunachickie on Sun May 05, 2013 at 12:22:59 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Why would it be illegal? (0+ / 0-)

              If you cause significant damage to a building it would probably extend well beyond your own unit.

              In CA a landlord can set the minimum amount of coverage for his property and can even require that the property owner be named among the insured.

              Googling "require renters insurance" (in quotes) and "your state" should get you a local answer. From what I've read most states allow the practice and it has become common enough in large complexes so that software companies now offer packages to landlords that track tenants' insurance policies (expiration date, etc) along with all the other stuff.

              •  Again (0+ / 0-)

                do we have a lease that actually uses such language? That would clear this up nicely.
                 

                "The “Left” is NOT divided on the need to oppose austerity and the Great Betrayal. The Third Way is not left or center or even right. It is Wall Street on the Potomac."--Bill Black

                by lunachickie on Mon May 06, 2013 at 10:13:56 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

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