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Renters in San Francisco: Here’s Why Landlords Must Require Renter’s Insurance

Are you a property owner pondering over the importance of renter’s insurance?

insurance for renters in san francisco

Many landlords require renters in San Francisco to carry this insurance for the benefit of both parties. We’re here to explain why you must have renters insurance and how it can help protect you and the tenant.

What is Renter’s Insurance?

Renter’s insurance can help protect tenant belongings that become damaged under specific events. While renters in San Francisco might not own their homes, they certainly own the possessions that they bring with them.

However, renter’s insurance isn’t a blanket insurance policy that covers anything and everything. It also doesn’t mean that every personal possession in the rental property is covered, although many items are protected. Furthermore, there are different levels and coverage options to consider as a property owner.

Below is an overview of renter’s insurance coverage types and policy examples.

Personal Property

In terms of renter’s insurance, personal property insurance may cover the cost to repair and replace belongings. These items may include but are not limited to:

  • Clothing
  • Furniture
  • Electronics

Keep in mind that personal property loss over your coverage limit is typically not covered.

Liability Insurance

Liability insurance can provide a safety net for landlords in the event of an accident where you are responsible. This can cover items including the tenant’s medical bills or damaged property.

Additional Living Expenses

This helps to cover costs incurred from property damage such as hotel bills. You might need this insurance if your rental property becomes inhabitable for one reason or another.

What Won’t Renter’s Insurance Cover?

This depends on your specific insurance company. However, be forewarned that some policies offer little-to-no coverage for valuables such as jewelry or coin collections.

Be forewarned that tenants may expect their valuable collections and items to be covered under insurance. It’s wise to provide paperwork that entirely outlines all aspects of coverage. This can help avoid unwanted surprises and tense situations with tenants.

Should You Require Renter’s Insurance?

As a property owner, it’s essential for you to require renter’s insurance. This is despite the fact that 46% of tenants aged 23 to 29 believe they don’t need it.

Why should you require renter’s insurance? The reality is that tenant’s insurance will help reduce risk in your rental business. There are several important points to consider with these risks along with other benefits, such as:

Reduces Risk of Lawsuits

No landlord wants to face a tenant in court over loss or damage of property. This is especially the case of this loss occurs over no fault over the tenant, such as a fire.

If a fire occurs at your rental property and your tenant loses their belongings, you’ll be on the hook for replacement. This can lead to a much more expensive endeavor if you don’t have renter’s insurance, not to mention the potential cost of hiring an attorney.

Outline Clear Expectations

When you require renter’s insurance in your lease, you make it clear what is covered in terms of damage or loss. This way there are no surprises for you or the tenant if you have to use the insurance.

Expands Your Pool of Tenants

If you’re looking for more renters in San Francisco, having tenant insurance can help expand your pool of applicants. This is because some renter’s insurance policies will cover pet-related damage where you otherwise would foot the bill.

Affordable Insurance Option

Renter’s insurance is quite affordable. The average cost of this insurance in the US is only $15 per month. This is significantly cheaper than having to pay for damaged or lost items out of pocket.

Provides Peace of Mind

Foregoing renter’s insurance is a risk for all property owners and renters. Nothing is certain in life, and there is no possible way to predict events such as a break-in or fire. The peace of mind renter’s insurance provides is priceless.

Ask Tenants to Track Home Inventory

With renter’s insurance, it’s important to ask your tenant to have an inventory of items and their costs. There are several home inventory apps that help renters in San Francisco to keep track of this information.

Some of the apps include:

  • Sortly (iOS and Android, best rated)
  • Memento Database
  • Nest Egg
  • MyStuff
  • Magic Home Inventory
  • BluePlum Home Inventory
  • Smart Inventory System by NonZero

Asking tenants to take inventory allows them to be proactive if you need to use renter’s insurance in the future. This way, there are no questions on what items were lost and their value. The insurance policy can help restore or replace these items as accurately as possible.

Reduce Risk: Don’t Forget About Careful Tenant Screening

While it’s important to consider renter’s insurance, there are other protective measures you can take as a landlord. One of those is being selective about your tenants.

For example, Sharevest Property Management excels at tenant screening and finding top quality tenants. The idea is to reduce risk and find tenants that will respect your property and treat it with the utmost care.

These are also the types of tenants who understand the importance of renter’s insurance and value its purpose.

What type of tenant screening is beneficial for renters in San Francisco? Consider the following:

  • Credit background check: Find tenants who are careful with their credit and timely with payments, ranging from credit cards to student loans. You can also unveil those who have an excessive amount of debt that might be a risk as a renter.
  • Employment verification: Ensure that your tenant is employed and can verify income. This will showcase that they can make the monthly rental payments without issue.
  • Criminal background information: Some landlords may or may not feel comfortable renting to those with criminal backgrounds.

Get Help with San Francisco Property Management

Renter’s insurance is a big consideration. However, there are many other small details that can be overlooked with property management. With over 50 years of experience, Sharevest Property Management will leave no stone unturned with your rental business.

When you are ready for a property management company to step in and handle your daily tasks, Sharevest can help. Contact us today to get started and take advantage of a first risk-free month with us for free!

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