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When do I need to give proof of my renters insurance?
Some landlords require tenants to have renters insurance as a condition on their lease. If that’s the case, your landlord will ask to see verification that you signed up for coverage, either before you move in or soon afterwards.
What do I need to show in my proof of insurance?
Generally, landlords will require a certain amount of liability coverage — the part of your renters insurance that covers damage done to other people and their property, as opposed to your own. Your proof should show that you’ve purchased at least that minimum amount.
Your landlord might also want proof showing that you also bought a certain amount of personal property coverage. This is less common, as when it comes to your personal property, the amount of coverage you need is largely your business. Your liability insurance, on the other hand, could affect your landlord and neighbors.
Ask your landlord (or check your lease agreement) to determine what you need to provide.
5 ways to show proof of insurance
If you need to show proof of insurance, there are five main ways to do so. You can:
- Add your landlord as an additional interest to your policy
- Provide a copy of your declarations page
- Upload a digital copy of your policy
- Have your insurance agent notify your landlord
- Just tell your landlord on your own
1. Add your landlord as an additional interest to your policy
After you get renters insurance, you can list your landlord as an additional interest (also known as an additional interested party) on your policy. This means your landlord will be notified about changes to your policy, including whether you renew or cancel it.
An additional interest can’t alter your policy, and adding them won’t affect how much you have to pay for renters insurance each month — they’re just an observer. Adding your landlord gives them the security of knowing you won’t cancel your renter insurance as soon as they accept your proof.
To add an additional interest to your policy, contact your insurance company or agent.
2. Provide a copy of your declarations page
When you purchase renters insurance (or any kind of insurance, really), you’ll receive a declarations page. This is essentially a receipt for your purchase, showing all the details of your policy.
A declarations page will include information such as:
- What kind of coverage you have
- How much coverage you have
- Your renters insurance deductible
- Your monthly premiums
- Any discounts you have
- Additional interested parties
It will also feature information about the insured (that’s you) and the property, including the:
- Name of the policyholder
- Policy number
- Property address
- Occupants of the property
- Additional insured parties
- Value of your personal property
A declarations page is a standard form of proof because it shows just about everything your landlord could want to know about your insurance policy.
3. Send a digital copy
Most insurers will allow you to download a digital copy of your policy or declarations page, which you can email to your landlord or upload through their management system.
For instance, if you signed your lease digitally using a property management app like Avail, your landlord will probably prefer that you upload it there. Most management systems will store a copy of your policy in the cloud so that you and your landlord can review it at any time.
4. Contact your insurance representative to notify your landlord
This is as simple as it sounds. With a quick call to your insurance agent, you can ask them to send proof of insurance to your landlord, either by faxing them a copy of your declarations page or by providing a signed letter.
5. Give simple confirmation
For some easy-going landlords, a verbal or written confirmation that you bought renters insurance is all the proof they’ll need.
Hopefully it goes without saying, but even if your landlord doesn’t ask for hard proof, you shouldn’t claim to have renters insurance if you don’t. If your landlord finds out later that you lied, you could face eviction.
How long does it take to get proof of renters insurance?
Getting proof of renters insurance takes about the same amount of time it takes to buy renters insurance — hardly any time at all. The methods we just went over can all be done on the same day you bought your insurance.
If you already have renters insurance
If you have a policy, supplying proof will only take a few minutes, whether it involves a quick phone call to your insurance rep or uploading your policy to your landlord’s management service.
Renters insurance companies know that many landlords require proof, so they do their best to make the process as quick and easy as possible.
If you don’t have renters insurance
Other types of insurance have weeks-long enrollment periods before your coverage kicks in, but renters insurance coverage can begin as early as the day you buy it with no waiting period.
Even if you choose to have your coverage begin at a later date — an option that most insurers provide — you can secure proof of insurance immediately using the methods we went over above.