Will My Renters Insurance Company Notify My Landlord of a Claim?Posted on Aug 01, 2015
While landlords buy insurance to cover the structure of the home and their own liability exposure, landlord insurance won’t cover the personal property or liability for a tenant. If there is a claim of injury or property damage because of negligence, the claimant or the claimant’s attorney is likely to pursue damages from anybody with the resources to settle. For that reason, an increasing number of landlords are requiring renters insurance as part of the term of the lease. Even if landlords don’t require renters insurance, many tenants find that these policies are very affordable and provide peace of mind.
If landlords do require coverage, they are bound to require proof of coverage, so it’s likely that landlords will get informed about the specific policy’s existence. While some landlords might accept a document from the renter, others will require notification from the insurer. In that case, the renter will have to give permission for an insurance company or agent to contact the property owner. However, that permission may be limited to just providing proof of coverage.
Do Renters Insurance Companies Notify Landlords of Claims?
Once these policies are put in force, will renters insurance companies let landlords know about any claims generated on their property? This is a valid question because many tenants want to protect their privacy. Typically, tenants do have privacy rights, but these usually apply to the landlord’s rights to enter a property. The short answer to the question is that renters insurance companies might contact a property owner about a claim.
However, it would usually only happen if it is material to the claim. In many cases, damages might be shared between the landlord’s policy and the renter’s policy, so it’s likely that the landlord will need to find out. In some cases the notification could come from the insurer, and in other cases, it might come from the renter.
For example, consider some types of claims that might cause an insurer to follow up with a property owner to investigate. If a visitor to a rented home claims an injury because of some negligence in maintaining the house, a renters insurance company might decide to investigate who was actually negligent. Was it the renter for failing to report a necessary repair, or was it the landlord for failing to have the repairs made in a timely manner?
In other cases, the issue that caused damages that were covered under the renters insurance policy may have also caused damages that would be covered under the landlord insurance policy. Consider the case of a house fire that caused both damage to the structure and the tenant’s personal property. Even if the renters insurance company doesn’t need to investigate this claim with the owner, it is likely that the tenant will need to contact his or her landlord to report the damage. Failing to report the damage might violate the lease or leave the tenant open to a possible negligence claim later.
On the other hand, some claims don’t involve the landlord at all. If the renter’s child leaves out a skate that trips a guest, the renters insurance policy should cover the liability claim. If there’s no damage to the structure of the home, there’s really no reason for the insurer to contact the landlord unless there was a clause in the lease that demanded that the property owner be notified about any claims.
Why Consider Renters Insurance if the Landlord Doesn’t Require It?
Average renters keep several thousand dollars worth of electronics, small appliances, clothing, and other personal possessions in their home. In the event of a burglary, fire, or other hazard, landlord insurance won’t cover it. Besides that, renters insurance covers liability claims in case a visitor to a property claims injury or property damage because of the renter’s negligence.