Tenant’s Guide To Adding Your Landlord As An Additional Insured

What are the pros and cons of adding your landlord as an additional insured to your renters policy? Here’s what to consider.

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Tenant’s Guide To Adding Your Landlord As An Additional InsuredTenant’s Guide To Adding Your Landlord As An Additional Insured

In theory, renting should be pretty easy — once you find a place you love, that is. All you've gotta do is sign your lease, move your belongings, and once a month, fork over some money (hopefully not too much!) to your landlord. 

Reality, however, is always messier than we would like. You ordered too few moving boxes. It’s hard to drive a U-Haul. And don’t even get us started on patching holes in the wall! 

But once you’re moved into your new place, we know that you’ll do the smart thing and get renters insurance to keep you covered in case of emergency. If your landlord is also asking to be added an additional insured on your renters policy, though, things get a bit more complicated. Unfortunately, whether this benefits you or not isn’t clear cut. So let’s learn a bit more about what to consider. 

What Exactly Is An Additional Insured? 

For the most part, renters insurance is pretty straightforward. These policies protect you in cases of property damage; offer general liability insurance coverage; and deliver a payout in times of need. 

When it comes to the ‘additional insured’ on a renters policy, that refers to someone who is named on a policy — and receives some coverage — but is not the primary policyholder. They’re entitled to specific and limited coverage and benefits, but not everything that the actual policyholder receives. 

And while the term ‘additional insured’ sounds like something out of a Dickens’ novel, it’s actually a pretty standard insurance practice. That said, you’ll want to make sure you don’t get it confused with other, similarly sounding terms like:

  • Named Insured, or the person who is the policyholder and is therefore entitled to all benefits and coverage. (In this case, that’s you!)
  • Additional interest, which is sometimes known as an interested party and refers to the individual or entity with a “vested interest” in the insured asset. For example, a homeowner who has a mortgage may need to name their lender as an additional interest entity on their property insurance. If their payment lapses, the additional interest entity is informed. 

What Protections Does Your Landlord Get as an Additional Insured?

Landlords are responsible for maintaining safe and secure environments. If they don’t, they can be liable, which means they need insurance to protect them.

So, in the case of renters insurance, these policies help protect a landlord from personal injury claims against them relating to incidents that occur on the property. In many states, it’s perfectly legal to sue a landlord for an injury that happens on their property, even if the landlord wasn’t there. We know it sounds wild, but here are examples of some valid legal cases:

  • Dog bite: Your friend goes to pet your dog and gets bitten. Your friend wants damages to help cover their medical costs. They can skip right over you and sue your landlord. 
  • Trip and fall: Trip on a torn-up floorboard? Get hit by falling shingles? Your landlord could be liable (and may want liability coverage) if you or a visitor is injured due to poor upkeep of their property. 
  • Crime: Say someone broke in and vandalized your apartment. Your landlord could be sued, especially if the crime results in injuries.  

If any scenario plays out in your rental that results in injury or damage, your landlord would want to be on your policy as an additional insured as an extra layer of protection. 

Now the question is: should you do it?

Listing Your Landlord as Additional Insured: Pros and Cons

It seems like listing your landlord as an additional insured only benefits them, which is why you might be wondering why you should give a hoot. Afterall, it’s not your job to make sure they have insurance

Here’s the thing though: many tenants don’t have an option. If your landlord requires you to add them as an additional insured and you’re unsure about those additional liability requirements, you have to decide whether renting that particular unit is worth it to you. 

That being said, there is a definite benefit to you: listing your landlord or property manager on your renters policy could help insulate you from financial losses. If an indent occurs in your rental property, you could be held liable. Renters insurance with an additional insured adds a layer of financial protection for every party involved, while simultaneously allowing the injured party to seek damages. 

Will Listing Your Landlord Affect Premiums or Coverage?

If you do list your landlord, your premiums shouldn’t increase by much (if at all!), which is a good thing, even if renters insurance doesn’t tend to cost that much to begin with. And in many cases, property companies and landlords that require this addition will reimburse tenants if rates do go up. Either way, speak to your landlord to confirm details before signing your lease! 

As for coverage, the good news is that there should be no changes on that front. Including an additional insured extends coverage to another person, but it does not take any coverage away from you. 

How To Add Your Landlord as an Additional Insured

If you’ve decided you’re going to move forward with adding your landlord as an additional insured on your renters policy, there are a few different approaches to making it happen: 

  • Landlord Recommended Insurance: Many landlords have partnerships with specific insurance agents, so they might recommend them to you. The benefit here is that it takes work off of your plate, but it’s also important to realize that you could miss out on potential deals if you go that route. 
  • Contacting Existing Provider: Call your current insurance provider and ask if they allow you to add an additional insured to your renters policy. You might also be able to get them to offer a discount, so it’s worth inquiring.
  • Shopping Around: To make sure you’re getting the best rates and coverage, we recommend speaking with around three different providers to see what deals are out there and which policy makes the most sense for your needs and budget. You can, of course, use an app like Marble to easily shop around for policies!  

Get Renters Coverage with Marble

Finding a renters policy that makes both you and your landlord happy can take a bit of work. Luckily, there’s Marble, where you can shop for policies, compare quotes, and store your documents — all while earning rewards. It might even be easier than Venmoing your rent. Sign up today!