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Living in the Bay State is ideal for many renters and homeowners. Roughly 37 percent of all Massachusetts residents rent, and this is higher than the national average. Therefore, landlords have ample opportunity to bring in these people and earn a passive income from them.

Though you probably have landlord's insurance to protect your items and building structures, you also have to think about your tenants and their personal belongings. They should have renters insurance that covers their things.

Today, you'll learn about renters insurance in Massachusetts. What does it cover, what won't it cover, how does it work, and why should you require tenants to have it?

Are you ready to find out more about renters insurance? Let's get started.

What Is Massachusetts Renters Insurance?

Renters insurance is protection that helps tenants pay to replace their personal belongings if they're a victim of a covered event, such as an electrical storm, burglary, or fire. The cheapest renters insurance companies also offer liability coverage, which will cover medical payments and legal fees if the tenant is sued by someone injured on the property.

It's important to understand what renters insurance in Massachusetts is. Though you might not buy it for your property to protect it, you can require your tenants to get it. This will help you both.

Average Cost of Renters Insurance in Massachusetts Per Month and Year

The Insurance Information Institute says that the average cost of renters insurance in Massachusetts primarily is $186 per year or about $15.50 per month. Massachusetts state is ranked ninth throughout the nation as having the most expensive renters insurance.

Tenants could pay more per month and year based on these factors:

  • Location - The renters insurance company will likely charge more for a policy when tenants live in a high-risk area for crime, natural disasters, floods, and any other covered peril. Likewise, the building's age will affect the cost since older buildings may have more claims against them.
  • Deductible - The policy's deductible will affect the cost tenants pay. Higher deductibles typically have a lower premium but might not offer enough coverage.
  • Belongings - The renters insurance premium tenants pay varies based on how much coverage they need. It's crucial for them to inventory their items first before signing up.
  • Dog Breeds - Sometimes, renters insurance providers will refuse coverage to tenants who own certain dog breeds known for their aggressive behaviors. Other insurers might simply raise the monthly premium. Common aggressive breeds include Rottweilers, pit bulls, German shepherds, and Doberman pinschers.

How Much Does Massachusetts Renters Insurance Cost (Based on Popular Cities)?

It's also helpful to understand the cost of renters insurance in Massachusetts based on the city. According to Insurance.com, the most expensive renters insurance rates are in these cities:

  • Boston - $355 per year
  • Cambridge - $323 per year
  • East Brookfield - $194 per year
  • Westborough - $196 per year
  • Oxford - $198 per year

Does the State of Massachusetts Require Renters Insurance?

Currently, Massachusetts doesn't have laws in place requiring tenants to purchase renters insurance coverage as a condition of renting an apartment or house.

It's important to note that Massachusetts law states that landlords cannot require a tenant to buy renters insurance through a particular provider. You must give them the option of selecting their own company and coverage limits.

However, there's no law in place that prevents landlords from requiring that tenants get renters insurance coverage as part of the lease. In most cases, it's best to do this because it will protect you and them.

Landlord's insurance doesn't provide coverage for a tenant's personal belongings. Therefore, they are responsible for replacing their things after an emergency, disaster, or fire. Making them have renters insurance is beneficial because it protects their things, but it also covers medical payments for those hurt on the property. Likewise, additional living expenses are available, which you'll learn about below.

What Does Renters Insurance Cover in Massachusetts?

The best renters insurance companies offer four coverage types: personal property coverage, liability, medical payments to others, and loss of use. However, Massachusetts has a varied landscape, so residents can find themselves dealing with many risks. Below are a few things to consider when buying a renters insurance policy:

  • Wildfires - If the property sits near a forest, wildfires are a concern. Tenants should understand that they need a high enough personal property coverage limit to protect their valuables after a fire.
  • Flooding - Properties near the coast or a river could experience flooding, and most renters insurance policies don't include flood protection. Tenants might have to buy separate flood insurance or an endorsement to stay protected.
  • Earthquakes - Earthquakes do happen in Massachusetts, which means they're a risk. Usually, renters insurance providers have earthquake protection endorsements, which are bought separately and raise the price.

Let's learn more about what is covered under a traditional renters insurance policy:

Personal Property Coverage

Personal property coverage will protect the tenant's belongings in their car or home. However, it might not cover valuables, such as jewelry, electronics, and artwork. Tenants may have to get an endorsement, which costs extra.

Medical Payments to Others

If someone gets hurt in the tenant's unit, the renters insurance policy will cover medical expenses up to the limit listed in the terms and conditions.

Loss of Use

Loss of use will cover any additional living expenses the tenant might face if their home or apartment is uninhabitable after a covered event. Examples of ALE can include laundry fees, meals, hotel room fees, parking fees, and more.

Personal Liability Coverage

Personal liability coverage protects the tenant from being held responsible for damage to another person's property. It also helps if they're sued after someone is injured on the property or they cause injury to another through negligence.

What Does Renters Insurance in Massachusetts NOT Cover?

Though renters insurance in Massachusetts can protect tenants from many issues, it won't cover everything. Here are the things it doesn't do:

  • Damage or Loss of Unscheduled Valuables - If tenants have high-cost items, such as electronics, jewelry, and art, they have to be scheduled separately. In other words, they need additional coverage to protect them.
  • Damage from Non-covered Events - Renters insurance will not cover certain events. For example, policies rarely protect against flood damage. If the tenant's things are damaged from a flood, the renters insurance won't replace the items unless they bought a separate flood insurance policy.
  • Damage Over Policy Terms - Every company has coverage limits, which determine how much the provider pays after a covered loss. If the replacement cost of the tenant's items comes to $16,000, but their policy limit is $15,000, they will have to pay the last $1,000 out of their own pocket.

It's always best to read the fine print before signing a contract.

How to Choose the Right Policy

There are countless renters insurance companies out there, so it's important for tenants to choose the right policy for them. Here are a few tips:

  • Deductible - A lower deductible means there are fewer out-of-pocket expenses, but it often costs more for coverage. However, a higher deductible means the tenant must pay more first before the insurance kicks in.
  • Enough Personal Property Coverage - Tenants should inventory their items and ensure they buy enough coverage. Higher limits come with a higher premium, but it also means they won't have to spend their savings money to replace anything.
  • Additional Coverage - There are many ways to customize the renters insurance policy, and tenants might need add-ons for expensive items, flood coverage, and even earthquake protection.

Available Discounts in Massachusetts

A tenant can save money on their renters insurance policy when they use discounts. Each company is different, but here are the most common options:

  • Autopay
  • Paperless billing discounts
  • Policy bundling discounts
  • 55 and retired discount
  • Easy pay plans
  • Discounts for fire/burglary alarms
  • Early enrollment (before the current policy ends)
  • Pay-in-full discounts

How Does a Renters Insurance Policy Protect the Landlord or Property Manager?

Landlords should require tenants to buy renters insurance policies, but why? Here is a list of why it will help you:

  • Protects the tenant's personal property
  • Helps you find trustworthy and reliable tenants
  • Covers temporary relocation costs for the tenant
  • Reduces lawsuits for the landlords

Top 5 Best Renters Insurance Companies in Massachusetts

It's now time to learn about the five best renters insurance providers in Massachusetts. Knowing which companies are ideal will help you explain these things to your tenants, ensuring that they get appropriate coverage.

1. Lemonade Renters Insurance

Lemonade Renters Insurance

Lemonade could be the best renters insurance company out there because it's easy to sign up and register for a policy. In fact, it only takes about three minutes. Plus, the AI technology will instantly approve straightforward claims, making the payouts faster.

Many people like it because it takes the flat fee from the monthly premium, pays claims with that cash, and donates any leftover money to different charities.

Likewise, the per-month price is decent, and you'll get all the personal property coverage you need.

Here are the pros and cons of using Lemonade renters insurance:

Pros

  • Has plans costing as little as $5 each month
  • Offers a quick sign-up process
  • Includes access to the mobile app, which is easy to use

Cons

  • Limited discounts
  • Requires tenants to file customer service requests online or through the app

2. Amica Renters Insurance

Amica Renters Insurance

Amica might not be the cheapest renters insurance company, but plans start at $19 per month. Therefore, it's a great choice and offers excellent customer service. Tenants can find many discounts, such as paperless, loyalty, and bundling discounts.

Here are the pros and cons:

Pros

  • Dependable customer service
  • Affordable rates
  • Many discounts

Cons

  • Fewer coverage options

3. Travelers Renters Insurance

Travelers Renters Insurance

Tenants want the cheapest renters insurance possible, and Travelers only costs about $19 per month. Likewise, it has good reviews from customers and offers many extra protections, such as replacement cost coverage, decreasing deductibles, valuable items coverage, and more.

4. USAA Renters Insurance

USAA Renters Insurance

USAA might not have the cheapest renters insurance, but it is a reputable provider. However, it only serves former and current military members and families. Still, it's budget-friendly and offers personal liability insurance, as well as flood and earthquake coverage in the standard plan. The basic plan also includes replacement cost coverage.

Most policies use the actual cash value of items, which factors in the wear and tear. However, USAA doesn't do that.

Here are the pros and cons of this company:

Pros

  • Offers membership-exclusive deals
  • Includes overseas insurance
  • Has great customer service
  • Includes flood and earthquake protection

Cons

  • Has limited endorsements
  • Not available for anyone outside the military

5. Liberty Mutual Renters Insurance

Liberty Mutual Renters Insurance

Liberty Mutual is an excellent choice for renters insurance because it offers higher liability coverage options (up to $1 million). Plus, it includes medical expense coverage for any non-household members who are injured on the property. There are many additional coverages available, such as blanket jewelry, portable electronics, and earthquake coverage.

Here are the pros and cons of using Liberty Mutual:

Pros

  • Offers many discounts
  • Great customer service
  • Ability to file claims through the mobile app
  • Offers replacement cash value and actual cash value policies

Cons

  • Doesn't offer water damage coverage in the standard plan
  • Limits personal property coverage to $25,000

What Is DoorLoop?

Purchasing renters insurance is important, and all tenants should do it automatically. However, most renters won't. If it's in your lease, they must get it, and it's in everyone's best interest to do so.

DoorLoop can help landlords of any size. Its all-inclusive property management software allows you to manage your mixed-used, residential, or commercial property portfolio. You can:

  • Get a customized and free website. This helps you market vacancies online through Trulia and Zillow, and it also lets tenants apply on the site.
  • Provide tenants with a tenant portal.
  • Manage your maintenance requests online and with ease.
  • Manage your rental property portfolio.
  • Manage your accounting tasks.

Learn more about DoorLoop and schedule your demo today!

Why Work with DoorLoop

You could require your tenants to have renters insurance policies before they move in with DoorLoop. Tenants can submit their own companies or apply online through the tenant portal or the tenant application. Everything is powered by Lemonade or SURE, depending on your state. Learn more about renters insurance through DoorLoop now!

David is the co-founder & CMO of DoorLoop, a best-selling author, legal CLE speaker, and real estate investor. When he's not hanging with his three children, he's writing articles here!

Legal Disclaimer

The information on this website is from public sources, for informational purposes only and not intended for legal or accounting advice. DoorLoop does not guarantee its accuracy and is not liable for any damages or inaccuracies.

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