Subletting? Do You Need Renters Insurance?

Whether you're temporarily leasing a friend or acquaintance's apartment while looking for a more permanent arrangement, or subletting your own apartment to someone else while you're out of town, you may be curious about how to best protect your belongings and other assets in case of a break-in or damage claim. Fortunately, there are certain types of renters insurance that should be able to cover either situation. Read on to learn more about how to best protect yourself in a subletting situation.

How can you protect your belongings if you're renting your apartment to someone else?

The most important factor when subleasing your space is ensuring that you are acting in accordance with your own lease requirements. Some leases prohibit subleasing without the landlord or property owner's permission, while others will require a credit or background check on any additional renters. If you are illegally subleasing your apartment, this may void any rental coverage you later buy.

Next, contact your current renters insurance company (or if you don't yet have renters insurance, get a quote). You'll want to notify your insurance company that you do not plan to reside in the apartment for the sublease period, and inform them of any belongings you're leaving behind. If this is a one-time sublease, your insurance policy is unlikely to change. However, if you plan to regularly sublease your apartment for the foreseeable future, you'll want a more commercial landlord coverage, rather than traditional renters insurance.

In general, if you need to submit a claim (whether for damage to your personal property or water or other damage caused by your renter), you'll do this yourself, rather than allowing your renter to submit a claim under your name.

How can you protect your belongings if you are subleasing an apartment from another renter?

If you're living in another person's apartment under a sublease arrangement, you should be able to purchase renters insurance to cover your belongings and protect you from any potential liability even if you don't have an official signed lease. Be sure that your insurance agency is aware of the sublease arrangement.

Also be aware that if you have a primary residence in addition to the sublet space, there may be coverage limits for your rental of the space unless you purchase a completely separate renters insurance policy. Your insurance agent should have further details of available coverage based on your state's specific laws regarding subleasing liability.