Should I maintain renter's insurance even though I've moved out?
January 29, 2013 4:44 PM   Subscribe

I moved out of my apartment, but am still on the lease, which extends for several months. I have "transferred" my renter's insurance policy to cover property and occurrences at my new apartment. This leaves me uncovered at the old place. Does this matter?

My old apartment remains occupied (in part) by my roommate, who caused me to move out. (Previously.) I no longer have any personal property in the apartment, but as I understand it, I am jointly and severally liable for Bad Things which may occur in my old apartment. There are, of course, exclusions in my policy for intentional acts, etc.

I am hard-pressed to come up with a scenario involving a duty of mine, breach, causation and damages which would be an insurable risk here. But it's been an awful long time since I've worked through those crazy law school hypos.

With the transfer of my renter's policy to the new place, my insurance agent has confirmed that I am without coverage at the old place. I have an umbrella policy, but as I understand it, the umbrella insures now excludes Bad Things which would happen at the old place.

My gut tells me that this all is No Longer Important, but in the back of my mind I'm feeling like maybe this sort of stuff was covered in one of those Torts classes I slept through.

I am not looking for legal advice and I agree that nothing posted here will form an attorney-client relationship.
posted by QuantumMeruit to Work & Money (6 answers total)
Maybe read your policy and see what it actually covers/covered? If anything on there is something you want to continue to be insured against in your old apartment, maybe add the apartment back to your policy, or get off the lease, or whatever would protect you at this point.
posted by Sara C. at 4:51 PM on January 29, 2013

Ask your agent, but doesn't the renter's insurance cover your stuff? You know, the stuff that's no longer at the old place?
posted by lathrop at 4:52 PM on January 29, 2013

IANAL. This is research from internet.

Renter's insurance can have two components: contents and liability.

You obviously don't need contents, since you don't have anything there anymore. So if you have insurance that only covers contents, then just go ahead and cancel it.

Liability is for damages you cause/are responsible for. If your roommate is spiteful/careless enough to break something in the apartment, then you'd be covered. (e.g. accidentally set the oven on fire.)

Renter's insurance is so cheap. Why not just keep it until the end of your lease and your name is no longer on that apartment?
posted by ethidda at 4:53 PM on January 29, 2013

Alternatively, and if you have the cash, is your old landlord willing to take a payoff now in exchange for terminating your lease at the old place (you might have to negotiate a bit in terms of your security deposit)? I obviously wouldn't say that you're worried about liability for the acts of your crazy ex-roommate, but he/she might be open if you bill it as, "hey, I've already all moved out and don't want to waste your time later getting in touch with me to figure out an inspection, final payments, etc..., so how about we just end it now?" You'd send him a check and he'd sign something indicating the end of the lease. In the ideal case, you'd even get a small pre-payment discount (I had a landlord offer this to me once, but he was also incredibly casual about money matters and interest rates weren't as low then).

It just seems like it would be easiest for you in every way if you could cut ties with the old place completely and immediately.
posted by zachlipton at 5:15 PM on January 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

Your renters insurance may require residency, in which case it may not be possible for you to carry it there anyway.
posted by phearlez at 6:04 PM on January 29, 2013

Response by poster: Maintaining renter's insurance on the old place adds a whopping $2.50 per month to my bill. Looks like I was beanplating.

Thanks, everyone!
posted by QuantumMeruit at 1:19 PM on January 31, 2013

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