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I have concerns about liability protection with my current renter's insurance policy in the US in the state of Texas. I would like to understand if there is anything more I can do or push on my current insurance provider regarding renter's insurance, if it would simply be better for me to move onto finding a different provider for my auto/renter's/umbrella policies, or if I'm overthinking this and I could leave everything as-is.

My renter's insurance policy lists my property owner as Additional Insured, not Additional Interest. Speaking with my insurance agent, he claims this is how they write all their renter's policies and they have no way of changing how this shows up in their documents; they simply specify who is the owner when filling out their form and this is how the resulting document gets generated.

My primary concern is claims getting denied because no one in the apartment office nor in the insurance agent's office understands the distinction between Additional Insured and Additional Interest and so everyone is accepting this, but then if there is ever a liability claim such as if I leave my 2nd floor unit's faucet running that causes water damage to my neighbor's personal property below or my dog bites a neighbor, the owner would come after me and my renter's insurance should cover these until the insurance folks read the fine print, see that the owner is listed as Additional Insured, and then they deny the claims since someone that's named insured cannot sue someone else that's named insured on the policy, and then I would be personally liable.

Our apartment lease explicitly calls this out and states under no circumstances can the owner be listed as "Additional Insured"; the documents state that the owner must be listed as "Additional Interested Party" or "Additional Certificate Holder", neither of which shows up on the policy document.

I already understand the difference between Additional Interest and Additional Insured. (Example reference: https://www.thesilverlining.com/westbendcares/blog/additional-insured-vs-additional-interest-do-you-understand-the-difference)

The front desk folks at our apartment's office took the policy document with the apartment name written on it, but I'm assuming no one in the office understands enough about the difference to care and screen.

We also have our auto and umbrella policies bundled together with this, and we've been happy with the ease of their claims so far in the past, so I'd rather not shop around again if that can be avoided. In particular, with all the hassle involved in making sure one policy isn't under-covered before the umbrella policy kicks in, it just seems simpler to keep auto/home/umbrella bundled together with a single provider.

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  • you need to add which jurisdiction you are in.
    – 24601
    May 22 at 17:09
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    Good catch. Added TX.
    – jia103
    May 22 at 17:24

2 Answers 2

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As your agent is unwilling/unable to find you a policy that is compliant with your lease, you are correct in concluding that you will have to look elsewhere for renter's insurance.

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if I leave my 2nd floor unit's faucet running that causes water damage to my neighbor's personal property below or my dog bites a neighbor, the owner would come after me

You misunderstand the risk.

The owner will come after you to recover their (owner's) damages. They will not come after you for the damages to the neighbor. The neighbor will. But the neighbor may not come after you at all, the neighbor may come after the homeowner because everything that happens is ultimately their responsibility.

Adding the owner as an additional insured allows the owner to use your insurance to defend themselves from the neighbor if it is your negligence that caused the incident. So if the neighbor comes after the owner directly, the owner doesn't need to worry about handling two cases - one against the neighbor and one against you to recover damages paid to the neighbor.

The policy seems to be written correctly.


Note: Anyone can sue you at any time and for any reason. The fact that your landlord is an additional insured under the policy doesn't on its own prevent the landlord from filing a lawsuit. But it gives you a defense. Which the judge may or may not accept.

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  • You say, "The owner will come after you to recover their (owner's) damages." Yet you don't seem to see this as a problem with OP's insurance. Does this mean you disagree with OP's statement that "someone that's named insured cannot sue someone else that's named insured on the policy"?
    – nanoman
    May 22 at 20:55
  • OK, in your answer maybe you should clarify that "come after you" doesn't mean "sue".
    – nanoman
    May 22 at 21:02
  • "They can sue, the fact that they're an additional insured doesn't prevent that." So it sounds like you do disagree with OP's statement that "someone that's named insured cannot sue someone else that's named insured on the policy". I asked in the first place if you disagreed with it and you said no, not yes. We're going around in circles. Please consider clarifying your answer.
    – nanoman
    May 22 at 21:21

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