Many people that rent, regardless of the type of building (apartment, site built home, mobile home or manufactured home) are under the impression that their landlord has insurance so they don't need it. Not true!
The insurance your landlord has covers his property only. It does not provide liability insurance for you, nor does it cover anything that belongs to you. Regardless of how the amount of personal items (clothes, furniture, jewelry, everyday appliances, everything you use) you have, it is still what you have. Replacing it all out of pocket is expensive no matter how you look at it. If there is a small fire in the kitchen for example, the fire damage to the structure of the building (and permanently installed appliances) would be covered under his insurance. However, any damage to your items that were in the area will not be covered. In other words landlord insurance does not cover contents of the home.
If you rent a manufactured or mobile home your landlord may require you to have renters insurance to protect yourself. It also protects the landlord because your then have your own liability coverage for the acts of individuals in your home or visiting your home. If you don't have the insurance, the injured person may try to place a claim on the landlord's insurance, which he or she obviously would not want. The protection does not stop at your personal items either. Renters insurance also provides two other important coverages - Liability and Loss of Use.
Liability coverage is what protects you from your acts, and the acts of others, in your home. In the event that something happens at your home that you may be responsible for this coverage is there to assuage the monetary effects on you and your family. The typical example is the dog that bites the visitor, but there are many other injuries that can occur that you could potentially be responsible for.
Loss of Use is also an important coverage that is most often included in the cost of renters insurance. This coverage provides payment for the cost of living somewhere else while your home is being rebuilt or repaired, up to the limits on your policy. The limit is typically 10% of your overall coverage. It is an important coverage because if your home burns to the ground, where are you going to stay while you try to find other housing? If there is a wind storm and part of the roof blows off, where will you live while it is getting repaired? You may not have to pay rent to your landlord during that time (that is between you and your landlord) but he or she is certainly not going to provide you with alternative living.