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What Is Security Deposit Insurance and Is it Worth It?

As a landlord, it’s essential to protect yourself at all costs. Therefore, most landlords require a security deposit and the first month’s rent while signing a lease with a new tenant. However, there are other solutions to help protect your property and your finances. For instance, you may consider requiring security deposit insurance. In today’s article, we’ll discuss the differences between a traditional cash payment and security deposit insurance and whether it’s necessary or beneficial for both parties. 

Contents of This Article: 

What Is Security Deposit Insurance?

Security deposit insurance is a type of policy that protects landlords and tenants in the event of damage or unpaid rent throughout a lease agreement. Generally, landlords or property management in Northern Virginia charges a security deposit that’s refundable at the end of a lease term, so long as there’s no damage or unpaid rent during the lease. However, some landlords require tenants to purchase a security deposit insurance policy instead of requiring tenants to provide a cash security deposit. 

The tenant typically pays for a security deposit insurance policy covering damages or unpaid rent. For instance, if a landlord files a claim, the insurance company will investigate the claim and may pay the landlord for any damages or unpaid rent covered in the policy. 

Security deposit insurance is an alternative to traditional cash deposits, and it may be helpful for a few reasons. For instance, cash security deposits can be costly for tenants without guaranteeing they’ll get the money back. Additionally, security deposit insurance gives landlords additional protection and an alternative to the time-consuming process of pursuing legal action due to unpaid rent or property damages. 

Next, we’ll review some of the main differences between security deposits and security deposit insurance. Then, we’ll go over some of the pros and cons for landlords and tenants. 

Traditional Deposits vs. Security Deposit Insurance

Security deposits and security deposit insurance are both intended to protect landlords financially, whether a tenant fails to pay rent or causes property damage. However, there are some key differences between the two. 


A security deposit is a sum a tenant pays at the beginning of a lease agreement. The landlord holds the deposit and typically returns it to the tenant at the end of a lease term as long as there’s no damage to the property or unpaid rent. 

On the other hand, security deposit insurance is a type of policy that tenants can purchase to protect against damages or unpaid rent. So, instead of providing cash at the beginning of a lease term, a tenant pays a premium to an insurance company, which provides coverage for most claims made by the landlord. 

The choice between a traditional cash payment and security deposit insurance depends on landlords’ and tenants’ individual needs and preferences. Next, we’ll review the pros and cons of an insurance policy. 

Pros and Cons of Security Deposit Insurance

Security deposit insurance can be an excellent option for tenants who want a more flexible and affordable alternative to cash deposits. Additionally, they’re suitable for landlords who want additional protections. 

However, it’s important to carefully review the terms and potential disadvantages of the policy to fully understand what it is. That said, here are some pros and cons for landlords and tenants. 

Pros for Tenants

  • Less Costly Than Security Deposits- Security deposit insurance premiums generally range from around $10 to $50 monthly. This is more affordable than paying a large sum upfront that’s often equivalent to one month’s rent.
  • Insurance Provider Makes Decisions- Instead of your landlord telling you how much you need to pay, the insurance provider makes the final decision when a claim’s submitted.

Cons for Tenants

  • Not All Providers Are Reliable- Security deposit insurance providers vary in their customer service and response time while reviewing claims. As such, finding a highly rated and reputable provider is crucial.
  • Premiums Can Become Expensive- While security deposit insurance premiums are generally low in cost, the premium can total more than a traditional security deposit if you rent for over 12 months. As such, insurance may only make sense if you rent short-term.


  • No Refunds- Tenants who pay rent on time and don’t cause damage can get a refund of their security deposit at the end of their tenancy. However, they cannot get their insurance payments refunded, adding more costs for tenants.

Pros for Landlords

  • Covers Property Damage and Unpaid Rent- Security deposit insurance ensures the landlord will receive rent and other fees despite a tenant’s financial issues.
  • Eliminates the Need for a Security Deposit- Security deposit insurance can eliminate the need to collect a security deposit from each tenant, which saves time and effort (unless you have a property management team).
  • Can File Claims Before the Tenant Moves- Landlords cannot deduct costs from traditional security deposits until the tenants move out and a move-out inspection is complete. However, with an insurance policy, landlords can submit a claim during the lease term.

Cons for Landlords

  • The Company Evaluates Each Claim- There’s a chance the insurance company may deny your claim. Unfortunately, this makes it harder to get the required funds to cover missed rent payments or damage repairs.

Is Security Deposit Insurance Necessary?

Security deposit insurance is unnecessary for most landlords, as traditional deposits are still the norm for many rental agreements. However, whether or not it is necessary depends on landlords’ and tenants’ individual needs or preferences. 


An insurance policy can be a viable option for tenants if they’re looking for a more flexible and affordable alternative to cash deposits. However, reviewing the terms and potential disadvantages of the policy to understand what it entails is crucial for all tenants. 

On the other hand, for landlords, insurance provides the same protections as traditional cash deposits but eliminates the need for them. However, there’s a chance that claims can be denied by the insurance company, which makes it harder to get the funds needed to cover missed rent payments or property damage repairs. 

Ultimately, the decision to require insurance or traditional cash payment is up to the landlord or property management company. That said, it’s crucial to weigh the pros and cons of each option and consider the specific needs of your rental property business before making a decision. 

Hire Property Managers to Handle Payment Collection

Security deposit insurance isn’t typically necessary for most landlords. While it can be convenient and less stressful, a traditional security deposit works great for most lease agreements. If one of your main concerns for your rentals is collecting these payments from each tenant, you’ll want to hire reliable property management. 

Looking for a reliable management company? contact us today!

A comprehensive property management team can help with all aspects of your rental business, from finding tenants to collecting payments and performing maintenance. So, if you have rentals in or around Baltimore, Philadelphia, Northern Virginia, or Washington, DC, contact BMG today. Our team of reliable professionals can help your rental business succeed with comprehensive rental property management services