Melissa Neis knows that $200 a year can buy both a tenant and a landlord some peace of mind.

Neis, vice president of Chicago-based Parr Insurance, says while not all landlords and managers require tenants to get renter’s insurance, they should do it to avoid devastating losses.

“The average renter’s insurance policy has a contents limit at $30,000,” she says. “Let’s say they’re at fault (for a fire) that would trigger the liability coverage and the average liability limit is $300,000. If there’s a death or injury, that’s even more costly. Without renter’s insurance, tenants are really exposed to a huge risk.”

Managers should encourage a resident to purchase insurance during the lease-signing process to ensure the policy and lease are aligned.

Parr rolled out a new program in the beginning of the year to help make it a little easier for residents to buy. The new online purchasing program pre-approves buildings to be insured.

However, it takes a little legwork from a property manager to expedite the process for a tenant. Managers or owners access the site and enter basic information about the building’s construction, upgrades, location and details, making it easy for a resident sign up for insurance in minutes.

Currently, the company has more than 10,000 units pre-approved nationally. One of the advantages of using the program is that managers can view which residents are signed up and see all the expiration dates and policies in one place. And when something like a fire takes place, a landlord can easily pull up a resident’s policy.

“It’s really all about the severity and the impact (an incident) can have on tenants and the landlord,” she says.

Lindsay Machak is an Associate Editor for Multifamily Executive. Connect with her on Twitter @LMachak.