The Liability portion of renter’s insurance is required. You need liability coverage for damages and bodily injury caused by negligence. For example, if you run a bath, fall asleep and flood your apartment and your neighbor’s apartment, you could be found liable for that damage and required to pay for repairs, medical bills related to the accident and possibly defense costs if a suit is brought against you. Renter’s insurance would cover those costs.
The Personal Property portion of renter’s insurance is optional but highly recommended. Our community insurance policies only cover the damage to the actual dwelling, which leaves everything of yours—electronics, furniture, clothes—vulnerable. So, to protect your belongings in case of fire, theft or damage, you need your own policy covering Personal Property.