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Do I really need tenant insurance?

Oct 4, 2018 3 minute read

Do I really need tenant insurance?

For most renters, having a tenant insurance policy is not at the top of the priority list. In fact, according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, about 50% of renters in Ontario do not have tenant insurance. This is especially true for younger people who may be moving out on their own for the first time. Let’s face it, renting an apartment can be expensive. And when you start adding up what you already pay for rent, utilities, and other bills, you might not have a lot of extra cash in the budget. This is exactly why some renters choose to go without tenant insurance. But this can be a big mistake. And coverage can be surprisingly affordable. Depending on the company and limits you choose, a renter’s policy can cost less than a buck a day.

It’s important to consider your options before you decide to cut the expense from your budget. What’s covered? How much it will cost? And why is tenant insurance important?

WHAT IS TENANT INSURANCE?

Tenants insurance (also called renter’s insurance or content insurance) is very similar to a home insurance policy. The big difference is that there is no coverage for the building or house. That is the responsibility of the landlord who owns the house, condo unit or apartment building you live in. Coverage for renters is specifically designed to protect your personal property, liability and additional living expenses in the event of a claim.

TENANT INSURANCE COVERAGE

Insurance coverage varies slightly depending on the company and options you choose. However, most policies include the following basic coverage:

  • Liability – This is your personal protection from accidents causing bodily injury or unintentional damage to someone else’s property.
  • Contents – A good way to think about contents is to visualize your home or apartment as a box. Now turn that box over and shake it, anything that falls out would be your contents. All of your belongings like clothing, TVs, computers, furniture, appliances, sporting equipment, jewellery, make up, etc. would all be covered within the limit of your tenant insurance policy.
  • Additional Living Expenses – This will help you pay for any necessary expenses like food, clothing and hotel accommodations during a claim or other situation that forces you out of your home for an extended period of time.

IS TENANT INSURANCE MANDATORY?

Although tenant insurance is not mandatory, it is highly recommended. Whether you live in an apartment building or lease a house, having an insurance policy to protect yourself and your belongings is always a good idea. In some cases, lease agreements will include a requirement for the tenant to have their own insurance policy. However, this is a stipulation put in the lease by the individual landlord. It is not mandated by the government.

HOW MUCH COVERAGE DO I NEED?

You have more to protect than you may think. As renters, we have a tendency to drastically underestimate the value of our personal belongings. That said, determining the right amount of contents coverage for you really depends on your situation. Are you a single person in a one bedroom apartment, or a family of 4 renting a 3 bedroom home? When it comes to insurance coverage, it is always a good idea to get the advice of a professional insurance broker.

DOES MY LANDLORD’S INSURANCE COVER MY STUFF?

Your landlord’s insurance does not cover your belongings or your liability. Although most landlords will have a property insurance policy to protect the building or house and their own liability, this coverage does not extend to you. In the event of an incident such as a fire, theft, etc. you will be responsible for expenses out of your own pocket. This could include replacing everything you own. Not to mention renting a new place during repairs, and any legal costs for damage caused to others.

HOW MUCH IS TENANT INSURANCE?

The cost of your insurance policy is determined by a few factors, including:

  • Amount of coverage you choose
  • What city you live in
  • Type of structure you live in? (i.e. apartment, condo, townhouse, house)
  • Insurance company you choose
  • Your insurance history

GET TENANT INSURANCE TODAY

Whether you are renting for the first time or have had tenant insurance for years, it is wise to shop around or talk to an insurance professional who can compare prices for you, answer your questions, and match up a tenant insurance policy that fits your individual needs and budget.

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