Tenant Insurance in Ottawa

If you rent a home in Ottawa, then chances are you need a tenant insurance policy. Tenant insurance, also known as renters insurance, can be found easily through help from an insurance broker in Ottawa. A BrokerLink insurance advisor will make sure that you have the right coverage for your home.

What is tenant insurance in Ottawa?

What is tenant insurance? Tenant insurance is a form of Ottawa home insurance specially designed to protect a renter from the risks they face living in a leased space. As any renter knows, they could still be held liable for all sorts of damage to an apartment or home that they rent, even if they do not own it. That’s what makes tenant insurance so important, and it is part of the reason why many landlords require it from their renters.

If you have a tenant insurance policy and something goes wrong, you can file a claim with your provider to help cover the cost of the damage. Most tenant insurance policies share many of the same coverages as standard homeowner’s insurance policies, including contents coverage and liability coverage. You won’t find dwelling coverage on tenant insurance policies, which is a staple of homeowner’s insurance but doesn’t apply to tenants because they do not own the building they reside in. Instead, dwelling coverage is included in landlord insurance policies.

Is renters insurance legally required in Ottawa?

Do you need tenant insurance? From a legal perspective, tenant insurance is not mandated by the government in Ottawa. That said, your landlord may include a clause in your lease agreement that states you must purchase tenant insurance coverage if you want to inhabit the available space. Some lease agreements will even stipulate how much coverage and what types of coverage the tenant must purchase.

In most cases, if the tenant signs the lease agreement, they are contractually obligated to purchase and maintain renters insurance coverage for the duration of their lease. You will also likely need to provide proof of your coverage before your move-in date.

Please note that if you sign a lease agreement that requires you to purchase tenant coverage but do not purchase it or let it expire, your landlord will be within their rights to evict you. Lastly, if your landlord does not require you to purchase tenant insurance, it is still a smart choice due to the protections it provides.

What does tenant insurance cover in Ottawa?

The most basic form of Ottawa tenant insurance typically includes three main coverage types: contents coverage, additional living expenses coverage, and liability coverage:

Contents coverage

Contents coverage is designed to protect a tenant’s personal belongings from damage. For instance, if a fire breaks out and your clothing or furniture is lost, you can file a contents coverage claim with your renters insurance provider. In essence, contents coverage can pay you to repair or replace any personal belongings in your home damaged by a covered peril. Covered perils vary but usually include theft, wind, smoke, fire, explosions, falling objects, and more.

When adding content coverage to your policy, make sure that you choose an amount that reflects the value of your personal belongings. This way, in the event of a total loss, you will receive a payout from your insurance provider that is close to or equal to the value of your lost items. To do this, calculate the actual cash value of the items you plan to house in your leased space. Actual cash value coverage accounts for depreciation and is less expensive than replacement value coverage. However, if you choose to add replacement value coverage to your policy, then you can calculate the full value of your personal items.

Additional living expenses coverage

Next up is additional living expenses coverage. This type of coverage is also commonplace in most Ottawa tenant insurance plans. It can pay for the cost of alternative living arrangements if you are required to relocate for a certain period due to damage in your leased unit. Expenses that this type of insurance may cover include hotel or home share bills, storage unit fees, delivery services, or extra groceries and food bills.

Please note that you can only file an additional living expenses claim if an insured peril, such as fire, wind, lightning, smoke, etc caused the damage to your unit. These insured perils will be clearly stated in your policy.

Liability coverage

Finally, liability coverage is another type of standard coverage that you will find in Ottawa renters insurance plans. Most tenants choose to purchase either $1,000,000 or $2,000,000 in liability coverage. This is due to the fact that one single liability claim against you can be expensive, especially when you add up potential medical fees, property damage repair bills, and legal costs, like defence and settlement fees. More specifically, liability coverage in tenant insurance will protect you if a third party, such as a guest or visitor, files a property damage or bodily injury claim against you. This could be the result of them visiting you and slipping and injuring themselves while in your apartment. If they decide to sue you, things could get expensive quickly, which is what makes liability coverage so important.

What other types of renters insurance exist in Ottawa?

There are many types of renters insurance coverage available to tenants in Ottawa. While basic renters insurance is a good start, many policyholders might decide that it isn’t sufficient. Instead, they will choose to add extra protections to their policy, such as overland water coverage, sewer backup coverage, or personal valuables coverage, among others. Continue reading for an outline of some of the most popular types of optional coverage for Ottawa renters:

Overland water coverage

Overland water coverage will pay for you to replace or repair any personal belongings in your unit that are lost or damaged due to above-ground water flooding. For example, if an overflow of water from a nearby lake or river, melting ice, or heavy precipitation occurs and your clothing, electronics, or furniture is ruined, you can file an overland water coverage claim. This type of coverage might be significant for tenants on lower levels or those who live near major bodies of water, like the Rideau Canal or Ottawa River.

Sewer backup coverage

Sewer backup coverage is a second type of water damage-related coverage that might interest Ottawa tenants. This type of flood coverage can pay to repair or replace a tenant’s damaged belongings if they are damaged due to a sewer backup. Sewer backups occur when sewage or wastewater is blocked and backed up through a home's drains. They most commonly affect basements, so if you rent a basement suite or low-level unit, then adding sewer backup coverage to your policy might be worthwhile. It is worth noting that although adding this form of extra protection to your policy is likely to increase your rates, you can offset these additional costs by installing a sewer backup detection device in your home.

Identity theft coverage

Identity theft coverage is another optional coverage that you can add to your Ottawa renters insurance plan. It is designed to safeguard policyholders against the harsh reality of a third party stealing their personal identification or information, examples of which include a passport, credit card, driver’s licence, or social insurance number. When you add this form of protection to your policy, your provider can reimburse you for any money lost or expenses incurred while you attempt to recover your stolen information.

Personal valuables coverage

Personal valuables coverage is yet another worthwhile type of tenant insurance. While it works similarly to contents coverage, it offers even more protection. For example, it doesn’t have nearly as many caveats as contents coverage regarding the types of personal belongings that can be covered. That is why many tenants who own high-value items tend to prefer personal valuables coverage. This type of coverage is best suited to those who want to protect valuable belongings, such as original artwork, fine jewellery, vintage wine, musical instruments, and more. Speak with a BrokerLink insurance advisor to learn more about adding a personal valuables coverage floater or rider to your policy.

What factors influence Ottawa tenant insurance premiums?

The following factors can influence how much you pay for Ottawa tenant insurance. Since so many factors come into play, we strongly recommend contacting a BrokerLink insurance advisor to request a free quote or using the online quote tool on our website:

  • Property type
  • Location
  • The estimated value of your personal belongings
  • Your credit score
  • Whether or not you have roommates, and if so, how many roommates you have
  • Whether or not you have pets, and if so, how many and what species and breed they are
  • Details on the property such as the building materials, including the roof, plumbing, and electrical
  • The heat source of your rental
  • Your personal insurance claims history
  • Your chosen deductible amounts

Ottawa landlord insurance vs. tenant insurance explained

Landlord insurance and tenant insurance are not one and the same. There are actually several significant differences between landlord and renters insurance. That is why it’s so crucial that tenants purchase their own policies instead of solely relying on the insurance policies that their landlords have.

The reality is that landlord insurance is made to protect landlords, while tenant insurance is made to protect tenants. Landlord insurance will cover physical damage to the building and liability claims from tenants, but it will not cover damage to a tenant’s belongings. Meanwhile, tenant insurance covers just that and more. To learn more about landlord and tenant responsibilities, reach out to BrokerLink today.

Purchasing tenant insurance with roommates

Policyholders with roommates often ask: Does every roommate need to purchase their own individual tenant insurance policy? The answer to this question varies. In some cases, multiple roommates may be able to purchase one renters insurance policy together. That said, there are usually restrictions on the number of roommates that can be added to a single policy, so depending on how many people you intend to live with, a single policy may not be an option for you. In addition, even if your insurance provider allows you to add all roommates to one policy, doing so can be risky. Since any roommate can file a claim, you run the risk of someone filing a claim without your knowledge, which could lead to higher insurance rates down the line.

Further, some tenant insurance policies require a main policyholder to be listed on the account, even if the account technically covers multiple roommates. In the event that something goes wrong and damage occurs, there is a chance that the insurer will only pay out the damage relating to the main policyholder. For these reasons, it is generally recommended that each tenant purchase their own renters insurance policy even if they live with roommates. This is usually the safest, most convenient option, giving you complete control over your coverage.

You can also choose to modify your coverage down the line, which a BrokerLink insurance advisor can help you with. Policyholders may choose to amend their coverage by adding extra protection, raising or lowering deductibles, and increasing or decreasing coverage limits.

We’re in your community

BrokerLink strives to create a personalized experience for every customer we work with. If you are looking for renters insurance in Ottawa, we will ask all the right questions to ensure we find coverage that aligns with your needs and budget. You get a customer-driven experience with BrokerLink. Contact BrokerLink today to find out more about our core values of generosity, excellence, respect, and community.

Contact us

At Ottawa BrokerLink, we’re here to help you with any insurance needs you may have. Whether it’s insuring your home, car, business, recreational items, or pets, let us help you find the best coverage possible. We can also explain complicated industry terms, like additional interest home insurance and even provide tips for first-time renters in Ottawa.

You can reach us by phone, email, or in person at any Ontario location. No matter how you contact us, a BrokerLink insurance advisor will be happy to assist you. We also encourage you to take advantage of our free online quote tool to provide a competitive quote in minutes.

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Ottawa renters insurance FAQs

Where can I buy renters insurance in Ottawa?

You can purchase renters insurance from an insurance broker or from an insurance company. Both can help you find the coverage you need.

How can I save money on tenant insurance?

You can save money on your Ottawa tenant insurance policy by raising your deductibles, paying for your policy on a yearly basis, making all of your payments on time, and by installing a monitored alarm system or sewer backup detection device in your home.

What isn’t covered by Ottawa tenant insurance?

Ottawa tenant insurance does not cover everything. For instance, if you intentionally damage your unit or you rent the unit illegally and damage occurs, you won’t be able to file a tenant insurance claim. Damage to a leased space that is caused by war or an act of terrorism also will not be covered. Further, damage caused by a peril that is not named in your policy will not be covered. For example, if your apartment is flooded but you do not have overland water coverage or sewer backup coverage, your insurance provider won’t issue a payout to cover the cost of the damage.

Can I add flood insurance to my Ottawa renters insurance policy?

Yes, and it’s a good idea to do so. Basic tenant insurance in Ottawa does not typically include flood insurance. While contents coverage and additional living expenses coverage protects against many perils, such as fire, smoke, wind, explosions, and more, it does not usually protect against water damage. Rather, you will need to add extra protection to your policy to be covered against water damage. Specifically, you might be able to add overland water coverage or sewer backup coverage. With these coverage types, if water damage occurs in your unit, your insurance provider can help pay to replace any damaged personal belongings.

What are the most common types of renters insurance claims in Ottawa?

Some of the most common types of renters insurance claims submitted by Ottawa policyholders include theft, third-party liability, fires, and flooded basement claims. Generally speaking, theft is the most common type of tenant insurance claim in Canada.

Where can I get a free tenant insurance quote in Ottawa, Ontario?

You can obtain a free tenant insurance quote in Ottawa by reaching out to an insurance broker or agent near you. Quotes are usually obligation-free and can be obtained in as little as five minutes if you know what type of coverage you’re looking for.

If you have any questions, contact one of our local branches.