Approximately Half of Renters Do Not Have Tenant Insurance

By Lesley Green
A close-up of a woman on her smartphone looking for apartment listings.
  • About 4.5 million households in Canada rent the homes they live in.
  • It’s estimated that half of renters do not have tenant insurance.
  • Neither your landlord’s policy nor your roommate’s coverage covers your possessions.

Of the more than 14 million households in Canada, approximately 4.5 million are rented by tenants, according to the 2016 Census. Concerningly, it’s all too likely that half of these homes – 2.25 million – may not have the protection needed that comes with a tenant insurance policy.

According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, and as reported by the CBC, only about 50% of renters have tenant insurance.

Whether it’s due to cost, feeling they don’t have much to insure, or believing they have coverage under their landlord’s policy (or a roommate’s), many Canadians are putting themselves at great financial risk.

For each possible reason why, however, there are compelling reasons to reconsider the status quo.

Tenant insurance is too costly ... but it's not

You likely pay as much (or more) for your Netflix and Amazon Prime subscriptions each month than you would for a tenant insurance policy.

Typically, tenant insurance costs about $200 a year, less than a dollar a day for coverage that will help you financially in the event of a fire or theft; for accidental damages you cause to the landlord's property or neighbouring units; or, for guests’ injuries you unintentionally played a role in causing.

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Chances are you've got more to insure than you realize

Even furnishing the smallest apartment means you've likely got thousands of dollars of "stuff" to insure.

There are your big-ticket items like your furniture and electronics to consider. But there are also your other possessions that may not cost a lot on their own, but they represent a significant expenditure when added up.

From your living room to your bathroom and everything in between, the value of your possessions and the cost to replace them in the event of a total loss (like fire) is significant — and beyond the financial capability of most people. Even a break-in can result in considerable financial difficulty.

Your landlord's policy does not cover your possessions

While a landlord's policy covers the physical home or unit you live in, as well as the furnishings that come with the unit (like the stove and refrigerator), it does not include your personal property or possessions. All that you own is your responsibility to take care of, and a tenant insurance policy will ensure you and your possessions are protected.

Your roommate's policy is theirs, not yours

In general, a roommate's policy only covers them, and their possessions. Unless you're listed on the policy specifically, are related, or in a relationship, don't assume their coverage extends to you. Chances are it doesn't, and this is an oversight that can have costly consequences.

Why renters need tenant insurance

Many renters think of tenant insurance just as coverage for your possessions and belongings. Although this is the most well-known component of a tenant's insurance policy, other components are equally important:

Liability: This component of your policy will protect you if you inadvertently cause an injury or property damage and are sued for it. Perhaps a guest tripped over your area rug and broke his leg, forcing him to miss weeks of work. Or maybe, when trying out a new recipe, you receive a phone call which distracts you causing a kitchen fire resulting in considerable damage. In both cases, liability insurance would have your back should a lawsuit ensue.

Additional living expenses: If you're forced to evacuate your home, or are unable to live in it due to an insured loss, your tenant insurance policy will help offset the extra costs you'll face. It will help cover costs, for example, if you must stay at a hotel, put your possessions in storage, and pay for restaurant meals.

It's time to reconsider renter's insurance: Get a tenant insurance policy today

InsuranceHotline.com makes it easy and affordable to get the renter's insurance you need. Get a tenant insurance quote in minutes and secure your policy for your peace of mind, knowing you and your belongings are covered.