Tenant insurance is similar to home insurance, but it is for people who rent (rather than own) their home. Some people call it “renter's insurance.”
Your landlord will have their own insurance, but it does not extend to you or your things. Many landlords will require you to take out a tenant insurance policy as a condition of your lease.
Tenant insurance includes:
Contents coverage for your belongings, whether they're in your house, in your car or with you on your travels.
Living expenses coverage to help with hotel costs and expenses while affected or displaced from an insured loss.
Liability coverage should you be sued by someone who visits your home, or lives in another unit.
This protection could prove invaluable in the event of a disaster, and it is available for just a few dollars per month. If you pay rent, you should have a tenant insurance policy.
Tenants in Canada may not own the homes they live in, but they still value their possessions and safety as much as any homeowner does. That’s why tenant insurance is so important. It provides protection for the contents of your home against things like fire or theft. Also, it can protect you from liability related to damage caused by you or the injury of someone else on your property.
Tenant insurance covers:
Tenant insurance in Canada is not mandatory. But consider the costs of replacing or repairing damaged items against the cost of insurance. Even small damages can add up to high replacement costs. The peace of mind you get with tenant insurance helps you to know you are financially (and sometimes emotionally) protected should the need arise.
Also, most landlords require tenant insurance as part of their lease agreement, ensuring they are not on the hook for your personal possessions or liability issues.
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Tenant insurance covers your possessions, living expenses and your personal liability. According to Statistics Canada, about one third of Canadians rent their home, but only half of these renters have tenant insurance. By opting out, millions of Canadians are taking a on a huge financial risk.
Consider how much stuff you own and how much it would cost to replace it all. Replacing furniture, electronics, clothing and everything else in one go, is beyond the financial capability of most people. Even a less than total loss, like a burglary, can result in financial stress. A tenant insurance policy protects your belongings in the event of damage or theft.
Did you know your possessions are not only covered while in your home, but outside of your home too? That means if your new camera goes missing while you are on holiday, or your golf clubs are stolen from your car, tenant insurance will help.
The insurer would require purchase details like a receipt or invoice of the stolen, damaged, or lost item and the expense of fixing the item or purchasing a replacement of the same. Once the insurer determines the value of the item, they will create an estimate of repair or replacement and make you an offer. You may or may not get the full value of the product you lost or damaged depending on your policy deductibles.
If you're not able to live in your apartment while repairs are being made after an insured loss, your tenant insurance policy will help with expenses until you can move back in. For example, hotel bills, restaurant meals, and moving costs may be covered, as they're expenses you wouldn't have to pay if you were at home.
Personal liability lawsuits can have huge financial implications for those found responsible, often costing millions of dollars. Liability coverage as part of a tenant insurance policy could save you from financial ruin.
Imagine a kitchen fire, which then spreads to a common area, or a faucet left running, which floods the unit below. Whether it is due to carelessness or bad luck, these things happen, and if they happen to you, you will want help with the ensuing legal costs.
There's also the slip and fall risk. If a visitor wipes out in your unit and is hurt, you may be liable for the costs associated with their medical expenses, rehab efforts, and time away from work.
You can always increase your liability coverage if you want additional protection.
Tenant insurance covers most items in your home but limits coverage to high priced items like jewelry, art or other valuable antiques, for example.
In order to receive coverage for these types of items, speak to your broker or provider about extra ‘riders’ or endorsements that separate out specific possessions to be insured. It will add to your costs but save you headaches, and financial and emotional stress should anything happen to your most valued possessions.
Tenant insurance costs about $200 a year in most parts of Canada. Premiums are based on individual needs, budgetary constraints, where you live, your claims history, your chosen deductible, and the type of building you live in. According to internal data, tenant insurance in Ontario, for example, costs an average of $240 a year, or $20 a month. Tenant insurance in Alberta averages just $168.70 a year, less than $15 a month.
Here is a list of the average tenant insurance price for several major cities in Ontario and Alberta:
|City||Average Tenant Insurance Cost|
Tenant insurance varies depending on your circumstances. Premiums can differ per renter based on multiple factors, including:
If you are facing a serious loss, and it is covered in your policy, go ahead and make the claim. This financial protection is why you have insurance. If you are dealing with a minor issue and the cost to fix the problem is less than your deductible, keep insurance out of it.
If you do decide to make a claim following an insurable event, contact your insurance company as soon as you can. The window of opportunity to make a claim will close soon after the event as happened.
The documents you need depend on the type of claim you are making.
If you are submitting a claim for stolen possessions, the insurance company will request a copy of the police report, receipts for the lost items, and any other supporting evidence (for example, a photograph of the items in your unit, before they were stolen).
If you are submitting a claim for damaged possessions, insurance companies will request photos, and an explanation of how the damage happened.
For living expense reimbursement, like hotel costs and meals, keep all original receipts to support your submission.
If you are being sued for liability, send a copy of the lawsuit to your insurer as soon as you receive it. They are legally bound to represent you, based on the terms outlined in your policy.
It starts with comparison shopping on sites like InsuranceHotline.com. Once you log on, you’ll be able to input data about your location and insurance needs. We do the rest. You’ll receive the cheapest quotes from the top providers in your area. You can talk to our licensed broker partners about which provider and quote fits your needs.
It depends. If you acquire your own appliances or bring them from a previous home, your tenant insurance will cover it. Appliances owned by the landlord are their responsibility as part of the lease agreement, and any maintenance or replacement will come from their pockets.
Homeowner insurance is for those who own their home or apartment, and it covers both their personal belongings and the structure of the home. Renters insurance is purchased by tenants, and it covers damage to or theft of their personal property, but not damage to the building itself.
Yes. The two terms are used interchangeably. Tenant insurance has a few different names. You might have also heard it called “renters' insurance,” “condo tenant insurance,” or “content insurance.” However you say it, it is a form of protection for tenants who do not own their home.
Landlords and tenants have different agendas and things they want to protect. From a landlord’s perspective, they want to protect the physical structure of the building but are not responsible for your personal contents.
If structural damages occur because of a fire or some other damage at an adjacent unit, your landlord’s insurance will cover the cost of renovating or fixing your unit. Contents within the unit are your responsibility and would be covered by your own tenant insurance.
Similarly, if something in your unit causes damage to the building, tenant insurance can help prevent you from paying out of pocket for damages. Tenant insurance can also protect you from legal liability if someone chooses to sue you if the are injured in your home.
As with many insurance questions, it depends. Some students are covered by their home insurance policies and not need the extra coverage. Some, however, opt to take out tenant insurance in a dorm to protect expensive electronic equipment or other valuables. It’s best to check with your home provider to see what you are covered for and what carries over to you in a dorm setting.
Pets are considered your property and are sometimes protected under the liability portion of your tenant insurance policy. So, if your dog bites someone and the person sues you for damages, for example, your liability insurance can protect you. Pets are only covered under the liability component of a renter's insurance policy.
Some insurance providers do not offer this type of protection. Also, some provinces and/or cities have banned specific dog breeds. Do your research and find out which breeds are allowed in the area you reside in, as that could potentially impact your level of coverage for dog-related incidents. We recommend double checking with your insurer to ensure you're protected.