Whether you’re a student renting a basement apartment or a family renting a townhouse, having tenant insurance is highly recommended. Plus, it’s relatively inexpensive. Here are a few answers to the top questions you might have about tenant insurance (also known as renter’s insurance).
Why do I need tenant insurance?
Your landlord has landlord insurance, so you don’t need tenant insurance…right?
Not quite. In short – your landlord’s coverage doesn’t protect your stuff. So, if there’s a fire or extensive damage to your building, your landlord’s insurance would likely cover the walls around you and any major appliances that came with your unit, but everything you own is on you.
Thankfully, having tenant insurance can save the day. Without it, you’ll have to pay out-of-pocket to replace or repair your personal belongings like your laptop and cellphone. If you’re still on the fence, ask yourself “would I be able to cover the costs of a worst-case-scenario?” Plus, it doesn’t just cover the items inside your rented space — it can protect you in ways you never knew you needed.
What’s covered in tenant insurance?
Sometimes accidents happen, despite our best efforts to prevent them. Imagine you accidentally hit your buddy in the face with a baseball and break his nose…and his $800 aviator sunglasses. Or your new puppy chewed a slobbery hole in your best friend’s leather backpack. What if your neighbour slips on the sidewalk outside your house and sprains their wrist? The liability portion of your tenant policy will likely help cover the damage you’ve caused, including the cost of any medical expenses, too – plus it tags along with you wherever you go.
Everything you own
Tenant insurance protects your personal belongings, wherever you may take it. So, whether a flood destroys your furniture or your gym bag is stolen from your locker — along with your smartphone, laptop, and basketball gear — tenant insurance could have you covered. Without tenant insurance, you’d be stuck replacing everything yourself. You may think you don’t own anything worth insuring, but it all adds up.
Additional living expenses
If you need a place to stay while your landlord gets your apartment back in order (following a fire or water damage, for example), tenant insurance can put a roof over your head. Plus, you’ll probably be a little hungry after dealing with the stress of leaving your home in a hurry, and your renter’s insurance can even help cover the increased costs of keeping you well fed until you can get back in the kitchen.
Identity theft is also covered under many tenant insurance policies. Your insurer could reimburse you for things like legal fees, the cost of sending certified mail, and wages you lost for taking time off work to resolve the issue. Identity theft coverage is just another way that tenant insurance protects you — the real you, that is.
If you’re eligible, you might want to get sewer backup coverage. If water gets into your rental unit, this coverage will cover your personal items that get damaged. Even if you live in an apartment, your pipes could get clogged and overflow. So, this coverage could save the day.
Again, depending on eligibility, overland water coverage is a good idea if there’s a chance of flooding caused by excessive rain or spring run-off.
Is tenant insurance mandatory?
Unlike auto, tenant insurance isn’t required by law in Canada — but it’s strongly recommended. Plus, many landlords require tenants to have it in order to qualify for the lease.
You might be thinking “do I still need renters insurance if I don’t own anything expensive?” Well, you might be surprised at how quickly costs add up. Things like furniture, clothing, and electronics are personal items that are covered under your policy.
TIP: Do you own an engagement ring or a nice set of golf clubs? You may want to purchase additional insurance for these items since your personal belongings are covered up to a certain limit.
How much does tenant insurance cost and is it worth it?
The cost of tenants’ insurance really depends on how much coverage you need, the building type and location of your place and your claims history. But the average premium in Canada is between $250 and $350 per year. For most Canadian renters, that’s just $20 - $30 per month – about the cost of an extra-large Hawaiian pizza. Not bad for all that protection! So, purchasing tenant insurance is worth it for the peace of mind to protect you against unexpected disasters.
How can I save on tenant insurance?
There are a couple of ways that you can save on tenant insurance. The first step is to shop around and compare quotes. Just make sure it’s a fair comparison. Another way you can save is by bundling tenant insurance with your car insurance. Most insurers offer a discount for having more than one policy. You could also increase your deductible to save a few bucks. Just keep in mind that your deductible is the amount you’ll have to pay before your insurance steps in to cover the rest.
Everyone likes saving when they can. It doesn’t hurt to do some research to find the right protection at the right price.
Did you know? Sonnet offers special discounts to Canadian University Alumni, certain groups and associations, and professionals. Claim your savings today.
Accidents happen. Having tenant insurance will give you peace of mind knowing that your stuff is protected. We know rent can be expensive, but tenant insurance isn’t. Why risk going without it?