Why you need it
Your landlord has coverage, 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 else is on you. This is why you need tenants’ insurance.
Sometimes referred to as renter’s insurance, it doesn’t just cover the items inside your rented space — it can protect you in ways you never even knew you needed.
- Liability. 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 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 stuff, 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 cover the costs of keeping you well fed until you can get back in the kitchen.
- Identity theft. 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 any 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.
- How much it costs. 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!