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Why do I need tenant insurance if I’m renting?

Renters Insurance

By Joanne Lemna | August 16, 2016

If you knew you were at risk of losing $10,000 or even $50,000 would you try and do something to stop it? Of course! Yet according to a study conducted by Substance Strategies, more than half of tenants in Canada risk losing everything because they don’t carry tenant insurance.

Why bother with tenant’s insurance if you’re renting?

Just as a homeowner will buy insurance to protect themselves from the financial loss of their home or belongings, a renter can purchase tenant insurance.

A tenant policy will cover you should your personal possessions be stolen, damaged or destroyed. This includes furniture, clothing, electronics, and more.

Even more important is that this same policy will also help cover costs for accommodation and other expenses if you’re forced from your rental unit due to an insured peril or covered claim. For example, if there’s a fire in your apartment building and you’re forced to evacuate for a few weeks, additional living expenses can help cover those costs. It helps keep a roof over your head while reducing the hit to your wallet during a stressful time.

It doesn’t only protect your stuff.

There is one more good reason why paying for tenants insurance is a good way to protect your finances: liability coverage. Just like homeowner’s insurance tenant insurance includes liability insurance coverage—so if someone is injured in your home the cost of their care and the cost of any legal proceedings is covered up to your policy’s liability limits.

Tenant insurance is very cost-effective.

Keep in mind that because tenant insurance doesn’t cover the structure of the rental unit you’re only paying for the repair or replacement of your belongings and for liability coverage. This makes tenant insurance extremely cost-effective with many policies starting at less than $20 per month. Some are only $100 or $200 a year!

So why don’t more people have tenant insurance?

So why do so few buy renters buy insurance? There are a few reasons:

  • Renters don’t know there’s insurance protection available for them.
  • They believe they’re covered under their landlord’s insurance.
  • Landlords may not require tenant insurance.
  • People may assume it’s expensive.
  • They may believe their belongings aren’t worth insuring.

When a homeowner goes to a bank to get a mortgage that lender actually requires the homeowner to purchase homeowner insurance. But landlords may not legally require a tenant to purchase insurance, so quite often a tenant either doesn’t know what they risk by not having this coverage.

Another reason is that some tenants believe that they are protected under a landlord’s insurance policy but that’s not the case. The landlord’s insurance policy only protects them from the loss or damage to the building and their belongings within the rental unit such as the kitchen appliances. A tenant’s belongings are not covered at all, nor is their additional living expenses or personal liability. This is what makes tenant insurance so valuable.

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