Do You Need Tenant Insurance?
Because of misinformation or the lack of proper advice, some home renters forgo having insurance. A Tenant needs to keep in mind that even if you are just renting the place you live in at the moment, you need security. Keeping the place intact and your personal belongings secure is your responsibility.
It’s important to prepare for any unfortunate incident. You may not always prevent problems from coming your way, but having insurance will most definitely help you out when they come. Let’s look at some considerations in determining your need for tenant insurance.
What is Tenant Insurance?
Home insurance does not always automatically cover every item in the insured property. As a house lessee, a condominium tenant, or an apartment renter, you should never assume that the owner’s home insurance policy includes you and your personal belongings. It also differs from province to province, which is why we add these related pages about home insurance in British Columbia and Ontario.
The coverage of home insurance for rented property is primarily for property damage. Although it may sometimes also include certain appliances and pieces of furniture that the property owner may have opted to include in the lease, it is primarily for the protection of the owner, not the tenant. This is why tenant insurance is a necessity for renters who wish to have protection and peace of mind.
Tenants insurance is also referred to as renter insurance and contents insurance. It consists of a Liability Coverage, a Contents Insurance Coverage, and an Additional Living Expenses Coverage. Let’s take a closer look at these three below:
Liability Coverage deals with a tenant’s personal liability concerning unfortunate incidents that may occur within the leased premises. Such coverage includes the following:
- any unintended property damage to the rented property caused by the tenant
- accidental harm that may happen to a person living in or visiting the rented property
- possible expenses that may come from a lawsuit due to any such unfortunate incidents
Contents Insurance deals with any damage or destruction to a tenant’s personal property found in the rental home. This includes clothes, furniture, appliances, electronic items, and more. Such coverage includes the following:
- loss of any of the tenant’s personal properties due to burglary
- damage or destruction of any of the tenant’s personal property caused by natural calamities specified within the insurance policy
- damage or destruction of any of the tenant’s personal effects due to fire or water within the rented home that is accidentally caused by anyone living in or visiting the rented home
Additional Living Expenses Coverage
Additional Living Expenses Coverage deals with expenses that the tenant might unexpectedly encounter. This involves moving and rental expenses in the event that the leased property needs to be vacated temporarily due to a circumstance that is specifically covered in the insurance policy.
How Does Tenant Insurance Work?
Tenant insurance is essential for renters, but not everyone understands how it works, which is why we’ve decided to include another section that runs you through how it works.
• Making sure you and your possessions are protected
Having the right coverage in your tenant insurance policy protects you in case an incident occurs in the property under your lease. Sometimes, you may have expensive possessions that exceed the limit of coverage in your tenant insurance. Check with your insurance provider for any additional coverage you can add-on to be sure that your treasured possessions are properly insured.
• Making a claim on your insurance
There are considerations and steps to take whenever you need to file an insurance claim.
a. Consider how much your “deductible” is before you make a claim. Your “deductible” in the tenant insurance policy is the amount that you have to pay out of pocket for every insurance claim you seek. This is the amount deducted by the insurance company from the full value of the claim you seek. If the value of the item you either lost, damaged, or destroyed is less than or equal to your insurance “deductible”, your insurance provider does not have to issue any payout.
b. Consider if it is worth it to file certain claims. Do not assume that filing small claims will not affect your standing with the insurance company or an insurance broker. Bear in mind that filing numerous claims, even if they’re just small, may affect the amount you need to pay for your future premiums. Make sure you file a claim out of necessity, and not out of the mere desire of just wanting to get something in return.
c. Check what requirements are needed for your particular claim to be filed. You might need to call your insurance provider for these requirements as some tenant insurance policies don’t specifically detail this in their policy. You will most probably be asked to submit photos and receipts. Authentication may be a requirement in the case of jewellery and other expensive possessions. A police report in case of burglary is also a requirement in Canada.
d. Inform the insurance company as soon as possible that you wish to make a claim. Some insurance companies require a certain number of days for the filing of claims.
How Do You Get Cheaper Tenant Insurance?
As with any other thing you purchase, it is always prudent to look for a tenant insurance package that suits your budget without compromising any important coverage you will be needing. Here are a few tips on how to go about your search:
- Shop around and compare. Check the best insurance companies nearby or online. Get a quote from each of them for comparison. If you’re living in Ontario, renters insurance as of 2020, start from $12 per month. Seek the help of insurance professionals if you’re having difficulty getting all the information you need.
- Look for possible discounts that might be available among the insurance companies you are considering. Check with your bank, credit card company, organization, employment, profession, or anything else related to you that might give you eligibility for a reduced rate on tenant insurance premiums.
- Check if any of the insurance companies will allow you to bundle your tenant insurance with other insurance you might need. Insurance bundling may be available for vehicles, health, work, and home at a discounted insurance quote.
- Ask your landlord what is already covered in the home insurance of the property. If it already covers certain liabilities, exclude them from your insurance policy to lessen your tenant insurance premiums.
- Determine the right amount of coverage you only really need. Higher coverage means paying higher insurance quote as well. Choose only the specific covers you deem essential.
- If you haven’t settled on a lease yet, check with the insurance companies which type of rental property would have a cheaper tenant insurance premium. Charges differ between an apartment, a condo, a townhouse, and a home.
In finding the cheapest tenant insurance rate in Canada, make sure it has all the coverage you wish to have in your tenant insurance policy. And don’t sacrifice the essential coverage you need just for the sake of lower monthly premiums. You might regret it later on.
The Bottom Line
Although many places such as Ontario do not legally obligate renters to secure their tenant insurance, it is highly recommended that you get one for your own protection and peace of mind. Life is simply full of risks.
There are so many factors out there that can possibly work against you. Opting not to have insurance coverage can become an unsettling lesson if an unforeseen misfortune strikes. Having tenant insurance to claim help from might grant you the necessary financial leeway when you most need it.