Most renters are under the impression that they are adequately covered by the landlord’s insurance policy. However, that is not always the case. The landlord’s policy only covers structural damages caused to the building in case of risks and perils. However, the contents inside your apartment aren’t insured. Thus, in case of a natural calamity like a flood or earthquake, you run the risk of losing your belongings if uninsured.

In this article, we will discuss all you need to know about tenant insurance in detail — in the meantime, if you are looking for insurance products in Canada, feel free to visit Surex.

What is Renters Liability Insurance?

You can’t rule out the possibility of a visitor sustaining an injury while on your property. They might fall down the stairs or slip and injure themselves. The possibilities are endless. However, as per Canadian laws, you are liable for the injuries sustained and must pay for the visitor’s medical bills. Simply put, you are personally liable for the visitor’s injuries.

This can have a significant impact on your financial resources. Thus, it is wise to get a tenant insurance policy that provides personal liability coverage.

Types of Coverage Under Tenant Insurance

Typical tenant insurance covers the following types of incidents:

Contents

The policy secures the tenant’s contents inside the apartment. However, this does not entail expensive goods such as jewelry. Other items such as your clothes, TV, refrigerator, and other personal effects are covered by the policy.

Personal Liability

As a tenant, you are responsible for any injuries sustained by a visitor while on your property. Thus, most tenant insurance policies provide personal coverage too. Tenants liability insurance pays out for any physical injury sustained by your guest or guests.

Accidents like falling down a staircase or objects falling on a person’s head are all covered under the policy. Thanks to renters insurance, personal liability risks won’t be keeping you up at night.

Additional Living Expense

Tenant insurance also provides for the “additional” cost of living if your rented property is undergoing a repair after an accident. However, the policy would shell out only the additional portion of your cost of living. This is essentially an amount over and above the regular rent you pay.

How Much Does Tenant Insurance Cost?

The cost of tenant insurance depends on a multitude of factors. They are illustrated as follows:

Value of The Content

This is, by far, the most crucial determinant of the costs of tenant insurance. The more value you want coverage for, the more expensive the tenant insurance will be.

For e.g.:

  • To insure content worth $15,000, you might have to shell out anywhere between $25-30 per month.
  • If the value of the content you intend to insure is $30,000, it might cost you around $35-40 per month.

Note that the premiums do not increase in the same proportion as the value of your content. This is because most insurance providers charge a minimum amount as a premium, regardless of the content value. This can be as low as $20 a month. However, it is wise to compare the policies of various providers before choosing one. You must evaluate the coverage offered by the various providers before choosing one.

Whether You Opt For Cash Value or Replacement Value

While you buy tenant insurance, you have the option of choosing between cash value and replacement value.

  • Under the replacement value option, you would be compensated at the current market value of the damaged item.
  •  However, a cash value policy would only reimburse the original cost of the item after deducting depreciation. Thus, you get lesser compensation under the cash value scheme.

The scheme you opt for would determine the premium rates. A cash value policy would be cheaper. Whereas you would have to shell anywhere between $30-40 per month for a replacement value policy.

Location of Your Property

Insurance providers deem some locations as high risks. Typically, locations that are more prone to natural calamities such as floods, earthquakes, or hurricanes are high-risk areas. If your property is located in one of these areas, the premium for your content insurance would be high.

The provider would be assuming a higher risk in such cases and thus needs to be adequately compensated.

FAQs

Here are some commonly asked questions about the tenant insurance policy:

Is Tenant Insurance Mandatory?

Canadian law doesn’t require you to purchase tenant insurance. However, most landlords require their renters to purchase one. Thus, you need to get this clarified while the rent agreement is being drafted. If the agreement expressly mentions it, you would have to get one.

In any case, it is a wise idea to be on the safer side, as this is one of the most affordable insurance coverage available in the market with multiple coverages. Thus, there are very few to no reasons not to get it.

Does The Policy Cover Water Damage?

The tenant insurance policy doesn’t cover direct water damages. Thus, you would have to pay to get any faulty pipes repaired. However, if the water leak has caused damage to your property (like furniture), you can file a claim.

Does The Premium Vary With Increase in Property Area?

Many tenants believe that the size of the property plays a significant role too. However, that isn’t the case. The policy covers the contents and not the structure itself. Thus, even if you have a large space with minimal content, you would not have to incur a hefty premium. On the other hand, if you live in a small apartment with a lot of stuff, your premium can be higher. The property area has no role to play in this.

Endnote

Many tenants do not feel the need for tenant insurance. However, they realize the importance of coverage in the face of dire situations. Thus, it is always recommended to be safe and get basic content insurance for your rented property. Compare quotes of various insurance providers and list down the coverages you require. It is recommended to talk to an expert who can help you choose an ideal policy.

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