Tenant Insurance for Canadians

Over half of Canadian renters do not have tenant insurance. A few misconceptions exist which is why many Canadians opt out of coverage. The biggest myth is that it is expensive. In Canada, most renters will pay $20 to $30 a month for tenant insurance. There are a couple of factors that affect the rate, including where you live and if you have ever made an insurance claim before. This is small fee to pay for insurance coverage and all the security it brings.

Another common misconception about tenant insurance is that landlords are responsible for obtaining coverage. Landlords are responsible for insuring their property, but that doesn’t protect you as the tenant. What remains uncovered when a renter does not have tenant insurance is theft or damages to the tenant’s property. In addition, any sort of liability coverage for accidents that may happen to others in their home are not covered.

When you rent, you are responsible for any accidents or damages to contents that may happen in your home. If you like entertaining guests and want to protect your valuables, you may want to reconsider buying tenant insurance for peace of mind.

What is tenant insurance?

Tenant insurance is coverage for anyone who rents a property. The insurance covers a certain dollar amount of property or liability for accidents in the event something is damaged, or someone is hurt. In other words, tenant insurance protects the contents and events that may happen within your rented property.

Policies vary in amount and types of coverage but should include property and liability coverage at the very least. You will work alongside a broker to discuss the value of the property you have in your home such as electronics, furniture, and clothing. For more expensive or unique property, like art or jewelry, you will have to request that additional coverage be added to your policy.

For most policies, property coverage starts at $25,000. Liability coverage generally ranges anywhere from $100,000 to $2 million. Tenant insurance protects you in case of accidents, theft, or damages. Lastly, tenant insurance will not cover sublets agreements or Airbnb rentals. These are considered commercial activity which would require different insurance coverage.

Do I need tenant insurance?

In Canada, you do not require tenant insurance by law. On the contrary, landlords are required to insure their property, but the coverage does not extend to their tenants. Some landlords do require their renters to purchase tenant insurance prior to moving in. This will depend on your lease agreement.

As a result of tenant insurance not being required by law, over half of Canadian renters do not have tenant insurance. This leaves many people at risk for both their personal property and any liabilities for other people who step into their home. While it is not mandatory to have tenant insurance, it’s worth considering getting a policy to protect yourself.

What does a tenant insurance policy cover?

There are two main types of coverage with tenant insurance: property coverage and liability coverage. Property coverage insures your personal property in the event it is damaged or stolen. Liability coverage insures other people who come into your home and their property. Let’s take a look at an example to demonstrate how tenant insurance coverage works.

 

There is a flood in your rented apartment while a friend is over. Your computer and your friend’s phone are destroyed by the flood. Property coverage would provide either the replacement of the electronics or give you the dollar value of the destroyed goods at the time of damage. On the other hand, your landlord’s property insurance would cover the damage caused to the property, such as flood cleanup and floor repairs for water damage.

 

With tenant insurance, if your rented home is damaged and unlivable, your insurance will cover extra costs in securing a place to live while repairs are performed. Tenant insurance will cover the added cost if the new rent you’re paying is higher than your previous rent. This provides peace of mind in the event that you’re temporarily living elsewhere while your rented property is fixed.

 

The final and biggest reason to consider tenant insurance is for liability coverage. People get hurt and other people’s property gets damaged all the time. When physical harm or property damage happens in your apartment, you are responsible. This leaves you vulnerable to being sued for medical and property replacement costs. With liability coverage, which comes with tenant’s insurance policies, your insurance company will handle any legal fees or medical fees you may have to pay because of an accident happening in your home causing physical harm or damages to other people and their property.

How much does tenant insurance usually cost?

The average cost of tenant insurance in Canada per month is $23. Check out the available average cost for specific provinces below:

   Alberta: $25

    British Columbia: $26

    Manitoba: $20

    Nova Scotia: $20 to $30

    Ontario: $17.50

    Quebec: $27

    Saskatchewan: $20 to $30


Is tenant insurance mandatory in Ontario?

In Ontario, like the rest of Canada, tenant insurance is not required by law. Landlords are required to insure their property, but this does not extend to their tenants. Some landlords do require their renters to purchase tenant insurance prior to moving in. Normally tenant insurance is required by some landlords so they can protect themselves from liability too. This will depend on your lease agreement and the landlord will generally require proof of tenant insurance.

Final thoughts

Tenant insurance is a small cost per month for big security in the event property is damaged or someone is injured. While it is not required by law in Canada, it is highly recommended every renter get at least the minimum coverage should anything happen. For example, they find themselves in tough situations without their property or with an injured friend. To keep yourself, your guests, and your property safe, consider tenant insurance.