No doubt you’ve heard of homeowners having home insurance, but have you ever wondered about the insurance options available to renters? If you’re moving into a rental apartment, condo, or house and would like to be brought up to speed regarding your insurance choices, then you need to know about tenant insurance. Here’s a quick guide to help you understand everything there is to know about tenant insurance.

What is Tenant Insurance?

Good question! As the name implies, tenant insurance is insurance that typically applies to those that are tenants of a property, in other words, those who rent rather than own a property. Tenant insurance is also known as renter’s insurance and it typically consists of three parts:

  1. Contents Insurance- this insurance covers damage or loss to your rented property that is the result of an insured risk. Insuring the actual cash value allows you to have coverage for the market price of an item at the time that item was damaged, and insuring replacement cost covers the expenses involved in replacing a damaged item entirely.
  2. Personal Liability Insurance- this insurance protects you from being liable if somebody is injured while in your unit. It also applies if someone’s property is damaged in your unit, taking all liability away from you, the tenant. Typical plans cover these types of costs up to $1 million.
  3. Additional Living Expenses- this part of your tenant insurance kicks in should you ever need to vacate your rented property in the event of an insured risk. Most plans pay a portion of your living expenses in a situation such as this. Fire, flooding, and unforeseen repairs are usually the culprits that make additional living expenses necessary.

How Expensive is Tenant Insurance?

Tenant insurance is more affordable than home insurance since it covers significantly fewer things. The average cost in Ontario is about $200 per year or $17 per month. The cost may be higher depending on the extent of your coverage and whether or not it covers more than just the common risks.

Do I need Tenant Insurance?

If it is not mandated in your lease, whether or not you get tenant insurance is up to you. But it’s important to be clear on some of the misconceptions about tenant insurance before making a decision.

The first misconception is that your landlord’s insurance automatically has you covered. This is not true, and any liability on your part, along with your possessions and expenses in the event you are forced to vacate are not covered under your landlord’s insurance.

The second misconception is the idea of not having enough valuables to qualify for tenant insurance. You don’t need to possess expensive items such as jewellery and fancy computers to qualify, seeing as everything in your apartment is likely to be valuable once it is all added up.

How do I get Tenant insurance?

Tenant insurance is offered by almost all insurance companies, so it is usually fairly easy to acquire. The easiest way to find out about tenant insurance is to ask your current insurance company that you have a car or home insurance with. The advantage here is the ability to possibly bundle tenant insurance with whatever insurance you currently have. If this is not the case, there are a number of helpful websites you can check that compare rates with different companies. No matter how you acquire tenant insurance, you’ll have to provide the address of your apartment or condo, an estimate of the total value of your possessions, your insurance history, and some other basic information.