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Tenants insurance: get informed, get better coverage!

January 10, 2018

According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, 63%1 of Quebec renters are insured. Are you one of them? Here’s some information that will help you make an informed decision.

I don’t have many valuables. Do I need tenants insurance?

Besides covering your personal possessions, our tenants insurance policy can be really helpful in many ways, if an incident ever were to occur.

Avoid financial worries

Your bathtub overflows and damages your neighbour’s property below.
Your little rover accidentally damages your neighbour’s car in the parking of your apartment.
You leave a pot on the stove, causing a fire in the building.

Even if the damage is caused accidentally, it can cost you a lot—unless you have tenant insurance.

With our liability insurance (coverage included in any home insurance policy), you’re covered if you accidentally injure others or damage their property. This insurance covers you wherever you are—including at college or university or when you’re travelling. You can choose coverage from $1 to $5 million, under certain conditions.

But what about your personal belongings? Whether your TV falls down the stairs while you’re moving or your dishwasher causes water damage in your kitchen, our all risk insurance covers most incidents that can damage your property:

  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Water damage caused by plumbing problems or faulty electric appliances
  • Falling objects

Tip: If you’re shopping around for tenant insurance, it’s important to compare the same coverages; we offer all-risk coverage, but not everyone does!

Relocation in the event of a claim

Imagine being forced out of your apartment because of a loss. Where would you go while the repairs were being made? Many people would be able to rely on the generosity of their family or friends, but that’s not the case for everyone. Tenant insurance could cover your additional living expenses following a covered loss; that is, the expenses you’d have on top of your regular expenses because you had to move out during repairs. It’s a huge help at a time when you already have so much to deal with!

How do I assess the insurance value of my possessions?

1. Établissez la valeur de vos biens

Go through every room and take an inventory of everything you own2 (e.g., clothes, furniture, electronics, sports equipment) and calculate how much it would cost to replace everything (you might be surprised!). Write everything down and keep this list in a safe place (e.g., fire-proof safe, at your parents, on an online storage server (Cloud). The insurance benefits paid in the event of loss or theft would limit the financial impacts of replacing what you lost. And, having this list on hand means you won’t forget anything or underestimate the value of your possessions, and you can respond quickly in the event of a loss.

Tip: Keep proofs of purchase. You can scan or take photos of your receipts (ink tends to fade over time). It will make your life much easier if you have to make a claim.

See if you need any additional coverage

Do you live in a basement apartment? Your insurer will probably advise you to buy sewer backup coverage.

Is your apartment oil-heated? It might be a good idea to get fuel oil leak coverage to protect your property.

Don’t worry: Your property and casualty insurance agent will be happy to give you advice throughout the tenant insurance quote process so can choose what’s right for your situation.

Here are some examples of additional coverage we offer so you’re better protected in various situations, like:

  • Water damage (ground water and sewer backup)
  • Flooding caused by the overflow of a body of water
  • Water damage (above ground water) and weight of ice and snow
  • Escape of fuel oil
  • Earthquake
  • Valuables, such as watercrafts and bikes, jewellery and art objects

Who’s covered under the same home insurance policy?

The coverages under the same insurance policy can be extended to more than one person. Before taking out your own tenant insurance, check if any of these situations apply:

However, as soon as you cease to be a full-time student or a dependant of your parents, this coverage could end, depending on the terms and conditions of your parents’ policy. So it’s really important to check with the insurer to find out if you’re covered or if you might need tenant insurance.

You share an apartment

Up to 2 roommates can be insured on the same home insurance policy with Desjardins Insurance (however, that’s not the case with all insurers). Mention this when you call your insurer, and have on hand your roommate’s personal information as well as information on the value of your possessions and the coverage you’re looking for. Since the policy will be issued in both your names, you could save on your premium, compared to if each of you had your own separate policy.

You’re a student

If you temporarily move out of the family home while you’re in school full-time and you’re still a dependant of your parents, their home insurance policy might be enough to cover you at no additional charge. Example: if you live in student residence during the school year, you could be covered for your possessions and your civil liability. However, your parents will have to notify their insurer of where you’re living and the possessions that need to be insured.

What information do I need on hand to get a tenant insurance quote?

Your insurer will need the following information from you to prepare your tenant insurance quote:

  • Your exact address
  • Type of building you live in
  • Amount of the property you want to insure and the type of coverage you want
  • Amount of the deductible you want
  • Additional coverage you want, if any
  • Information about your roommate, if any
  • Number of past claims

Is there anything I can do to save on my tenant insurance?

There are lots of ways you can save on your tenant insurance:

Increase your deductible

We’re talking here about you amount you’d have to pay in the event of a claim like theft or water damage, even if you’re insured. A deductible is the portion of the loss that’s not covered under the policy. You can determine it with the insurer when you’ll shopping around for your insurance. It will usually be anywhere from $300 to $1,000. The higher the deductible, the lower the premium.

Bundle all your policies with the same insurer

Do you have a car? When you bundle your auto and tenant insurance with us, we give the Double Contract discount.

How can I prevent damage to my apartment?

Here are a few simple things you can do to keep your apartment and personal property safe:

  • Regularly check the batteries in your smoke detector
  • Make sure to turn off the burners on your stove when you’re done
  • Turn off the water supply to your washing machine after every use and use high pressure stainless steel braided hoses, which are stronger
  • Use a CSA-approved deep fryer
  • Don’t overload electrical outlets
  • Get a fire extinguisher
  • Clean your dryer filter regularly

Tip: To find out if you’re protected in the event of a loss, take the Tenant Challenge quiz—it will give you a good idea!

To sum up, feel free to contact your insurer to find out if you have enough coverage, depending on your situation. Your property and casualty insurance agent will give the advice you need, you so you can rest easy in the comfort of your apartment!

And you?

Have you ever had an incident in your apartment?
Were you insured?
How was your experience?


These tips are provided for information and prevention purposes only. They are general in nature, and Desjardins Insurance cannot be held liable for them. We recommend using caution and consulting an expert for comprehensive, tailored advice.

In Quebec, Desjardins Insurance refers to Desjardins General Insurance Inc. In Ontario and Alberta, Desjardins Insurance refers to Certas Direct Insurance Company, underwriter of automobile and property insurance.