Is tenant insurance too expensive?
According to Infoassurance, a little under two thirds of renters are adequately protected by a tenant insurance policy.1 Many people think tenant insurance is simply about insuring your personal belongings. But there's a lot more to it than that!
Tenant insurance automatically includes liability insurance. In the event of an accident or negligence, liability insurance protects you if you’re held responsible for unintentional bodily injury or property damage affecting another person. You decide the coverage amount, which can range from $1 million to $5 million under certain conditions.
This protection can prove useful in several situations.
Here are some concrete examples where you may be covered:
In your home
- You pop a dish in the oven and forget about it. It causes a fire that spreads to the neighbours.
- You forget to turn off the tap and the bath overflows. The water damages your building.
- A friend comes over for dinner and breaks their arm falling down the snow-covered stairs you’re responsible for maintaining.
Outside your home
- Your dog bites a passerby and injures their leg.
- You crash into another skier and they suffer serious head injuries which prevent them from working.
- You inadvertently damage a piece of furniture in your hotel room.
- You take a bath and accidentally flood the basement of the cottage you’re renting.
- While working on your barbecue skills, you accidentally set fire to the shed.
Replacing your property
Even if you don't necessarily have a ton of material possessions, you care about them. Would you be able to pay the total cost of replacing some or all of your property in the event of an incident? Take the time to calculate the value of everything that you own. You might be surprised! Some everyday objects that we don’t think about are costly to replace. This includes:
- your computer
- your appliances
- your bicycle
You can also opt for a policy that covers the cost of fixing or replacing your personal property. If you have valuable property, you should let your advisor know so they can offer protection that meets your needs.
Relocation in the event of a loss
What happens if you have to temporarily leave your home following a fire or extensive water damage? Spending a few nights in a hotel can be fun, but it can also be costly! You might be lucky enough to have a generous family member or friend who can offer accommodation if you need it. But in the event of a covered loss, your tenant insurance could cover additional expenses related to housing, food and transportation if you can't remain in your home while the damage is repaired. Contact your insurer to find out more about the terms of your insurance coverage.
Is tenant insurance mandatory? No. Is it necessary? Yes!
In Quebec, purchasing tenant insurance is not mandatory. However, several tenants believe (wrongly) that their landlord’s insurance covers them in the event of a loss. However, you’re responsible for protecting you and your belongings and this might even be stipulated in your lease.
Still think it’s too expensive?
Here are 4 ways to reduce the cost of your premium.
1. Choose a higher deductible
The deductible is the amount that you must pay in the event of damage. The higher the deductible, the lower the insurance premium. You can decide the deductible that you’re prepared to pay in the event of a loss.
2. Combine insurance products and take advantage of discounts
If you have a vehicle, you can save by choosing the same insurer for vehicle and home coverage..
3. Share the premium cost
So your roommate doesn’t have insurance. Ask your insurer to add them to your policy so they can also be protected. By having 1 rather than 2 separate policies, you’ll benefit from a lower premium and share the cost.
4. Check if you’re covered under another insurance policy
If you’re a full-time student, you might be covered under your parents’ home insurance. All you have to do is check with their insurer.
Take inventory of your belongings
The best way to make your life easier is to take an inventory of your belongings and update it regularly. The Insurance Bureau of Canada created a tool that makes the job easier. Save proof of your property either by taking photographs or scanning invoices. This practice may be helpful if you need to submit a claim.
When you compare tenant insurance to the financial implications of a loss, it often doesn’t appear that expensive after all. Feel free to contact your insurer if you have any further questions or if you’d like to find out more about the protection that best suits your situation.
When you compare tenant insurance to the financial implications of a loss, it often doesn't appear that expensive after all. Feel free to contact your insurer if you have any further questions or if you'd like to find out more about the protection that best suits your situation.