In Ontario, renting a home or apartment is fairly common and most people experience renting at least once in their lifetime. However, when it comes to tenants or renters insurance many consumers do not have a tenants insurance policy or do not feel it is worthwhile. For the most part the consumers who buy a tenants policy only do so because they are told they need one from their landlord. Often this leads to looking for the cheapest possible option. Maybe they don’t think they have very much stuff so even if it was damaged or stolen they would be alright. Maybe they don’t understand what is being covered and just want to satisfy the landlord. Or maybe they just flat out do not know about a tenants policy at all. Whatever the reason may be we are here to discuss a few of the benefits to having a tenants insurance policy and why it can end up being very worthwhile.
One of the many factors with tenants insurance is that it is quite affordable. Most policies with the bare minimum for contents coverage (differs from company to company) and full comprehensive coverage range from $350 – $450 for the year. If you are able to bundle with your auto insurance that premium decreases even more and you can usually save money on your car insurance as well. Some companies also offer discount for paying for the full year rather than monthly.
Personal Liability Insurance
One of the most overlooked aspects of a tenants insurance policy is the personal liability insurance coverage that it provides. Personal liability protects you whether you are in the space you are living or out and about. Lets say for instance you are playing in a baseball game and you hit a foul ball and it strikes a pedestrian. That pedestrian may try suing you. With a tenants insurance policy you have protection to help cover legal costs should someone file a lawsuit against you. The same applies if someone is in your unit and slips and falls, or you leave a candle burning and it starts a fire. You need liability insurance to protect you.
Protect Your Stuff
Without a tenants insurance policy you will have no coverage for any of your personal belongings. These belongings are often worth more than you think. Think about all your clothes, books, electronics, furniture it all adds up. Your landlord’s insurance policy will not cover your damaged or stolen possessions. If for instance there is a fire in the building and your unit is completely destroyed, including all of your stuff, your landlord’s policy will only cover the physical structure of the building, there would be zero cover for your belongings. This brings us to the next point.
Additional Living Expenses
The additional living expenses coverage is very rarely talked about but can be very beneficial for a tenant. Lets say you live in an apartment building. A fire occurs on one of the floors above you. There is no damage or very minimal damage to your contents but you have to evacuate your apartment while they repair the upper units and restore power to the building. With a tenants policy you can purchase coverage that would pay for you to live elsewhere while that work is being done. If you do not have a policy you may be left to find alternate living arrangement on your own.
The final, and potentially most underrated portion of a tenants policy is the insurance history you receive. When you purchase a tenants policy you begin building property insurance history. This is beneficial if you are trying to purchase a house or other property insurance down the road. With prior insurance history your rates for your home insurance will be better because you have history, it also opens you up to more insurance markets to shop for your insurance. Plus if you go multiple years without a claim on any property policy (tenants insurance included) you will be eligible for a claims free discount on your home insurance with most providers.
Did You Know?
If you are a student in Ontario and your parents have a property insurance policy in Ontario you can receive coverage directly through their insurance provider and typically there is no additional premium charged. You simply need to have your parents let their insurance company and broker know. This is a great way to help students receive protection without additional expenses. If you parents live outside of Ontario you may need to purchase your own tenants policy.
Tenants insurance can be a great affordable way to protect yourself, your things and prepare you for the future. If you have any questions or would like to get a quote head to our tenants insurance page. One of our brokers will be happy to assist you.