Do I Really Need Tenant Insurance?

An example of a renter's insurance policy.

The short answer is yes!

When you consider what it could cost without insurance, monthly premiums may look pretty good by comparison.  When speaking recently with an Insurance Broker at Youngs Insurance, she shared these valid points:

Most tenants know that their landlords have insurance on their buildings – walls, floors, doors, appliances. But tenants need to know that a landlord’s insurance doesn’t cover your personal belongings such as furniture and clothing if they’re lost or damaged.  Tenants are also financially responsible for any damage they may cause to the personal belongings of other tenants in their building.

Why should I get tenant insurance?

  • Protects your personal items.
  • Even if you don’t have a lot of expensive things it can be very costly to replace all your furniture, clothes, books, electronics, sports equipment, jewelry and kitchenware.

TIP: When purchasing insurance be sure to keep an updated record of everything you own.  Taking pictures or video of your belongings also helps.

  • Protects you for the cost of damage you may accidentally cause others. You could be held legally responsible even if a guest to your home causes theses damages.
  • Provides coverage, including defense fees and potential settlements, in the case of a lawsuit commenced by a third party.
  • Guests who are injured in your rental unit may be able to sue you for damages.
  • Depending on the policy, it can cover additional expenses after loss such as a place to stay temporarily during repairs.

Is tenant insurance expensive?

  • It is widely available at low cost – monthly rates can be equivalent to the cost of daily coffee runs.
  • Exact cost depends on amount of personal property covered in the policy and the amount of coverage.
  • Considering the costs of replacing you possessions and the importance of protecting others, it can be a wise investment.

What kinds of tenant insurance is available?

  • Liability
    • Similar to liability coverage in a typical homeowner’s insurance policy.
    • Protects tenants if they or a guest damages the building.
    • Protects tenants if someone is injured in their rental unit or sues for damages.
  • Content
    • Deals with the replacement or repair of lost or damaged possessions.
  • Additional Living Expenses
    • Covers tenants stay in a hotel or another apartment if the tenant cannot live in the damaged building or unit while repairs are being done.
    • Some policies may even cover related items such as meals and hotel room charges.

What should I look for when considering tenant insurance?

There’s no standard tenant’s insurance policy so it’s wise to see what’s available before you buy.  Ask a lot of questions to determine what situations your insurance does and does NOT cover.  Here’s a start for you to ensure you’ve discussed:

  • Liability
  • Contents
  • Additional living expenses
  • Replacement cost
  • Cleaning and Repairs
  • Depreciation (loss of value of items from wear and tear or time)
  • Theft, Fire, Vandalism, Water Damage
  • Deductibles
  • Discounts
  • Scheduled articles coverage

For more information on what is best to keep you protected, contact a Registered Insurance Broker.