Five reasons why tenant insurance is a must for all renters.

No matter where you live in Canada, having a quality insurance policy is vital for protecting your family, belongings and finances from the cost of events out of your control. 

If you decide to rent a home or apartment in Canada, the decision to buy renter’s insurance may be easy, but what if you’re living situation is a little more complicated? 

  • Will you live in a house owned by a relative or have multiple roommates? 
  • What if you found a great deal on a basement apartment or saved up to rent a condo? 

Let’s explore the role tenant insurance plays in these common living situations so you can secure the coverage that’s best for you. 

1. You live with family members.

If you are living with your parents, your belongings will typically be covered under their homeowner’s insurance policy, provided they have one. However, even if you live with a relative and are covered under their insurance policy, you may not have enough coverage if you have expensive possessions. 

For example, suppose you live with family and have valuable belongings like high-end jewellery or a designer shoe collection. In that case, the value of your belongings could exceed the limits of your relative’s home insurance policy. Speak with an insurance broker or get a tenant insurance quote to find out how to insure your most prized possessions. 

2. You live in a family member’s home.

If you live in a relative’s home and they live somewhere else, you should also purchase tenant insurance to protect your belongings. This is because your family member’s home insurance policy will move with them to cover their stuff, even if they still have a homeowners insurance policy covering the house in which you live. 

Even if a family member isn’t charging you rent to live in their home, you’re still technically a tenant. Therefore you should secure a personal tenant insurance policy to protect your assets and belongings from costly events, such as fire, theft, flooding or someone suing you after sustaining an injury on the property. 

 

3. You have roommates.

If you’re planning on living with roommates, it can be tempting to either skip renter’s insurance or purchase a single plan for everyone. While you never want to risk being entirely uninsured for the loss of belongings or liability claims, sharing a single renter’s insurance policy with roommates can also be risky. Instead, experts recommend that each roommate buy a separate tenant insurance policy for several reasons: 

  • You are not automatically covered under a roommate’s tenant insurance policy. If your belongings are damaged, or somebody sues you for an accident that happens in your home, you will not have insurance protection. 
  • If your roommate files a claim on your joint policy, it can affect the cost of your future tenant or homeowner’s insurance premiums even if the claim didn’t involve you. 
  • Sharing a tenant insurance policy means that both you and your roommate have the ability to amend, cancel, or collect funds after a claim. While this can be convenient, it can lead to disagreements, so you must trust your roommate entirely if you choose to share a policy. 
  • Often roommates don’t live together for long periods. Suppose your roommate moves out or a new roommate moves in. In that case, it’s easier to adjust individual tenant insurance policies than to cancel your current policy and buy another one with your new housemate. 

If you and your roommates buy separate renters insurance policies from the same insurance company, that can help simplify the process if you need to make claims at the same time. 

 

4. You rent a basement apartment. 

Are you thinking of moving to a secondary suite inside a landlord’s home – for example, renting a room or a basement apartment? It’s essential to find out if your landlord has insurance to cover events that could uniquely affect the basement of their home and secure appropriate tenant insurance to protect your belongings.  

Access to numerous fresh waterways is a great perk of living in Canada. However, this also means that many homes in Canada risk experiencing flooding. Flooding is of particular concern for those who live in basement apartments. 

Ask your landlord if they have overland flood insurance and if they’ve had issues with basement flooding in the past. It’s also a good idea to speak with an insurance professional to find out if your new space is located on a flood plain so you can determine the risk of your belongings experiencing water damage and insure them accordingly. 

Another major water-related threat to basement apartments is sewer backup damage. 

  • Has your landlord included sewer backup insurance in their homeowner’s policy? 
  • Have they also installed a sewer backup prevention device like a backflow prevention valve? 

These are good indicators that your landlord is taking the necessary steps to keep your apartment dry and safe. In addition, buying renter’s insurance for an apartment in a well-maintained and protected home can also make your policy more affordable.  

 

5. You live in a condo.

Whether you rent an apartment or own or rent a condo, tenant insurance is a crucial part of securing your home. If you live in a building with multiple units, check with your landlord or condo association to find out the details of what the building’s insurance policy covers. 

Most condo and apartment buildings will have a master policy covering damage to common areas and amenities like hallways, elevators, parking garages, main lobbies, etc. However, it’s best to have additional insurance to protect yourself and your space. 

There are many different types of condos, including fully and semi-detached homes and apartment conto buildings of various sizes. The kind of condo your unit is in and the unique master insurance policy your condo association has will determine what parts of your condo are covered under a master insurance policy and which parts you need to insure yourself. 

 

Tenant insurance examples for every living situation

Here are a few more examples of how your tenant insurance policy can protect you no matter where you live: 

  •  If your bathtub overflowed and caused water damage in your apartment and the unit below yours – your tenant insurance policy could help pay for repairs and liability claims for any injuries or damaged property. 
  • Suppose the uninsured tenant above you experiences flooding in their bathroom. In that case, your tenant insurance can help you pay for damage to your belongings and provide additional financial support for temporary living accommodations. 
  • Say you live in a condo, and you’ve upgraded the floors in your unit. If a burst pipe damaged your new floor, your condo association’s insurance policy would only pay for the original flooring to be replaced. In this case, your tenant insurance policy could help pay for you to restore your condo’s upgraded floors. 

*Remember that you should always tell your insurer before starting any home improvement projects to cover them under your policy. 

We’re here to help you insure any rental dwelling! We offer renter’s insurance for apartment units, condo units, townhouses, rental houses, and basement apartments!

Buy renter’s insurance. 

Have more questions about renter’s insurance? Check out Why do I need renters insurance in Canada? to learn more about deductibles, coverage limits and how your insurance can help you if you need to move out.