What is renters insurance?
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What is renters insurance?
Renters insurance, also known as contents insurance or tenants insurance, covers your personal belongings against loss from fire, theft and other losses. Furthermore, it will cover your personal liability if you are sued because you injured a third party (i.e. neighbour, visitor, or landlord) or caused damage to their property.
Is renters insurance mandatory in Ontario?
There is no law that says you have to have tenants insurance in Ontario. On the other hand, you are legally responsible for any damage to your apartment and building so you should think about insurance. Your landlord may also require that you have insurance as part of the rental agreement or lease.
According to the Renters Insurance Consumer Insights Benchmark 2019 survey by US company Assurant, only 50% of renters purchased insurance coverage. There are many reasons renters do not buy insurance.
It’s too expensive. Renting an apartment is expensive when you add up the cost of rent, utilities, furniture and moving. There may not be enough money left in the budget so many renters choose to go without tenants insurance.
My landlord has an insurance policy. That may be true but the landlord’s insurance policy will not cover your contents or liability. If you damage the landlord’s building, you could be sued for the cost of repairs.
My stuff is not worth anything. Tenants insurance does not just cover your contents but also your liability should you flood a neighbour’s apartment or start a fire. The cost of a liability claim will be much higher than the value of your belongings.
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What does renters insurance cover?
Renters insurance does not just cover your furniture. It will also cover clothing, electronics, jewellery, toys, pots and pans and all of your other household items. Contents coverage is purchased for a specific dollar amount (i.e. $30,000). Keep in mind that coverage for some items are subject to exclusions or maximum limits. You can purchase higher limits for things such as jewellery for an additional premium. You can also purchase optional coverage for losses such as water damage.
Liability coverage protects you legally if you injure someone or damage their property. An example would be a person tripping in your apartment and hurting themselves. Another example would be if your sink or bathtub overflows and causes water damage to your neighbour’s apartment below. Liability will cover the legal costs of defending a lawsuit. A basic policy will cover you for $1,000,000 but insurance companies will allow you to increase the limit to $2,000,000.
Additional Living Expenses
An insured loss such as a fire could force you to live somewhere else while repairs are being made to your apartment. Tenants insurance will pay expenses such as hotel bills, meals, and moving costs up to the limits in the policy.
What does renters insurance not cover?
Most policies will not cover you if you sublet your apartment or put it on Airbnb. Always talk to your broker before doing this as you may be on the hook for a loss.
How much does renters insurance cost?
The cost of tenants insurance depends on the value of your contents and where you live but can be purchased for a little as $20 to $25 per month. Keep in mind there will be a deductible that you have to pay towards the claim before your insurance company will settle the loss.
If you have car insurance, you can get a multi-policy discount on your car and tenants insurance. The savings on both policies may be enough to pay for your tenants insurance.