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Tenant insurance, is it worth it?

About 34 per cent of Canadians rent their homes, yet more than half of Canadian renters (58.2 per cent)1 are living without any tenant insurance coverage. While tenants are not currently required to have a tenant insurance policy in place, most are confused about the level of coverage available through their landlord’s insurance. Below is a list of three reasons why you should have a tenant insurance policy.

  1. Your Landlord’s Policy Won’t Cover Your Stolen or Damaged Possessions

It is a common misconception that in the case of a disaster a tenant’s personal belongings would be protected under their landlord’s policy. However, this is rarely the case. If a disaster, such as a fire, a windstorm or a flood, were to occur in your building there would be zero coverage for your belongings – including your electronic devices, entertainment equipment, jewelry, collectibles, etc. The physical structure of the building, as well as appliances, may be covered through your landlord’s policy, but your personal possessions would be left unprotected. 

  1. Your Belongings are Worth More Than You Think

 Many renters falsely believe that since the “big stuff,” such as pipes, appliances, and the building itself, would be covered through their landlord’s policy in the case of a disaster, that tenant insurance just isn’t worth it for them. However, renters often underestimate the replacement value of their own possessions.
Think about all of the belongings in your rental unit right now and what it would cost to replace everything in the event of a total loss. What might seem like smaller and easily replaceable items at first – such as clothing, books, electronics, jewelry, entertainment equipment, furniture items, and small appliances –add up quicker than most renters would think. 

  1. You Need Protection from Liability Exposures

 If a disaster originates from your unit, such as a candle left burning, or a tap left on, not only could you be liable for damages to your unit, but to other units as well. Additionally, your landlord’s insurance will not be able to cover you if someone is injured on your property. If an accident, such as a slip and fall, were to occur in your home, the cost of medical expenses, lost wages and legal fees could be left at your expense. Having your own tenant’s insurance policy would provide you with liability coverage to protect you from these exposures.
Once renters total the cost of replacing stolen or damaged possessions, and consider the value of protection from liability exposures, the monthly cost of tenant insurance proves to be a small investment for big protection. Most tenant insurance policies also afford you with the option of purchasing coverage that suits your individual needs, generally starting at $30,000 and upwards in most cases.
If you are currently renting and do not have insurance coverage, consider purchasing a tenant insurance policy. If you are unsure if you need additional coverage or have any questions, contact your OTIP Insurance broker at 1-888-892-4935. 

  1. CBC News
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