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Tenant insurance: what is it and who needs it?

One of the most common myths about insurance is that renters just don’t need it, plain and simple. Your landlord has insurance, so you must be covered too right? That's not the case though. Whether you are a long-term renter or have a child heading off to post-secondary school, there are coverage options you should consider.

Full-time post-secondary students who have not officially moved out of the family home — because they plan to move back home at the end of the school year, may be covered to some extent by their parent’s home insurance policy. There are concerns such as fire, water damage and theft but there are also liability concerns to be aware of. Plus, some schools require residents to obtain personal insurance because the university’s own insurance for its residences often only covers damage to property.

In the event of a fire or extensive damage to the building, the landlord’s insurance would likely cover the walls around you and any major appliances that came with your unit, but everything else is on you. This is where tenant insurance comes in.
Tenant insurance, sometimes referred to as renter’s insurance, doesn’t just cover the items inside your rented space — it can protect you in ways you never even knew you needed. 

Liability coverage
Sometimes accidents just happen, despite our best efforts to prevent them. Sometimes your puppy chews a slobbery hole in your best friend’s leather backpack while she’s supposed to be asleep in her crate. And sometimes you accidentally hit your teammate in the face with a baseball and break his nose…not to mention his designer sunglasses. With liability coverage, you won’t be stuck paying to replace that leather backpack or even the shades, and medical bills could even be covered, too. Thankfully, third-party liability coverage is a component of many tenant insurance policies, and it tags along with you wherever you go.
Everything you own — even outside of your home
You’re always on the go, and that’s why tenant insurance protects your stuff, wherever you may take it. When your designer gym bag is stolen from your locker — along with your new iPhone, your laptop, and all of your basketball gear — tenant insurance could have you covered. Without tenant insurance, you’d be stuck replacing it yourself. You may think you don’t own anything worth insuring, but your stuff might be worth more than you think.
Additional living expenses
If you need a place to stay while your landlord gets your apartment back in order (following a fire or water damage, for example), tenant insurance can put a roof over your head. Plus, you’ll probably be a little hungry after dealing with the stress of leaving your home in a hurry, and your renter’s insurance can even cover the costs of keeping you well fed until you can get back in the kitchen. Learn more about other expenses that may be covered under this section of your tenant insurance policy.
Replacement costs
Have you ever come home after a weekend getaway to find that your freezer has broken down and everything inside is rotten, including those steaks you were planning to cook up for that special someone? Without tenant insurance, you’d have to bite the bullet and replace those filets mignons — not to mention the rest of your groceries — on your own dime. But with tenant insurance, a foul smell will be your only worry. Learn more about replacement cost coverage and how it could affect you.
Identity theft
Identity theft is also covered under many tenant insurance policies. Your insurer could reimburse you for things like legal fees, the cost of sending certified mail, and the wages you lost when you had to miss work to resolve the issue. Identity theft coverage is just another way that tenant insurance protects you — the real you, that is.
If you have questions about your OTIP home insurance policy, contact your OTIP broker at 1-833-615-9329. If you’d like to get a quote for home insurance, chat with an OTIP broker today at 1-833-494-0085.
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