Too often, renters don’t think they need insurance. In fact, according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, about half of all renters don’t take out any kind of tenants insurance. This is a bad idea. It is extremely important for renters to be protected financially in the event of major unexpected damages or losses.
Why you need Tenant Insurance
Tenant’s insurance is reasonably priced – a small price to pay for the financial protection for all the possessions that renters normally keep at home, as well as personal liability coverage. Visit our What’s Covered page to see what is covered under a Co-operators Tenant package.
Is it really worthwhile? My stuff isn’t worth very much
Many renters choose not to take out tenants insurance because they underestimate the value of their personal belongings. But just imagine if there was a fire in your apartment and you had to replace everything you own all at once. The average person would find that with a one-bedroom apartment, a policy for $15,000 coverage would probably not be adequate. To estimate what your belongings are worth, conduct a home inventory. List all your goods, including clothing and furniture, and estimate what it would cost to replace everything.
Possessions may be valuable, but liability costs can be enormous
You may be surprised to learn that as a renter, you are legally responsible for the harm you cause to any part of your building, and to others who live or visit there. Suppose your toaster oven starts a fire that damages not only your apartment, but also the entire complex. Not only would you have to replace your own possessions, you also could find yourself liable for the cost of repairs to the whole building, even if your landlord has fire insurance. As well, your responsibilities extend even beyond you own actions. For example, if you are hosting a party and your friends get out of line and cause damage to the building, you could be found liable for the resulting damages.
As a student, I am covered under my parents’ home insurance, aren’t I?
If you are a student studying out of town during the school year, your parents’ home insurance policy will usually provide some coverage for contents and liability while you’re away from home. However, this coverage often has limits. It’s best to check with your insurance advisor to determine whether you should purchase additional coverage for the year you are in school.
Get to know your stuff and keep your records safe
Taking inventory of your personal belongings allows you to evaluate the amount of coverage needed and helps minimize stress after a fire, break-in, or other type of loss. There are many ways to create a home inventory; choose a method that works best for you. It’s also a good idea to keep receipts and warranties for large items such as televisions and computers. The receipts serve as proof of ownership and value if you need to make a claim. Be sure to review and update your inventory annually.
Get to know your policy and adjust your coverage as needed
No insurance policy covers everything. Take some time to review your policy and get answers to your questions. The wrong time to discover what you policy does – and does not – cover is in the aftermath of an accident.
If your latest inventory tells you that the value of your possessions is greater than the amount of contents coverage in your policy, have it changed. Likewise, review your policy to see if there are any limits on such items as jewellery, furs, or that prized hockey card collection. Since certain items may be worth more than your policy’s limit, they may need to be insured separately based on their appraised value.
With the Co-operators, tenant insurance comes in two categories: Broad/Classic and Comprehensive/Prestige. Comprehensive/Prestige insurance is recommended for tenants who want more protection for their belongings. Contact us today for a quote or get a quote online now.