The most common reason for not having coverage is cost, but with premiums starting as low as $15 per month, tenant insurance costs less than a night out at the movies.
Of the more than 14 million households in Canada, approximately 4.5 million are rented by tenants, according to the 2016 Census. A recent Kanetix.ca survey suggests that potentially 2 million of these households don’t have the protection that comes with purchasing a tenant insurance policy. The survey found that 48.5 per cent of Canadian tenants don’t have a policy to call their own.
Why do almost half of renters take the risk and forgo tenant insurance?
The most common reason cited in the survey for not having coverage is cost (47.8 per cent) with the remaining survey respondents feeling they either didn’t have much to insure (24.3 per cent) or believing they’re included under their landlord’s policy (17.3 per cent) or roommate’s coverage (10.5 per cent).
For each explanation cited, however, there are compelling reasons to reconsider the status quo.
Tenant insurance is too costly…but it’s not
With premiums starting as low as $15 per month, you’re looking at less than a dollar a day for coverage that will help you financially in the event of a fire or theft; for accidental damages you cause to the landlord’s property or neighbouring units; or, for guest’s injuries you unintentionally played a role in. The fact is, you likely pay as much (or more) for your Netflix and Spotify subscriptions each month than you would for a tenant insurance policy.
Chances are you’ve got more to insure than you realize
Even furnishing the smallest apartment means you’ve likely got thousands of dollars of “stuff” to insure. There are your big-ticket items like your furniture and electronics to consider, but there are also your other possessions that may not cost a lot on their own, but when combined represent a significant expenditure. For example, what you’ve spent on clothing, footwear, linens, cookware, small appliances and kitchenware can really add up quickly.
From your living room to your bathroom and everything in between, the value of your possessions and the cost to replace them in the event of a total loss (like fire) is significant—and beyond the financial capability of most people. Even a less than total loss, such as a break-in, can result in considerable financial difficulty.
Your landlord’s policy does not cover your possessions
While a landlord’s policy covers the physical home or unit you live in, as well as the furnishings that come with the unit (like the stove and refrigerator) it does not include your personal property or possessions. All that you own is your responsibility to take care of and a tenant insurance policy will ensure you and your possessions are protected.
Your roommate’s policy is theirs, not yours
In general, a roommate’s policy only covers them and their possessions. Unless you’re listed on the policy specifically, related, or in a relationship, don’t assume their coverage extends to you. Chances are it doesn’t and this is an oversight that can have costly consequences.
Why renters need tenant insurance
Many renters think of tenant insurance just as coverage for your possessions and belongings. Although this is the most well-known component of a tenant’s insurance policy, there are other components that are as equally important:
Liability: This component of your policy will protect you if you inadvertently cause an injury or property damage and are sued for it. Perhaps a guest tripped over your area rug and broke his leg, forcing him to miss weeks of work. Or maybe, when trying out a new recipe, you receive a phone call which distracts you causing a kitchen fire resulting in considerable damage. In both cases, liability insurance would have your back should a lawsuit ensue.
Additional living expenses: If you’re forced to evacuate your home, or are unable to live in it due to an insured loss, your tenant insurance policy will help offset the extra costs you’ll face. It will help cover costs, for example, if you have to stay at a hotel, put your possessions in storage, or eat restaurant meals.
Contact us with any insurance questions you may have!