Tenant Insurance In Toronto
Moving out into the big city? Found a cool pad in a trendy Toronto neighbourhood? You’ve got a lot to sort out before moving day, and one of the most important questions on your mind is: Do I need tenant insurance?
When you ponder home insurance, you probably think of how it covers big-ticket claims—water damage to the foundation, plumbing repairs, or roofs collapsing. But as a renter, you don’t own the building you live in, and you aren’t responsible for its upkeep. Do you still need insurance?
There’s a lot of confusion surrounding tenant insurance. Like, why should you insure a property if you don’t own it? Which incidents will be covered—and which ones won’t? And do you still need tenant insurance if your landlord doesn’t require it?
At Westland, we assist tenants in getting the coverage they need. We’ll help you find out why you need insurance, what it covers, and how much it will cost:
What Does Tenant Insurance Cover?
So, if your landlord has insurance, do you still need your own policy?
Yes. Your landlord’s insurance covers the apartment complex itself, the exterior structure, the common areas, and the roof. But your tenant insurance is for the contents of your suite. Without it, none of your belongings will be protected. That’s why you still need your own insurance policy.
Curious about tenant insurance? You probably want to know exactly what you’re signing up for.
We’re here to explain the ins and outs of renter’s insurance. With tenant insurance, you’ll get coverage for the following:
Over the years, we accumulate a lot of stuff. If you had to guess, how much would you say the total value of all your belongings is?
Once you add up the numbers, you realize that replacing all of your items would cost a lot.
That’s where personal belongings coverage comes in handy. It will cover the replacement cost of your items if they’re damaged or stolen. This policy applies to your electronics, jewellery, clothing, and other valuables.
If you have a lot of high-value items, make sure to choose a policy with a high coverage limit. We recommend adding up the cost of all your belongings before shopping for a policy; that way, you won’t risk being underinsured.
Once you move in, you decide you want to add your personal flair to the suite. Once your landlord gives you the thumbs up, you have permission to customize your rental unit and improve its value.
A surround sound system. An artsy shelving system in the closet. Maybe even a hot tub! These permanent upgrades add value to your apartment, and you need a policy that covers them accordingly. Any “home” improvements you make to the unit will be covered through this insurance.
This is possibly the most important part of any tenant insurance policy.
To illustrate how this coverage works, imagine if you accidentally left your oven on. It started a fire which caused damage to most of the building. You’d be responsible to pay for property damage to not only your unit but the entire apartment complex.
Personal liability coverage will reimburse you for these costs—the damages, the lawsuit, and settlement expenses.
This coverage kicks in if you’re away from home and accidentally cause property damage to someone else’s home. It also covers unintentional bodily injury; for example, if someone slips on a wet floor and is injured in your rental unit.
Is your rental unit temporarily unavailable? This may be due to fire or water damage. If so, your life may feel like it’s in total upheaval.
Don’t worry: With renter’s insurance, your alternate living expenses will be taken care of. This policy will cover the cost of a hotel or Airbnb. You’ll also be reimbursed for the cost of meals you purchase.
What Does It Not Cover?
Every policy has its limits. It’s important to be aware of what falls outside your coverage—that way, you won’t get an unpleasant surprise when you go to make a claim.
Do you have a lot of high-value items in your suite? Think computer equipment, a mountain bike, or jewellery. If so, the replacement cost of those items may go beyond what your policy covers. You can always increase your coverage limits; give us a call, and we’ll be happy to help you out.
In addition, not all types of damage will be covered. For example, without sewer backup coverage, you won’t be covered for sewage damage if your drain backs up.
Coverage Options for Renters
Need a little more from your insurance policy? Worried that the standard coverage just won’t cut it?
That’s what optional coverage is for. You’ll need to pay more for these extra policies, but you’ll also get enhanced coverage that can pay off in an emergency.
So, what optional coverage add-ons are available? Here’s what you can choose from:
- Identity Theft. If your personal information is stolen, this insurance will help restore your identity and your money.
- Home-Based Business. Do you run a business out of your apartment? If you have clients come to visit your rental unit, make sure you’re protected with this insurance add-on.
- Watercraft. Do you plan on storing a boat on your rental property? Watercraft insurance will protect your boat from damage or theft.
- Overland Water. If you’re concerned about damage from heavy rainfall, overflow from lakes, or spring run-off, this policy offers the coverage you’re looking for.
- Sewer Backup. A policy that’s great for any renters who live in a basement suite. Cover the cost of replacing any belongings destroyed by sewage overflow.
- Claim Protector. After your first claim, you’ll be “forgiven” by your insurance provider; that means your premiums won’t go up.
Do All Renters Need Tenant Insurance?
Even though home insurance and renter’s insurance are different, they’re similar in a lot of ways. Even if tenant insurance isn’t required by your landlord, we highly recommend it. The cost of replacing most or all of your personal belongings can be enormous. Save yourself from financial trouble, and enjoy peace of mind knowing you’re protected with a tenant insurance policy.
Renter’s Insurance FAQ
Still have questions about tenant insurance policies? There’s a lot to unpack. To help you out, we’ve set out to answer the most commonly asked questions about your insurance:
That depends—do you want to stay with the same provider?
If so, simply let your insurance company know that you’re changing addresses. They can change your policy accordingly.
But if you’re moving out of the province, you’ll probably need to cancel your policy and set up a new one at your next address.
If you have any questions about how moving affects your tenant insurance, give us a call! We’ll be happy to help you out.
Before you can start getting online tenant insurance quotes, you’ll need to provide the following:
- The address of your rental unit
- The names of those who will be occupying the property
- The estimated value of your personal belongings
Absolutely! By raising your deductible, you can decrease the cost of your monthly premiums. Keep in mind that with a higher deductible, you’ll need to pay more before you’re reimbursed for an insurance claim.
You can pay for your tenant insurance monthly in smaller installments. But if you prefer to pay upfront, you can pay annually and cover the cost of the policy for one year. Your insurance provider may offer you a discount if you pay annually.
Any measure that lowers the likelihood or the cost of a claim can definitely lower your rates. A few examples include:
- Customers 50 years of age or older. If you’re above a certain age, your tenant insurance rates may be lower. Be sure to tell your provider when it’s your birthday!
- Claims-Free. Whenever you make a claim, your insurance premiums will increase. Try to only make a claim when necessary to keep your costs low.
- Local Alarm. By adding a security system, you lower the likelihood of a break-in.
- Monitored Alarm. A monitored alarm is the next step up; it alerts you and the proper authorities if there is an emergency.
- Sprinkler System. A sprinkler can reduce the damage caused by a fire.
- Water Leak Detection Device. Find water leaks before they cause major issues with a detection device.
- Multipolicy. Bundle your tenant insurance with your car insurance to save on your monthly premiums!
- Increase in Deductible. Raise your deductible to make your monthly costs lower.
Most tenant insurance providers only offer 12-month policies. However, you may have the option to cancel your policy before the year is up. Set up a call with a licenced insurance advisor at Westland, and we can walk you through it.
Is tenant insurance mandatory?
Not necessarily; some landlords will still rent to you without it.
However, it’s highly recommended! You never know what the future holds. Protect yourself against unexpected expenses (damage to your belongings, theft, or liability issues) with tenant insurance.
Your monthly premiums are affected by a handful of factors, including:
- Credit score. Those with a lower credit score may be considered high risk to an insurance provider.
- Location of your rental unit. If you live in an area with higher rates of crime or vandalism, this will factor into your costs.
- Your deductible. If you choose to raise your deductible, you can bring down your premium costs.
- Claims history. Insurance claims will make your costs go up.
- Coverage limits. By extending your personal contents coverage, you’ll need to pay more for your policy.
- Policy add-ons. Any optional coverages that you add to your policy will make it more expensive.
Get an Online Tenant Insurance Quote With Westland Insurance Today!
Insurance doesn’t have to be complicated. At Westland, we make the process totally transparent. It’s simple: We compare quotes from different providers to get you the best rates on tenant insurance.
Ready to get started? In just a few minutes, we can set you up with an online quote. Request a quote from Westland Insurance today!