Cover Your Assets: Tenant’s Insurance 101
What is tenant's insurance? In short, it is the best way to ensure your personal property and belongings are protected. To help you live better and do what is best for you and your family, we interviewed the experts at Hub International Insurance Brokers so you know more about tenant insurance, why it is important, and that it is relatively easy to apply for.
Most people know property insurance is required if you have a mortgage on a property, but what if you rent? Your landlord's insurance might cover some of the costs for damage associated with fire or flood, especially if the suite is in a house, but it won't cover the replacement cost of your belongings. What's more - if the damage originates in your rental, you could be liable for damages or losses to the rest of the structure.
Unless you have the funds to replace everything you own, you need your own insurance policy to protect your belongings in case of fire, theft, or damage. Tenant's insurance also provides liability coverage for damages caused by negligence. Negligence doesn't mean intentional. It can be damage caused from small "oops" moments such as damage from a grease fire or an overloaded washing machine. Also note, if your friend slips and falls in your kitchen, you are responsible.
Many renters are shocked to find out these other events might put them at financial risk. If your belongings are ruined in an emergency, it is not up to your landlord to replace them. If repairs or restorative work is required, meaning you need to find and pay for somewhere else to live, this is also not the landlord's responsibility. Most people think the landlord is responsible to pay the cost of relocating or temporarily housing them while their rental unit is uninhabitable because of a loss to the building. This is 100% not true. Even if the landlord feels a moral obligation, they are not responsible and the building insurance has no coverage for losses caused to tenants. The tenant package includes for a nominal amount of "additional living expenses".
An online resource for tenants and landlords in B.C. highly recommends both parties make sure they are covered. Some landlords might even require proof of insurance before leasing or renting. Some landlords, like Kelson Group, require proof of insurance before leasing or renting. You may want to consider asking your landlord about any coverage they may have specific to the rental.
One of the biggest deterrents to renters seeking coverage is the perception that it is expensive. But, according to tenantsbc.ca and many insurance providers, the average policy in Canada is written for $400-$500 per year. Hub International states this estimate is based on the minimum limit of $35,000 coverage. So, for $33-42 per month, you can cover your assets – minimal when compared to the expense of replacing all of your belongings or having to suddenly move.
"The process of applying is fairly simple as we complete an application form with the client, review the coverage and limits, get signatures and it's done," said Wendy Bronson
Personal Insurance Executive, Hub International Insurance Brokers. "We can do these by phone and email so it's pretty easy and doesn't take very long." Bronson adds most insurance providers will require some basic information about the building itself such as year built, type of structure, age and type of roof, and the age and type of heating system.
As with any type of insurance policy, there are always options to add more coverage specific to your needs. If you own an expensive bicycle or have inherited a family heirloom, you might want to have those items appraised and included in the policy.
For our team at Kelson Group, we know that your personal belongings represent some of your most valuable possessions. Tenant's insurance is an affordable way to protect yourself and your belongings in the event of a loss such as fire, theft, vandalism, and water damage. To view a copy of Hub International Insurance Broker's online form, click here.