Mackay Insurance Blog
What Is Tenant Insurance and Why Is It So Important?
Are you getting ready to rent? Whether this is your first rental or not, you probably have mixed emotions.
After all, leaving the comforts of your previous home and stepping out on your own is huge!
Ready to embark on a brand new adventure?
In this article, our Mackay Insurance brokers discuss everything you need to know about tenant insurance.
What does it cover? Is it mandatory in Ontario?
Discover the answers to these frequently asked questions and more!
What Is Tenant Insurance?
Tenant insurance is another form of home insurance. But instead of the home itself, it protects you, the renter.
Let’s break that down a bit…
Home insurance protects against the loss or damage of the physical structure of a house. It also covers personal belongings from loss and damage and offers liability coverage.
But all these coverages focus on the homeowner. They do not apply to you if you’re renting a living space within their home.
Tenant insurance protects you - your personal belongings and liability.
What Does Tenant Insurance Cover?
Mackay understands that your home is your safe haven - the one place in your life where you should feel completely safe, at peace and at home.
That’s where tenant insurance comes in. It covers your personal contents, personal liability and additional living expenses (if necessary).
Whether you’re renting a house, condo or apartment, this coverage is your safety net.
This type of coverage is often called contents insurance. It protects everything you own!
In Ontario, contents insurance covers anything from your clothing to your furniture.
These items don’t even need to be on the premises. This coverage protects them whether they’re in your home or temporarily away (i.e. if you’re on a work trip or vacation).
Your renter’s policy protects these items against a list of potential perils. This includes:
- Vandalism or malicious mischief
- Damage caused by aircraft
- Damage caused by vehicles
- Fire or lightning
- Riot or civil commotion
- Weight of ice, snow, or sleet
- Windstorm or hail
- Falling objects
- Damage from water or steam. This could be due to household appliances, plumbing, HVAC, fire-protective sprinkler systems, etc.).
Tenant policies also include legal liability.
This is useful in two separate scenarios:
- If someone accidentally gets hurt while visiting your apartment, or
- If you cause unintentional damage to the rented space.
In either of these events, your policy can provide legal financial protection.
Extra Living Expenses
Additional living expenses coverage is probably not something you’ve considered before. It helps you pay for necessary costs if you’re forced to leave your home.
This coverage helps pay for moving costs, hotel rooms, storage, etc.
In what circumstance would you need this coverage?
Here are a few examples:
- If your rental is unfit to live in due to an insured peril.
- If you cannot access your rental due to an insured peril in a neighbouring premise.
- If there is a mass evacuation ordered.
The extent of coverage varies for each of these scenarios. But regardless of what happens, Mackay ensures you’re never left without a home.
What Does Tenant Insurance NOT Cover?
Before you sign a rental agreement, you should know what you are responsible for. While your policy does protect against many perils, it does not cover everything.
Your policy may cover the personal items within your car, but it will not cover damage to the car itself.
In this case, you will need to address your auto insurance policy.
Read to the end to learn about Mackay’s multi-policy discount opportunities with auto insurance!
Your policy does not cover loss or damage in the event of a bug problem.
If bed bugs damage your furniture, you are responsible for the repair costs.
Damages Due to High-Risk Dogs
Do you plan on keeping a high-risk dog breed (i.e. Rottweiler) in your rental space?
If so, this is a crucial exclusion to be aware of in your policy.
You will not receive liability coverage if the dog causes personal injury or property damage.
Damage to the Building
As mentioned above, tenant insurance does not cover the building itself.
In this case, the landlord’s home insurance policy will typically need to address the issue.
Loss Due to Earthquake or Flood
Tenant insurance does not cover losses due to floods or earthquakes.
You must request a separate policy if you would like coverage for this.
Is Tenant Insurance Mandatory in Ontario?
In short, tenant insurance is not mandatory in Ontario. But it is highly recommended.
Your landlord’s home insurance covers the building and their own personal belongings. But in the event of a fire, their insurance can’t help you.
You are responsible for ensuring the protection of your own belongings and liability.
If you do not choose to invest in tenant insurance, you need to cover all repair, replacement and legal costs.
5 Reasons You Should Invest In Tenant Insurance
1. Unexpected Events Happen
Unfortunately, nobody gets a warning signal when unfortunate circumstances happen to us. But with the right insurance policy, you can ensure you’re always covered.
2. Your Landlord May Ask For It
As mentioned before, tenant insurance is not mandatory. But we do recommend it for many reasons!
For one, landlords often ask for tenant insurance as a non-negotiable on a lease agreement.
This means that, without the policy, they will not allow you to rent from them.
3. Get an Early Start on Your Insurance History
Establishing your insurance history early can help lower your rates when buying your first home!
With that in mind, a tenant policy is a great way to begin planning for your future!
4. Protect Your Guests From Negligence
Accidents happen. But if you’re found negligent, that accident can quickly become a costly lawsuit.
For example, if someone trips on wet, slippery floors in your home and hits their head.
In a scenario like this, your negligence could cost you.
A tenant policy then helps cover the lawsuit expenses (up to a coverage limit).
5. Save Money With Multi-Line Discounts
Do you own a vehicle? If so, consider switching your auto insurance to the same provider as your tenant policy.
This could qualify you for multi-policy discounts!
Protect Your Rental Home With Mackay Insurance
Protect what's yours with affordable tenant insurance!
At Mackay, we ensure you get the best coverage at the best price.
Call your insurance broker in Belleville or Napanee to learn more about our tenant insurance packages.
Our Belleville Office: 613-966-5740
Our Napanee Office: 613-354-2555
You can also visit our website to get a free quote!
Renter Insurance vs Tenant Insurance: Which Type Do You Need?
“Renter insurance” and “tenant insurance”...These two terms sound very much alike, but are they the same thing?
This is a great question!
Actually, here in Canada, renter insurance is not the same thing as tenant insurance. And you really do need to know the difference in order to be sure you are purchasing the correct policy type for your specific needs.
In this post, we break down the definitions of each insurance product, what renter insurance covers vs. what tenant insurance covers, and how to know when to purchase each!
Tenant Insurance vs. Renter Insurance: Definition of Terms
Tenant insurance is insurance that protects you while you are renting a home, condo, apartment or other type of living quarters.
You would want to purchase tenant insurance in order to protect your belongings from loss, theft, damage or destruction while you are living in a rented space.
Renter insurance is a term used to make your existing insurance carrier aware if you are renting out part of, or all of your home.
You would want to purchase renter insurance if you have, or are planning to have, a renter, lodger, AIRBNB or long-term boarder living on your primary or secondary property.
What Does Renter Insurance Cover?
Renter insurance is a special type of insurance product that is designed to provide property, liability and possible contents coverage for a number of perils.
Your renter would be responsible for their own tenants coverage, which provides protection for their own contents as well as liability coverage.
What Does Tenant Insurance Cover?
Tenant insurance is designed to provide coverage for personal property and possessions (items inside your rented space) only as well as liability protection.
Here, the property owner or landlord typically carries a separate insurance policy to protect the property and structure itself.
As the tenant (renter), your tenant insurance policy covers what the landlord's policy does not cover.
Examples of the types of items a typical tenant insurance policy will cover include:
- Musical Instruments
- Sports Equipment
Who Needs to Carry Renter Insurance?
Renter insurance is an insurance product designed with property owners in mind.
For example, let's say you have a home that includes a garage apartment or furnished basement that you rent out to tenants. Alternately, perhaps you rent out a room or suite in your home to a lodger or boarder.
You would want to carry a renter insurance policy as an add-on to your homeowner's insurance policy that protects you from liability related to your tenant's presence or personal possessions on your property.
Many people insure their homes as a principal homeowners policy and the company is not made aware that any portion is being rented. This could put the entire policy in jeopardy!
Who Needs to Carry Tenant Insurance?
Tenant insurance is an insurance product designed with renters, lodgers and boarders in mind.
For example, let's say you are paying rent to live in a traditional apartment, garage apartment, condo, basement, room or suite. Your landlord has homeowner's insurance to cover damage or destruction for the premises and structures.
But that policy doesn't protect you or your property!
You would still need to carry your own tenant insurance in order to protect anything you store inside your rented space, so if something happens you have coverage to replace damaged, lost or stolen items.
In addition, you may need coverage if you cause damage to the property or premises - even if you had no intention to cause harm.
One of the most common examples of unintentional harm is fire damage that results from an unattended burning candle or cigarette. Another common example is pipe damage caused by flushing impassible solid matter down a commode.
Finally, you may need to carry tenant insurance to cover costs for a temporary relocation if your unit or living space is damaged or destroyed.
How to Know How Much Tenant Insurance You Need?
When you are selecting your level of tenant insurance coverage, consider your needs in these key areas:
Contents (personal property)
Figuring out how much coverage you need for contents is as simple as calculating the value of your personal property.
For example, how much would it cost to replace your computer, phone, clothing and furniture? Be sure to consider what it would cost you to replace the item versus how much that item is currently worth after adjusting for deflation.
Third Party Liability
In most cases, third party liability coverage starts at $1,000,000. However, for only around $25 a year more, increasing this to a $2 million policy offers far more protection.
Additional Living Expenses (temporary relocation)
To calculate how much coverage you need for additional living expenses, consider what you would have to pay in rent and bills to temporarily relocate if your current space became uninhabitable.
What is the going rate for rent in your area? This should be your baseline for coverage.
Mackay Is Your Belleville Tenant Insurance Expert!
Reach out to your friendly and knowledgeable Mackay Insurance brokers to request a FREE QUOTE on affordable renter’s insurance and tenant insurance!