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Mackay Insurance Blog


May 2023

What Is Tenant Insurance and Why Is It So Important?

Young girl moving into her apartment with a tenant insurance policy.

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.

Personal Contents

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:

  • Theft
  • Vandalism or malicious mischief
  • Damage caused by aircraft
  • Damage caused by vehicles
  • Fire or lightning
  • Riot or civil commotion
  • Smoke
  • Weight of ice, snow, or sleet
  • Windstorm or hail
  • Explosion
  • Falling objects
  • Damage from water or steam. This could be due to household appliances, plumbing, HVAC, fire-protective sprinkler systems, etc.).

Legal Liability

Tenant policies also include legal liability.

This is useful in two separate scenarios:

  1. If someone accidentally gets hurt while visiting your apartment, or
  2. 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:

  1. If your rental is unfit to live in due to an insured peril.
  2. If you cannot access your rental due to an insured peril in a neighbouring premise.
  3. 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.

Car damage

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!

Insect Infestation

Your policy does not cover loss or damage in the event of a bug problem.

For example:

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!

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