Being a tenant, you might have a common misconception that you don’t need any kind of property insurance at all. A significant number of tenants in Canada believe in the myth that the landlord’s insurance will cover them as well.
However, do you know that the landlord’s insurance covers only the structure of the building? The policy doesn’t cover your personal belongings, leaving your furniture, appliances, and other possessions vulnerable to lose, damage, or theft.
You might be wondering, “can a landlord ask for tenant insurance?”. Legally, a landlord in Canada cannot force you to get a tenant insurance policy.
However, you might be required to get one as a part of your tenant agreement. It’s for the sake of protecting your own belongings rather than compensating for the damage you might inflict on the structure of the property that you need for tenant insurance. Reputed insurance brokers like Surex can help you find affordable policies.
What is tenant insurance?
Tenant insurance or renter’s insurance is a policy designed to compensate for the replacement or repair expenses of your personal belongings in a rented property. Unlike homeowner’s insurance, tenant insurance doesn’t cover the property’s structure.
However, if you happen to damage any structure of the system, like the electrical lines, plumbing pipes, or wall paint, your tenant might get compensation through your tenant insurance policy. This is because the fault lies on your end, and the damage doesn’t stem from natural wear and tear.
Many tenants ask insurance brokers “can a landlord require tenant insurance?”.
The answer is yes, although there’s no legal mandate or norm to support the homeowners. It’s out of their personal preference that they might request you to get one.
Can a landlord force a tenant to get insurance in Canada?
No, a landlord cannot force a tenant to get a tenant insurance policy in Canada. At most, the landlord can request you to show proof of insurance while signing the rent agreement.
In case you lie to the landlord that you have purchased the policy but actually refrain from getting one, you would be risking your belongings. In case of a disaster, the landlord’s property and building would remain covered under the homeowner’s insurance. What remains susceptible to loss is your property.
What does a tenant insurance policy include?
Here’s what a tenant insurance policy can cover:
1. Your personal belongings
Regardless of where you reside, it’s logical to cover your personal belongings. When you reside in a property you own, there’s no need to get a separate tenant insurance policy. However, when you are a tenant, you need a dedicated policy to cover your electronics, gadgets, clothing, furniture, and other belongings.
So, if any of your possessions are stolen, damaged, or rendered unusable, you get compensation from your insurer. Remember, most of these belongings tend to be expensive. Therefore, it pays to secure them using a tenant insurance policy.
2. Personal and legal liabilities
Suppose you reside in a rented home, and a guest sustains injury inside your property due to your fault. Falling from your stairs or slipping on the floor can lead to serious injuries. Having a tenant insurance policy will save you the financial expenses that come down the way. At times, the injured person can even sue you for negligence on the property. In these cases, you can manage the expenses necessary for the legal and personal liabilities.
Again, a fire breaking out in your room can spread to adjacent homes and damage their property. In these cases, too, a tenant insurance policy can help you manage your liabilities as you compensate for their losses.
3. Relocating expenses
At times, your rented property turns out to be uninhabitable due to flood, fire, rainstorm, or any other disaster. In these cases, you might need additional funds to seek temporary accommodations elsewhere. Having a tenant insurance policy will ease your expenses as you relocate to a different place and manage your repair expenses.
Besides, this policy will help you manage your living expenses, hotel bills, and meals at the temporary accommodation.
What does a tenant insurance policy not cover?
Although a tenant insurance policy is designed to compensate for the losses you incur as a tenant, these policies won’t secure you financially against certain perils.
1. Pest infestation
Pest infestations in your rented property can turn out to be disastrous. However, the insurer won’t cover these damages as it originates as a result of negligence on your end. So, the insurers won’t consider them to be an accident and thereby deny processing the claim.
2. Car damage
A tenant insurance policy typically covers items in the property. So, if your car sustains damage or any item in your car is stolen, the insurer won’t compensate you for the loss.
3. Damage from dogs
Some breeds of dogs are ferocious and dangerous. In case they cause any damage to the property or bite someone, your tenant insurance policy won’t compensate for the loss. However, some insurance companies provide add-on policies to cover this threat. You should have tenant liability insurance coverage to deal with this cost.
How much does a tenant insurance policy cost?
In Canada, a tenant insurance policy costs around $250 to $350 a year. Based on the value of the insured property and the corresponding risk profile, you can take the average to be around $300. So, the monthly premium comes down to anything between $20 and $30, which is pretty manageable.
Insurance brokers recommend paying the premium annually rather than monthly. This can help you save additional expenses like processing charges.
Can a landlord ask for tenant insurance? — Endnote
In this article, we have answered the question, “can a landlord ask for tenant insurance?”. Now that you have the answer, here’s how you can find affordable tenant insurance policies.
In Canada, top home insurance companies offer customized quotes for tenant insurance policies. However, it pays to narrow down the options to benefit from the best provisions. Most tenants reach out to established insurance brokers for professional recommendations. This way, they can keep the premiums manageable while protecting their belongings.