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Rental Insurance

Getting rental insurance for your home comes with tons of benefits. For one, it ensures you’re covered if a renter damages your property. It also covers any injury they sustain while on your property.

If you don’t have renters insurance, it could cost you thousands of dollars to replace your belongings. You can also be held liable for any injuries caused by a renter, thereby paying their medical bills.

The best part of getting tenant insurance is that the process is simple. Plus, several reputable insurance companies offer this coverage.

This guide details everything you need to know about rental insurance from start to finish. We’ve also included several insurance companies that provide this service to help you find the best rates.

Let’s dive into how this insurance coverage works and what you should look for when choosing an insurer.

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What is Rental Insurance?

Rental Insurance is a policy that caters to tenants and their property when renting out the premises. It covers them against loss or damage to their belongings, including furniture, appliances, electronics, clothing, and other items.

If you accidentally damage your rented apartment, tenant insurance ensures you don’t pay everything from your pocket. The coverage includes replacement costs. This means the insurer will pay back a certain amount of money to replace your lost possessions with new ones. This insurance also protects your possessions from vandalism and theft.

When signing up for insurance, it’s essential to confirm your coverage, limits, and liability before purchasing the package. Many rental insurance policies could cover up to $1 million or more, depending on how much coverage you need.

Most insurance companies offer two types of coverage for rental insurance: all risk and named perils. While the first provides coverage for all your items, the latter covers only the perils expressly stated.

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How Does Tenant Insurance Work?

Tenant insurance covers people who rent living spaces like dorms, apartments, and houses. It protects against losses or damages to the personal belongings of the renter. The coverage pays for replacing damaged or stolen items, as well as paying for repairs to the property itself.

It’s important to note that many landlords require tenants to purchase renters insurance. However, Canada has no legal obligation to carry this type of insurance.

Getting renters insurance would help you avoid having to foot the bill if something happens to your belongings.

What does Rental Insurance Cover?

Regardless of the type of coverage you opt for, rental insurance covers you in three ways. It includes cover for home contents, liability, and additional living expenses.

Let’s break down each one of these categories:

1. Contents Insurance for Tenants

Contents insurance protects your belongings against loss or damage. It includes furniture, appliances, electronics, clothing, and other valuable possessions. However, certain items are subjected to limits, which could reduce the payable amount upon damage.

The item covered by content insurance depends on the coverage you are purchasing. While an ‘all risk’ policy caters to everything in your apartment, the named perils only cover specifically named contents.

2. Liability Insurance

This insurance covers your liability to third parties who might get injured due to your negligence. For example, if you accidentally break someone’s leg while cleaning up the kitchen, you will be liable for medical expenses. It also caters to replacing someone else’s property you accidentally damaged.

3. Additional Living Expense (ALE)

ALE insurance pays out money to replace your lost income due to the damage caused to your rented premises. If you lose your job because of the injury, you can use this coverage to receive compensation. It also covers costs such as hotel bills and meals incurred due to your living space being damaged or uninhabitable.

What Doesn’t rental insurance Cover?

Rental insurance won’t cover damages caused by acts of nature, pets, faulty craftmanship or normal wear and tear.

 You may check with your insurance company to know what their policy covers.

Damage caused by Acts of Nature

If a hurricane hits your house, your rental insurer won’t compensate you for the damage. This cover falls under the standard homeowner’s insurance policy.

Pets

Your renters’ insurance will also not cover any damages caused by your pet. If your dog, cat, or other pet causes damage, it’s up to you to pay for repairs.

Faulty Craftsmanship

If any damages occur from faulty construction work, you’ll need to file a claim with your homeowners’ insurance company. Such damages don’t usually fall under a tenant’s coverage, but it is worth checking with your insurer.

Normal Wear and Tear

You should expect some wear and tear over time. It’s a natural part of owning anything and doesn’t come under the scope of coverage.

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How Much Money does Rental Insurance Cover?

If you go for a standard or basic rental insurance package, the policy could cover up to $100,000 in liability. Common causes or events that qualify for renter’s insurance claims include:

  • Fire and lightning
  • Windstorm and hail
  • Explosions
  • Riots
  • Smoke damage
  • Vandalism
  • Theft
  • Short-circuit damage caused by electrical appliances

Furthermore, it’s essential to understand how the insurance company will pay the money when you need it. Typically your insurer would calculate and pay you under your policy using these two methods:

  1. Actual Cash Value: As the name suggests, your insurer would pay you the amount you initially purchased the item. They won’t consider any price depreciation from the purchase time to damage.
  2. Replacement Cost: In this case, your insurer will give you enough money to purchase your damaged item at today’s cost. Or they can substitute the product with a similar one.

It’s worthy to note that your insurer reserves the right to determine how they would pay for your item. Reading your insurance policy before signing up will help you understand your coverage. You can also ask your insurance agent which policy covers total replacement costs and pays the property’s actual value.

How Much Does Rental Insurance Cost?

On average, renters insurance costs around $15 to $50 a month in Canada. However, the cost varies by location as the issuer will consider several factors before deciding how much you pay monthly.

Sometimes, the insurance company might want to verify that you can meet a specific monthly fee. Some may ask for your bank statement.

What Determines the Cost of a Rental Insurance Quote?

Several factors affect the cost of rental insurance. These include your location, property type and construction, insurance claims history, liability limit, and coverage.

Generally, insurance companies would consider these factors to determine how much money you would pay for your renters’ insurance. They are very similar to those of a home insurance policy.

1. Location

The location of your apartment is an essential factor as insurance costs vary due to this factor. While some cities have much higher than others, this factor could differ between neighbourhoods in some cases.

Most insurance companies would demand your home location. This inquiry helps them determine the risk of theft based on the crime rate in the area. How close you are to a fire station is also considered in case there’s an outbreak. Furthermore, if you live close to a water body, your insurance cost may be significantly higher as you risk flooding.

2. Property Type and Construction

In most cases, the larger the space, the higher the insurance cost. For example, insuring a basement apartment would be more expensive than a bedroom, as it’s more at risk for flooding.

The insurance company would likely survey the structure you’re living in; if it were well constructed and regularly maintained, your insurance would be cheaper. On the other hand, insurance costs would be higher if you live in an old or poorly made structure.

3. History of Insurance Claims

Your claims history dramatically affects how much your rental insurance costs. This detail hints at what to expect from you in the future. If you have made several claims in the past, your insurance cost would be higher.

In some cases, your insurance providers may dictate your prices. However, it’s important to note that some companies may be more expensive or cheaper than others.

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4. Your liability limit and coverage

You can specify your liability limits and how much coverage you want during the application process. Generally, setting your liability limit above standard ($1 million) would attract higher premiums.

Also, your monthly fee would be higher if you purchase more robust coverage, like all-items coverage rather than named perils. The higher you set this estimate, the more you pay, and the more you’re covered for expensive lawsuits.

Why Do You Need Tenant Insurance?

The most obvious reason to buy a rental insurance policy is to safeguard your belongings. After all, no one wants to find themselves without a single item after moving into a new place. Therefore, having a policy in place is an excellent idea.

Another important reason to purchase a renter’s insurance policy is to protect yourself from legal liabilities. This is especially true when you frequently have guests coming to your apartment. In case something goes wrong, you could end up paying damages to your guests. 

Lastly, purchasing a rental insurance policy provides peace of mind. When you move into a new house or apartment, there are bound to be unforeseen circumstances that could cause damage. With a rental insurance policy, you know that you won’t be left high and dry.

How Much Coverage do I Need?

The amount of coverage you require should equal the amount of personal property you own, the value of your savings, and any other assets you own. The more you lose, the more protection you require from your insurance policy.

First, take an inventory of your stuff to determine how much personal property coverage you own. Then use this information to decide how much rental insurance coverage to purchase. There are several home inventory apps available to assist you in cataloging your various belongings. This may also come in handy if you ever need to file a claim.

How to Get Your Tenant Insurance

Getting rental insurance is relatively straightforward nowadays, especially when purchasing it online. You’d be required to provide basic information like your name, email address, and phone number. You also have to specify where your new address is located and when you want the policy to start. In some situations, you may need to give additional information regarding your new home, such as:

  • Its age
  • Current condition
  • Proximity to a water body,
  • Closeness to a fire hydrant or fire station.

Once you’ve settled, you’ll likely have three quote options. At this point, you’d have to select the package you can afford. You can change your quote in real-time and customize your coverage. Furthermore, you may purchase your selection online and instantly.

Alternatively, you can request a quote retrieval code if you’d like to activate your purchase at a later date.

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Where Can I get Tenant Insurance?

You can get rental insurance in Canada from Apollo Insurance and Square One, among others. These two companies offer comprehensive policies with competitive rates. There are others too, but these two are probably the best known. They’re both well-established and reputable.

However, not all insurance companies in Canada offer rental insurance. If you have a cover from another provider, then you may ask them if they offer renters insurance. However, ensure their policy covers everything you need before signing on the dotted line.

If they don’t, then you can consider getting a separate policy through one of the mentioned providers. Let’s review what each offers to help you choose which option is right for you.

Apollo

Apollo is one of the best insurance companies in Canada that offers rental insurance. Their policy protects you and your belongings from accidental fire or water damage. They are a great option if having rental insurance is part of your lease agreement.

Apollo gives you the option to pay monthly off your credit card and instantly emails your insurance policy to you. They also offer competitive premiums starting at $19 and quality coverage in less than 5minutes.

Pros

  • Save time and money by getting multiple estimates on your business or renter’s insurance in just a few clicks.
  • Rental insurance and small company insurance are both affordable options.
  • APOLLO offers a comprehensive range of insurance options for small business owners.
  • Only purchase the insurance you require. It is possible to tailor almost any form of the insurance policy.
  • For many Canadians, APOLLO Insurance is their go-to platform for their company and tenant’s insurance policies.
  • It’s easy to see exactly what you’re purchasing and how much you’ll end up paying, so there are no surprises.

 Cons

  • New to the market
  • Not all provinces have this option.

Why Choose Apollo?

APOLLO Insurance makes tenant’s and business insurance shopping easier for Canadians. The company instantly lets you get a policy without finding or waiting for a broker. Usually, brokers often complete paperwork on internet quotes. However, APOLLO automates the process by allowing you to buy insurance online with a quick and highly customized approach.

Square One

For Canadians, this insurance business offers a flexible rental insurance package. There is a lot of flexibility in Square One’s policy. Protecting everyday items like clothing, electronics, and furniture is a given.

Square One’s insurance coverage covers all eventualities, including burglary, fire, and even unintentional damage. Starting at just $12, this company’s quote is among the most affordable.

Pros

  • You can tailor your coverage to your specific needs.
  • For monthly payments, there are no additional fees.
  • Signing up, making a claim, and even cancelling your policy can be done online today.
  • Claim services are available 24 hours a day, and you can manage them online.

Cons

  • The first $50 of your premium will not be refunded if you cancel your insurance.
  • Because it does not provide auto insurance, there is no way to save money by grouping your plans.

Why Choose Square One?

Square One can’t force its clients to adhere to rigid rules. There is no one-size-fits-all insurance policy here. As a result, customers won’t have to pay for coverage they don’t need.

Final Thoughts on Rental Insurance

Having rental insurance is an important step toward protecting your property and valuables. These types of insurance coverages can help protect your assets against theft, vandalism, and other forms of damage.

Getting one is as simple as filling out a short application. You can do that online, over the phone, or via email. Plus, the prices are reasonable, with some starting at only $15 per month.

You can check in with your current insurer to determine whether they offer these protections. If they don’t, you can consider switching to Apollo or Squareone.

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FAQs about Rental Insurance

Is Rental Insurance Mandatory in Canada?

Canadian law does not mandate renters' insurance or any form of insurance. However, individuals could prioritize it, and most landlords usually require their tenants to purchase coverage as part of their tenancy agreement. Whether mandatory or not, rental insurance is a great way to limit financial risk.

Does Rental Insurance Cover Theft?

Even if there were no signs of forced entry into your apartment, the renter's insurance would cover the loss of your personal belongings if they were stolen. If someone stole your purse on your way out, your insurance provider would give you a new one. However, note that your deductible amount will be subtracted from your compensation.

Does Rental Insurance Cover Pet Damage?

It is entirely dependent on your insurance policy and the nature of the damage sustained. Your pet may cause damage to you and your home, but the renter's insurance will not cover those repairs. Also, your liability insurance should cover the damage if your dog breaks a vase at a friend's house. Furthermore, the liability portion of your renters' insurance covers a dog bite victim's medical expenses and legal fees. It's important to note that a renter's insurance typically does not pay for veterinary care for your animal companion. Also, some insurance carriers may not cover certain breeds or animals with a history of aggression.

Does my Renter's Insurance Cover Water Damage?

If the risk that caused the water damage is included in your insurance, you should be covered for its costs. For example, leaks can cause significant water damage, usually covered by a standard renter's insurance policy. An accidental overflow or discharge of water might damage your personal belongings and cause the water to spill out. As such, the policy will cover the costs of repairing or replacing a leaking ceiling or washing machine. However, damage caused by flooding typically is not covered (unless you have flood insurance).

Do College Students Need Rental Insurance?

If you live with your parents while attending college, your parents' homeowners or renters' insurance will likely cover you. On-campus accommodation, such as a dorm or a school-owned property, usually covers you if you're listed as a dependent on your parent's home or renters insurance.

Does Rental Insurance Cover Mould?

Mould damage to your personal property is only covered by rental insurance if a risk covered by your policy caused the mould. In most circumstances, that would be water accumulated due to a leak within the building. For example, rental insurance is designed to help pay for the repairs if a burst water pipe floods your bathroom.

Does my Renter's Insurance Cover Auto Theft?

You wouldn't be insured if your automobile was stolen from your garage or the street outside your apartment. Your renter's insurance would cover a phone, laptop, or suitcase full of clothes. For a stolen car, file a claim under your car insurance's comprehensive part, not your renters'.

Does Rental Insurance Cover Fire Damage?

Renter's insurance protects your personal property against specific hazards like smoke and fire. You may need additional coverage for precious possessions like fine art, expensive electronics, and jewelry. Loss of use assists with moving expenses if smoke or fire damage renders your Renters property uninhabitable.

Does Rental Insurance Cover Temporary Housing?

If your home becomes uninhabitable, your policy may cover additional fees. Extra living expenses support temporary lodging until you can return to your Renters or find a new one. Your insurance plan may reimburse transportation and dining expenses incurred while staying in a temporary location or motel, up to your policy's limits.

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