With the price of Ontario real estate at an all-time high, it seems that more and more people are either sticking with their rentals longer than originally intended, or even cashing in by selling their homes and downsizing. Whether you’re a long-time renter, or you’re new to the market, tenant insurance is a must! Though maybe not technically, as it isn’t required by law. Many landlords, however, will list it as a non-negotiable on a lease agreement. MARDA Management’s requirements for renting units and homes is that each individual must have renter’s insurance in order to protect the owner’s investment properties.
The good news is, tenant insurance is extraordinarily customizable, affordable, and could even wind up saving you some money.
At its most basic level, tenant insurance provides you coverage for your belongings. ALL of your belongings. A common misconception is that tenant insurance will only cover your big-ticket and expensive items, when it can actually cover every last bit of your personal items within the rented walls of your home; from your TV and computer to your dishes and bedding.
There are, of course, some conditions. A tenant insurance policy generally covers a minimum of about $30,000 worth of contents; but again, with so many customizable options, you can certainly increase the limit. Pricier items such as expensive jewelry, electronics, or musical instruments may also require separate coverage in order to ensure that it’s full value is covered.
Tenant insurance also has the ability to cover your belongings outside of your rented unit or home, such as any furniture kept on a porch or balcony, anything stored in a unit in the basement of the building, or in a shed on the property.
Tenant insurance can also protect your guests from any negligence through what’s called Liability Insurance, an oftentimes automatic part of your tenant insurance policy. This covers you if anyone is injured in your home, or for any damage to someone’s property that you may cause. For example, if a guest trips going down your stairs or on a corner of your carpet and seriously injures him or herself to the point where they’re unable to work afterwards, you could be held responsible for their loss of income. Or if your dog bites a guest in your home and they decide to sue you for it, then your liability insurance would cover the costs of the lawsuit, up to the coverage limit. We recommend that our tenant’s always have a minimum of $1,000,000 liability coverage on their tenant’s insurance. This covers them for the aforementioned unfortunate situations. Furthermore, If our tenant’s rent a property with a pool the minimum liability coverage is $2,000,000 to cover any accidental deaths and or drowning.
What if your home becomes uninhabitable?
Smoke or water damage, whether it be from an accident, or natural disaster, can take a long time to repair, and in that time, you’ll likely have to find somewhere else to live. With the right policy, you could be covered for, not only a hotel room during the time you’re displaced, but also food and other expenses that may incur.
Another huge misconception about tenant insurance is that it’s expensive; and while it’s true that some policies are certainly more of an extravagant monthly purchase than others, the fact is, there’s such a wide array of customizable options when it comes to picking a policy, some costing as little as fifteen dollars a month! Moreover, if you own a car in Ontario, it’s mandatory to have an auto insurance policy with, at the very least, liability insurance. Many companies will offer multi-policy discounts, bundling your tenant and auto insurance together. Exact policy and company depending, of course, you could end up with two policies for the price of one!
At the end of the day, tenant insurance, with all of the customizable options and policies, is a small price to pay for your peace of mind, knowing that you and your belongings are financially protected while you’re renting.