With the real estate market continuing to vary in terms of affordability, consumers in search of a home may be more likely to rent than buy. However, many who live in rental accommodations do not bother with renter's insurance (aka tenant's insurance) despite the fact that their belongings are at the same risk of loss, theft or damage as someone who owns their own home. Renters may also be held liable in the event they cause inadvertent damage to other tenants' property, and they may face unexpected costs if their building is evacuated for some reason. Renter's insurance is designed to handle these types of risks.
Is Your Property At Risk?
If you rent and lack proper coverage, you could be putting yourself at risk in the event of property damage or burglaries. Although break-ins have steadily declined in Canada since 1981, they still accounted for 15 percent of all property-related offenses in 2011, according to Statistics Canada. Renter's insurance can reduce the negative financial impact that results from a break-in.
In addition, the threat of crime, fires and other mishaps can also threaten renters' property. Oftentimes, tenants are surprised to learn that their landlord's coverage does not extend to the possessions contained within their apartment or condo. A study from JD Power and Associates found that many Canadian insurance buyers have not covered themselves in the event of catastrophic loss.
As a renter, you could even be held liable for extremely unlikely accidents. The Times-Colonist reported that if your deck umbrella was blown away and damaged a neighbor's property or water is left running and overflows seeping through the ceiling into the apartment below, you could be held responsible for damages.
Reasons to invest in renter's insurance
- Protects against personal property loss. Many renters invest in their living space by updating fixtures, painting walls and much more. In the event of a robbery, fire or other property damage, renter's insurance can help you recover some of your losses.
- Reduces personal liability. Accidents happen, and renter's insurance can take care of liability expenses and emergency care in case someone slips or falls and an injury or lawsuit arises.
- Covers emergency living expenses. Often, renters insurance will take care of the cost of accommodation and restaurant bills if your living space is rendered uninhabitable because of a natural disaster or fire.
Steps to protect your rented home
When looking for apartments, speak with the landlord about whether they offer rental insurance options with the lease. Make a list of how many smoke detectors, security systems and other safety items are provided by the landlord before calling your insurance company for quotes. These safety features could reduce your policy rate. If you already have a car or another kind of insurance policy with a carrier, ask about multi-policy discounts.
If you have questions about renter's insurance or are unsure if your policy is right for you, reach out to a local HUB representative who can guide you through the process.