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How Does Tenant Insurance Work?

Aug 13, 2021 2:38:44 PM

If you're a renter, chances are you've considered tenant insurance. Tenant insurance stands apart from other types of property insurance, like home insurance, as it's not intended to cover damage to the physical space itself. Tenant insurance mainly focuses on your personal items found in your rented space, like your clothes, electronics, and other valuables.


If you live in an apartment building and another tenant causes a fire that damages the entire building, tenant insurance allows you to claim the damage done to your personal property, as well as some living expenses, should you need to evacuate during repairs.

Is Tenant Insurance Mandatory in Alberta?

Unlike car insurance, tenant insurance is not required by law, but is highly recommended to renters as a preventative measure. In many cases, it's required by your landlord.

SO, Do I Need Tenant Insurance?

If you're renting a property, you should have tenant insurance. It's lower cost than most forms of property insurance, and the benefits are huge. You can have peace of mind knowing that if anything goes wrong, you have the resources to deal with it. You may not realize just how valuable the items in your home are, but the value can add up quickly.

Not only this, but tenant insurance provides coverage for personal liability. This is important, especially if you have guests visit your property. If someone is visiting your home and has an accident or injury, you could be deemed responsible.

At the end of the day, it's up to you and your landlord to determine if you need tenant insurance. But you should have it.

What Can go wrong If I Don’t Have Tenant Insurance?

Life is unpredictable, and it all depends which accidents end up taking place in your life. If it's severe, you could end up suffering a complete loss of your personal property and left without a place to live. Without tenant insurance, you could be reliant on your own savings to help get you back on your feet.

A less severe scenario would be if your home is robbed. Luckily, you still have a place to call home, but you lose thousands of dollars worth of personal items and have to pay out of pocket to replace them, or learn to live without them. Compared to the few hundred you may spend yearly on tenant insurance, you could face a much greater loss without it.

Does Tenant insurance Cover Damage to MY Landlord's Property?

A responsible landlord will likely have their own policy that covers damages to the building itself. Whereas your tenant policy is intended to protect your personal belongings. It's a good idea to discuss these logistics before signing your rental agreement.

What Does Tenant Insurance Cover?

  • Property damage - If your personal items are damaged through an accident, your tenant insurance may offer coverage so you can replace them.
  • Personal liability - If someone is hurt inside your home, you may be found responsible. Liability coverage offers coverage for injuries to another person or their property.
  • Theft - This one can be incredibly useful. Not only does tenant insurance help protect your belongings against theft, it could also protect items stolen while being stored or transported when you’re traveling or moving.
  • Vehicle break-ins - It's a common assumption that your auto policy will provide coverage for items lost during a vehicle break-in. Unfortunately, this is incorrect. Your tenant policy is what can offer that type of coverage.
  • Identity theft - Some tenant insurance policies provide coverage for expenses needed to restore your identity if it's stolen. 
  • Credit card fraud - Some tenant policies also provide protection against unauthorized charges to your credit or debit card if it's stolen.
  • Emergency living expenses - If a severe accident occurs in your home and you're forced to temporarily or permanently relocate, your tenant policy can help provide coverage for an alternative place to live.
  • Funeral expenses - Your tenant policy can help your loved ones cover funeral expenses if an insured loss inside your home results in your passing.

What Does Tenant Insurance Not Cover?

  • Your roommates' belongings - Your tenant insurance can only protect your items if something goes wrong, not the other renters in your home. More than one person can be named on a tenant policy, but this isn't always recommended. Your roommates' claims can affect your premiums, so it's often better to have a separate policy for yourself, depending on your relationship with your roommate(s).
  • Vehicle theft or damage - While the personal items kept inside your vehicle may be covered, the vehicle itself won't be. This coverage should be included in your car insurance, if you've chosen Comprehensive Coverage.
  • Flood damage - This isn't typically covered under a tenant policy. To protect yourself against flooding, you'll have to purchase flood protection as an add-on. Consider the likelihood of a flood occurring in your home, and look into your options for flood protection by chatting with your broker.
  • Bed bugs and pests - Pest removal also isn't typically covered under a tenant policy.

It’s a good idea to talk to your broker about potential endorsements that can be added to your policy. To learn more about tenant insurance, you can visit our Tenant Insurance page and get a free quote, or give us a call at 1-855-475-0959 to chat with one of our expert brokers!

Gina Schopfer

Written by Gina Schopfer


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