Life is unexpected. Anything can happen, anywhere, at any time. We may not be able to control the curve balls that life throws our way, but what we can do is be prepared. For renters, that means getting yourself secured with tenant insurance. In fact, many landlords will insist that you have a tenant insurance policy in place before you move in. This is because even though your landlord has property insurance, it may not necessarily cover the variety of incidents that could potentially happen during your tenancy.
If you don’t have renter’s insurance already, maybe you are hesitant. I mean, you haven’t needed it so far so you must be safe, right? Wrong. Here’s why!
It was an accident…
Accidently left the faucet on and flooded your apartment? Without Renters Insurance, if you cause damage to the building, you will be liable for the cost of the damage. Additionally, in the event that your mistake results in damages to the possessions of other tenants, you could be held financially liable. Not only can other tenants legally pursue you for the costs, but so will your landlord’s insurance.
It wasn’t my fault…
Got burglarized? Unfortunately, without tenant insurance, you may be responsible for replacing your missing belongings, as well as covering any damage caused to the property you are renting (like broken windows or locks). Even though it wasn’t your fault there was a break and enter, you would still be held liable – that’s why you need renter’s insurance so that you can benefit from contents insurance in your policy.
Party gone wrong? In the event that you host guests in your apartment and the rental property somehow gets damaged. You will be the one liable for the fix-up costs, not your guests. Just as well, if your guests hurt themselves during their visit, renter’s insurance protects you from any liability including any associated medical costs.
It’s too expensive…
Think you can’t afford it? These days, Renters Insurance policies are actually pretty cheap, with most ranging between approximately $7 and $20! This amount is minimal compared to the amount it would cost to repair or replace any damaged property. Also, if you can’t live in your apartment for some reason (regardless of who caused it to happen) such as a pipe bursting or fire, Renters Insurance can cover you for temporary living arrangements.
My landlord will handle it…
My landlord has insurance, why do I need it? Insurance only covers the person written into the policy. That being said, only the insurance company of the person who caused the situation will pay for the outcome. Similarly, even if your roommate has a renters insurance policy, their policy will not cover you. Although some landlords do not ask for Renters Insurance, in Ontario it is most definitely stated within the lease. In fact, most Landlords Insurance policies also require the tenants to hold liability insurance!
We hope that you never experience any of these incidents – but with renters insurance, you can live in your rental with peace of mind knowing you are protected.
Due to the misconceptions and lack of understanding surrounding the topic, many tenants fall victim to unexpected turmoil. Be proactive in the present, so that you don’t have to learn the hard way in the future.