Do I Really Need Renter's Insurance? (Hint: You Do!)

Posted on May 13, 2019

Only 41.8% of renters in Canada spent money on home insurance in 2008.

Owning a home is an aspirational goal for many people. But for those who aren't there yet renting is their housing mainstay.

Most homeowners are usually keen on protecting their investment and consequently, they are more likely to take up home insurance.

Renters, in contrast, do not pay as much attention to insurance. However, this does not reduce the risks that they face.

Have you ever asked yourself the question “Do I need renters insurance?” Here are eight reasons why you do.

1. Protect Your Property Within the Home

Renter’s insurance helps protect your property while in the home. There are many perils which can damage your personal property. These include:

● Fire
● Windstorm
● Lightning
● Theft
● Smoke
● Hail
● Riots
● Damage from vehicles or aircraft
● Freezing
● Water damage
● Power surges

It is important to note that your renter’s insurance policy will only cover your personal property from these and other named perils.

Your landlord’s property that is in the house at the time of the damage will not be covered under your policy.

Likewise, your personal property will not be covered under your landlord’s policy. So don’t assume you can rest easy just because your landlord has a cover. If you have valuable items in the home such as artworks, expensive jewelry, furniture, electronics, etc you can get additional coverage for them.

Before you can add them to your policy, you will need to show some proof of purchase for them. For some items, appraisals may become necessary to ascertain their true value.

It is typical with most policies that you get an extra charge for additional coverage. Additional coverage on your renter’s insurance policy is much cheaper than getting a specific policy for each of the high-value items.

2. Protect Your Property out of the Home

Do you have to have renters insurance? If you travel a lot then the answer should be in the affirmative.

Along with protecting your property within the home, renter’s insurance protects your property when you are away from home.

Imagine this situation.

You walk to your favorite coffee shop and decide to save a spot by putting your stuff on the table. It's a rush hour and people do it all the time, right?

You go to get your coffee and when you return you find your laptop, purse, phone and maybe even your backpack are gone.

With a renter’s insurance policy the coverage and liability travel with the renter. You would, therefore, receive compensation for the stolen items.

For suitcase losses, the airline in question will only reimburse you a tiny portion of its total value. Renter’s insurance may help you better cover the remainder of the loss.

However, most policies typically limit this out-of-home coverage to a certain percentage of your total coverage for your personal belongings.

In addition to renter’s insurance, travel insurance will come in handy if you are a frequent traveler.

3. Pay for Emergency Living Expenses

Sometimes emergencies can occur that make it temporarily impossible for you to live in your home. As a result, it becomes necessary to find another place for you to stay.

For example, despite taking precautionary measures a fire might break out in your home leaving you without a place to stay for a while. A hotel room or AirBnB though necessary becomes an added and unforeseen expense.

Renter’s insurance will come to your aid here when it comes to paying for another place to stay. Some providers even pay for your meals during the stay if it is part of the cover.

4. Screen Potential Problem Tenants

Many landlords nowadays make it a requirement that a tenant must get renter’s insurance if they want to stay on their premises.

If a tenant makes an application and they inform you that renter’s insurance will be a stretch for them it might be a red flag.

Ultimately it is up to you as the landlord to make the decision. Using renter’s insurance may help you mitigate against future problem tenants.

5. Cover Your Deductible

As a landlord, you expose yourself to the risk of unintended damage by your tenants. For example, if a tenant accidentally causes a fire that damages your property you will be expected to make repairs.

Your homeowner's insurance policy will pay for the repairs but you will still be required to pay a deductible. If the damage is extensive or if you are in a financial bind such an amount can be substantial.

The renter's insurance that your tenant has should cover your homeowner's insurance deductible. Despite your property still being damaged, you will at least be off the hook for the deductible.

6. Protect Your Identity

Identity theft is a growing menace that is costing the world millions in losses. In 2017 alone there were 8.9 incidences of identity theft per 100,000 Canadian residents.

Such an occurrence might seem improbable to you, but that is far from the truth. If a burglar broke into your house at night for example and stole your documents, they could conceivably manage to steal your identity.

What would follow next would be hours and hours of billable time with a lawyer to undo the identity theft. If you do not have the financial capacity to reclaim your identity, you will be in troubled waters

Renter’s insurance provides coverage to help you carry out this process of restoration. As you work with credit bureaus, the police, lenders and credit card companies the bills will stack up.

Your policy will help you pay for the billable hours that are necessary to restore your identity.

7. Liability from Dog Bites

Pets can bring joy to your home and dogs especially can hold a special place in your heart.

What happens though when your beloved furry friend happens to bite a visitor or another dog? Do you know that you are still liable if your dog happens to bite someone when it is off the property?

Renter’s insurance comes in pretty handy for pet lovers in such circumstances.
If your dog bites another dog when you are out for a walk then renter’s insurance can help you settle the veterinary bills.

The same goes for any medical bills after it bites a human.

The ability to protect yourself from liability due to dog bites outside the house where there are various triggers for your furry friend is essential.

There are however some exceptions to this coverage that you should take note of. If your dog has a history of biting people or other dogs, your renter’s insurance coverage may not allow for dog bites.

If your dog is classified as a ‘high-risk breed’ it will not be covered under your policy. These breeds include Siberian Huskies, German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Pitbulls among others.

Make sure you scrutinize the section of your policy that classifies which breeds are covered and which are not.

Be sure to confirm with your provider that your renter’s insurance policy covers dogs. If coverage is included, confirm the limitation your policy places on it to see if it will meet your needs.

8. Protect Your Loved Ones

One perk of renter's insurance is that it affords you the ability to extend safety to your loved ones as well.

Your renter’s insurance policy will likely cover everyone living in your home and are related to you by marriage, adoption or blood. That means your spouse, children, parents among others.

With the proliferation of relationship fluidity, providers classify significant others who qualify as those who are in a legally binding relationship with you.

If, however, you are not married or in a legally recognized civil union with your partner, some policies still provide wiggle room. For a fee, you can add them as ‘additional insured,’

You should note that renter’s insurance doesn't cover intentional damage your children cause to other people's property.

For children who are away in college, age is a factor as to whether your policy will cover them. Only these 24 years and below can be protected by your renter’s insurance policy.

On top of the age factor, they have to be in college full-time with the definition of full-time being the one their college uses.

The other group of people that your renter’s insurance can cover are those in your care and under 21 years.

If they're under 21 and in the care of someone who lives in your house and is your relative then they qualify for coverage under your policy as well.

Do I Need Renters Insurance?

Canadian tenants spend less on home insurance than homeowners despite the fact that they face the same risks.

Are you still wondering, "Do I need renters insurance? Ponder on the wide range of benefits you will receive both in and out of the home to see why spending money on it is an investment.

If you are tired of playing Russian roulette with your home, Insurdinary knows how to help you find the best renter’s insurance. Contact us today to begin protecting your property and loved ones!


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