Have you ever noticed that in every news story you come across about a house fire, the reporter says something like, “…and the occupants, who were renting, didn’t have insurance.” These words are usually followed by the words, “they lost everything.”
The reason these stories are so common is because many renters fail to purchase tenant’s insurance, despite its low cost. This isn’t too surprising given some of the misconceptions out there on the topic.
Too often we hear people say:
- “I don’t own a lot of stuff so I’m not too worried.”
- “I’m always careful to avoid fire hazards, so there is no risk of any damage to the suite.”
- “My friends and family will look after me if something were to go wrong.”
- “Isn’t my landlord responsible for repairing my suite and paying for me to live somewhere else?”
Unfortunately, these common myths prevent a lot of people from investing in tenant’s insurance.
Here are six reasons why you need tenant’s insurance if you are a renter:
1. You own more than you think you own.
In the event of a fire, flood, earthquake or theft, the items in your home—everything you’ve acquired since you were a child—might be lost or damaged. While the photo albums are irreplaceable, tenant’s insurance will cover the costs associated with replacing your clothing, appliances, electronics, jewelry, bikes, tools—you name it. If you purchased Replacement Cost coverage, this means you get brand new stuff just for being adequately insured!
2. You can’t plan for the unexpected.
Although you do whatever you can to avoid damage to your property, many things are beyond your control, especially if you have neighbors living in an adjoining unit. Tenant’s insurance offers affordable peace of mind that not only ensures you are covered for the loss of your own belongings, but potentially the loss of your neighbor’s belongings if, say, your overflowing bathtub damages any items in their home and you are deemed responsible for their damages. The majority of losses are accidental and unexpected in nature.
3. You will be keeping yourself off your friend or parent’s couch.
When disaster strikes and you are left without a hospitable place to live, your friends and family will probably take you in, but tenant’s insurance will pay for your temporary accommodations while your rental unit is being repaired, or until you are able to find something else (within a reasonable time frame). Hotel fees definitely add up and can quickly leave you in a bind fast, which is another reason why tenant’s insurance is crucial if you rent. Let your policy take care of that potentially huge hotel bill!
4. Your landlord’s insurance isn’t designed cover you.
While it’s true your landlord likely has homeowner’s insurance or property insurance to fix damaged flooring from a leaky dishwasher, or repair scorched walls, everything within the house that belongs to you—the tenant—is not covered by your landlord’s insurance policy. So, if you come home to find your suite broken into, your landlord’s policy might repair the smashed window, but it cannot replace your stolen laptop. So, think ahead and make sure you’re covered.
5. Don’t be on the hook for your guest’s medical bills.
Another benefit of renter’s insurance that often gets overlooked is the fact that it covers your liability from people whom might get injured while visiting your dwelling. Expenses such as legal defense costs and medical bills associated with someone who hurts themselves while on your property can be costly. Some bodily injury claims reach hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on the nature of the injury, so while you may not think your possessions are worth insuring, this point alone should be all the convincing you need to purchase tenant’s insurance. Coverage limits vary but most policies come with a $2M limit for personal liability.
6. Your lease agreement might require it.
It’s becoming more and more common for landlords to insist that their renters acquire tenant’s insurance. Although it remains optional, having this coverage in place will open the doors for you during your quest to find a great space in a competitive rental market.
As you can see, tenant’s insurance comes in handy in the event of an untimely emergency. It’s one of those things you’ll be relieved to have in place should you ever need it. If you’re worried about the cost, there are discounts you might quality for, including a senior’s discount, a claims-free discount, an increased deductible discount, or a home security system discount. There are also monthly payment plans available for a small interest fee.
Don’t let the next news story about someone losing everything in a fire be about you!
SeaFirst Insurance Brokers offer plenty of options for tenant’s insurance coverage in Victoria, Brentwood Bay, Saanichton, Sidney, Salt Spring Island, Oak Bay, Westshore and Pender Island.
For more information on the tenant’s insurance we offer, please review our tenant’s insurance options, give us a call, or simply drop in to see us!