Congratulations!You've been approved to rent your very own apartment!

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One last thing before you sign the lease: as a renter, your landlord may require you to purchase tenant insurance (also known as renter's insurance or contents insurance) before renting out a unit to you.

Do you know what look for when buying a tenant insurance plan?

What Is Tenant Insurance?

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Tenant insurance offers financial coverage for renters in the event of an incident in their rental unit. A standard tenant insurance policy will have the following coverage:

Contents / Personal Property

  • insures the cash value or replacement cost of your possessions in event of damage or theft

Personal Liability

  • covers claims made against you due to damage to someone else's property or unintentional injury in your rental unit

  • insurance starts at coverage for up to $1 million, although your landlord may ask for coverage for up to $2 million

Additional Living Expenses

  • covers a portion of living expenses (hotel and food costs) should you be forced to vacate your unit due to damages (from fire, flood, etc.)

If you don't have a tenant insurance policy, you might have to pay for replacements or repairs to your property, or the costs of vacating your rental unit out of pocket!

Quiz

A guest slipped and fell in your rental unit. The guest pursued legal action requiring you to pay for their medical bills. Which type of coverage can you access to help you in this situation?

Additional Features In Tenant Insurance Policies

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Insurance providers can offer different types of additional coverage depending on your unique needs, for an additional fee:

  • If you're a student, you can get extra coverage to protect your textbooks or laptop.

  • If your location is prone to natural disasters (earthquakes, tornadoes, etc.), you can get extra coverage in case your rental sustains related damage.

You can also pay extra to:

  • Protect your valuables such as fine art and jewellery.

  • Protect you from identity theft — for example, if a piece of mail with your credit card information gets in the wrong hands in your apartment's mail room!

Research additional features from insurance companies on the Internet or contact insurance brokers who can help you build a tenant insurance policy.

Paying For Tenant Insurance

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What's the difference between a premium and a deductible?

A premium:

  • the amount of money your insurance provider charges you for your tenant insurance policy

  • can be paid for a one-year term upfront, or on a monthly basis

A deductible:

  • the amount you pay out of pocket before your tenant insurance pays for a covered loss up to your policy's coverage limit

  • can affect the cost of your premium — the higher the deductible you're willing to pay when you make a claim, the lower the insurance premium you have to pay monthly/yearly

  • can be as low as $500 (commonly chosen)

Make sure you have enough money set aside to pay for a deductible in case you need to make a claim.

Quiz

You have a $500 deductible. You were found responsible for $2500 worth of water damage in your rental home. What's true in this situation?

Take Action

The average cost of tenant insurance isn't as expensive as auto insurance! It's a small price to pay for peace of mind.

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Before you purchase tenant insurance:

License:

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This Byte has been authored by

ST

Sarah Tran

Toronto, Canada.