Do you own or rent your home? If you answered rent, you’re part of a growing segment of the Canadian population.
In 2021, the rental rate in Canada was just over 33%. Meaning roughly 5 million households did not own their homes, but rather rented them.
So, when it comes to Canadian renters, how many have tenant insurance? Or, a better question might be, how many know what tenant insurance is?
What Is Tenant Insurance?
Tenant insurance or renters insurance covers your personal belongings if they are damaged or stolen as a result of theft or vandalism. It won’t cover the actual building itself, or even the walls and floors of your unit. Tenant insurance will also cover you against any litigation in the event that you or your possessions cause harm to any other person who lives on the property or visits. For instance, if you have a barbeque on the deck and it starts a fire that spreads to adjacent units. You could be on the hook for covering the damage caused.
If your home becomes uninhabitable as a result, your tenant insurance policy will cover any living expenses that you require until you’re able to move back in or find somewhere else to live.
Best Tenant Insurance (a.k.a. Renters Insurance) Companies In Canada 2023
Insurely offers home and tenant insurance plans in all provinces and territories, except Quebec. Getting a quote and finding the right policy is quick and easy thanks to Insurely’s simple online application and helpful customer service. Plus, you can edit your policy online and pay your premiums using your debit or credit card.
Insurely’s policies provide comprehensive coverage to ensure you have the right amount of protection.
- Available across Canada (except Quebec)
- Free and fast online quote
- Discounts may be available
Square One offers some of the most affordable tenant insurance policies around, with premium rates starting as low as $12 per month. In addition to affordable policies, Square One also makes the process of finding and buying insurance quick and easy with its online application.
Square One representatives can help you tailor your policy to ensure you get the right coverage without paying more than you need. Plus, there’s no contract or fixed term. Instead, you can pay your premiums monthly with no long-term commitment.
- Available in BC, AB, SK, MB, ON, & QC
- Free online quote
- Discount for policy bundles
Insurdinary is a comparison website that allows Canadians to compare Canada’s lowest insurance rates, all from the comfort of their homes. You can use the site to search for life insurance, travel insurance, snowbird insurance, and health and dental insurance, etc.
Ultimately, Insurdinary is looking to help Canadian consumers find the right insurance solutions to meet their unique lives. By comparing multiple quotes you can make the best decision and even save money on your next policy.
- Available in BC, AB, SK, MB, ON, NB, NS, PEI
- Free online quotes
- Compare multiple options
- Shop for all your insurance needs in one place
Onlia offers home, condo, and tenant insurance to Ontario residents. While a relatively new insurance company, Onlia has quickly developed a reputation for its affordable premiums, comprehensive policies, and user-friendly online platform. With Onlia, you can get insurance quotes in a few minutes. Plus, a variety of discounts are available to help you save.
- Available in Ontario
- Free online quote
- Discounts available
Apollo is an online insurance provider that offers a variety of insurance plans, including tenant insurance starting at a rock-bottom rate of $11 per month. The application process can be completed entirely online within a few minutes, and you can access an online portal to manage your policy. Insurance advisors are available via email, telephone, or live chat to answer any questions you have or troubleshoot issues you’re experiencing.
- Available in AB, BC, SK, NS, and ON
- Low rates starting at $11 per month
- Free online quote
- Student tenant insurance policies available
YouSet is an online insurance broker platform that connects consumers with insurance providers to find the most affordable policies available. Currently, YouSet’s services are only available to residents of Quebec, though there are plans to expand offerings throughout Canada.
- Available in Quebec
- Network of multiple insurance providers
- Competitive rates
- Generous discounts
Duuo is the digital insurance arm of The Co-operators. The online platform provides tenant insurance plans, and quotes can be obtained online in a matter of minutes.
Rates for Duuo tenant insurance premiums start as low as $12, depending on the location. Plus, there’s no commitment or contract. You can choose to pay month-to-month and turn off your policy if you no longer need it.
- Available in all provinces except Quebec, where Duuo is a damage insurance agency; not available in territories
- Free online quote
- No annual commitments
- No cancellation fees
Intact is a Canadian insurance company that offers home and tenant insurance. The company’s mission is to help Canadians obtain insurance coverage that is customized to each policyholder’s needs.
Insurance plans are available all across Canada. When you file a claim, Intact guarantees that the claims process will start no later than 30 minutes after a representative answers your call.
- Available all across Canada
- Flexible payment plans
- Guaranteed 30-minute claims
CAA has been in business for over 115 and is Canada’s largest not-for-profit automobile association, providing Canadians with a variety of services. In addition to its popular roadside assistance program, CAA also offers tenant insurance that provides comprehensive coverage to renters, including fire, smoke, and water damage protection. Policyholders can also add CAA’s Home Equipment Breakdown Insurance add-on to cover electronics, appliances, and other equipment.
- Available all across Canada
- Free online quote
- Optional home equipment breakdown insurance coverage
- CAA membership perks
What Does Tenant Insurance Cover?
Tenant insurance covers three specific things, including the following:
In the event of theft or damage, all the personal items in your home are covered. This includes furniture, appliances, electronics, clothing, etc.
It’s helpful to have your belongings itemized along with how much you paid for them and any documentation that can prove their worth. For valuable items, you should consider naming them directly in your policy. This will likely increase your premium, therefore this is a personal decision based on the items in question.
If your home becomes unlivable because of extensive damage, your tenant insurance policy will cover any necessary living expenses, up to your coverage limit. Keep in mind that all tenant insurance policies will have specific requirements. As well, this coverage is meant to help with additional and necessary living expenses.
This part of your insurance policy covers two types of incidents. If you’re sued because you caused damage to other units in your building. For example, if you started a fire that spread or caused a flood.
Or, if you’re sued because someone injures themselves or damages their property while in your unit.
What Is Not Covered By Tenants Insurance?
Not only is it important for you to determine what is covered by your tenant insurance policy, but it’s also important to know what’s not covered. Your policy will not cover the following:
- Loss or damage caused by deliberate acts by you
- Damage caused by overland flooding
- Damage or loss to property that was acquired illegally
- Loss or damage as a result of acts of terrorism
Replacement Costs vs. Actual Cash Value
Generally speaking, there are two ways that you can be compensated under your tenant insurance policy:
This type of insurance will cover the cost of either restoring the item to its original condition. Or, purchasing a new item of the same quality as the one damaged or lost item. No deduction for depreciation is involved.
For instance, if your stereo system is stolen, you will be covered to purchase a new stereo with similar features and calibre as the one that was lost or damaged. Since the same model is probably cheaper now (based on how long ago you bought the item), the payment you get will likely not be the same as what you originally paid for the stereo.
Actual Cash Value
Unlike replacement cost, actual cash value takes into consideration any depreciation involved. Your claims payment will be based on how much it costs to buy a similar item in a similar condition to the one lost, factoring in depreciation.
For instance, if your stereo system is five years old and was damaged in a fire, your tenant insurance policy will establish the current value of that model in used condition and provide you with that amount as compensation. So, any wear and tear of your stereo system will be taken into account. Your insurance provider can determine whether or not an item is to be repaired or replaced.
Be sure to read over your policy very carefully to find out exactly what you are covered for before you ever have to file a claim.
What Affects The Cost Of Tenants Insurance?
Luckily, tenant insurance is usually pretty affordable. Depending on where you live, you can buy a policy for as little as $12 a month. That said, there are certain factors that will influence the cost of your policy, including the following:
- Type of coverage required
- Location of the property
- Age and condition of the unit
- Your deductible
- Your financial history
- Previous claims made
How To Choose An Insurance Policy
When choosing an insurance policy to buy, consider the following:
What You Need Coverage for
Before you take out a tenant insurance policy, you’ll want to find out exactly what your landlord’s property insurance covers. That way you’re not overlapping anything or leaving anything out. Then, you can determine what you need to be covered and can take out a policy based on the coverage required.
You should also find out how much coverage is standard with tenant insurance. Generally, the liability coverage is $1 million for regular insurance, but $25,000 is typical for contents insurance. Further, there may be caps on coverage for certain kinds of items.
Like with any insurance policy, your deductible will need to be paid before your provider pays out. The higher the deductible you pay, the lower your premiums will be.
Determine how much you can comfortably afford with this type of policy before choosing one.
How long will you need your policy? The term of the policy is also something you will want to consider when buying tenant insurance.
Do the benefits of tenant insurance justify its cost? Since this type of policy is not required, some renters might be willing to take the risk rather than pay into an insurance policy.
How To File A Tenant Insurance Claim
The following are the steps you will need to take to file a claim under your tenant insurance policy:
Report Loss Or Damage To Your Landlord
The first thing you might want to do is inform your landlord about what happened to your home or your belongings. This is especially important if the damage was to the home itself. In this case, your landlord might be liable for making certain repairs and may want to inform their own insurance provider if the damage is significant.
Report Loss Or Damage To The Police
If you’ve been burglarized, you’ll want to notify the police right away. A police report will serve as additional proof that your insurance provider might need to compensate you.
Make Sure Your Home Is Safe
If someone has broken into your home or your home has been significantly damaged, you could be in danger if you don’t take certain precautions. Change the locks on your door, patch up any broken windows, or arrange for alternative living quarters while your home is being repaired.
Call Your Insurance Provider
Contact your insurer right away after you’ve suffered loss or damage. Most insurance companies will have a deadline to file a claim, which is usually anywhere from 48 to 72 hours after the loss or damage occurred. You will want to have a number of things handy to make the claims process run smoothly. For example, your policy number, details about the loss or damage, photos of the loss or damage, and any other pertinent documents.
Complete A Claims Form
Once you’ve documented any loss or damage and have been in touch with your insurance company, you will have to fill out a claims form. The more detail you can provide, the better. In some cases, someone from the insurance company may need to visit in person to inspect in more detail. You might also want to supply any receipts, a police report, or any other pieces of information that can help ensure that you receive the appropriate compensation.
After the insurance company has received your claim, the investigation process will begin. While some claims only take a day or two to complete, others can take a few days or longer, depending on the complexity of the situation.
While tenant insurance is not mandatory in Canada, it is highly recommended. If your belongings are ever stolen or your home is damaged for whatever reason, your tenant insurance policy can help cover the cost of replacing or repairing anything affected. If you are a renter and are considering taking out a tenant insurance policy, be sure to do your homework to choose an insurer and policy that is best suited for you.