Mythbuster: Tenant insurance: A must or a bust?

Myth: There’s no need to purchase tenant insurance because my landlord’s policy will cover me.

Fact: Most landlord insurance policies do not include coverage for the personal property or possessions of tenants.

Are you renting your home without a tenant insurance policy? You’re not alone. According to a recent study, almost half of Canadian renters (48.5%)1 are living without any tenant insurance coverage. While tenants are not currently required to have a tenant insurance policy in place, most are confused about the level of coverage available through their landlord’s insurance.

It is a common misconception that in the case of a disaster a tenant’s personal belongings would be protected under their landlord’s policy. However, this is rarely the case. If a disaster, such as a fire, a windstorm or a flood, were to occur in your building there would be zero coverage for your belongings – including your electronic devices, entertainment equipment, jewelry, collectibles, etc. The physical structure of the building, as well as appliances, may be covered through your landlord’s policy, but your personal possessions would be left unprotected.

Additionally, if the accident were to have originated in your unit, such as a candle left burning or a tap left on, you could be liable for damages to other units. Your landlord’s insurance will also not be able to cover you if someone is injured on your property. If an accident, such as a slip and fall, were to occur in your home the cost of medical expenses, lost wages and legal fees could be left at your expense. Having your own tenant’s insurance policy would provide you with liability coverage to protect you from these liability exposures.

A recent study revealed that nearly half (47.8%)1 of renters without insurance cited their main reason for foregoing an insurance policy to be the cost. However, the monthly cost is usually quite low, and is on average less than half the amount spent on insurance by those who own their homes. Most tenant insurance policies afford you with the option of purchasing coverage that suits your individual needs, generally starting at $30,000 and upwards in most cases.

Additionally, many renters undervalue their belongings, falsely believing the cost of insurance to be higher than the value of their possessions. What renters need to remember is that they should be estimating the replacement value of their goods, especially when it comes to electronic devices and furniture items. Once these new estimates are made, most renters find the value of their belongings to be much higher than their initial estimation – proving tenant insurance a small investment relative to the cost of replacing stolen or damaged possessions.

The Insurance Bureau of Canada recommends making a list of all items stored in your home, including their estimated replacement value. To save time, tenants can consider taking photos or video recordings of their possessions. Tenants are also advised to save receipts, warranties and manuals to serve as proof of ownership if a claim ever has to be made.

If you are currently renting and do not have insurance coverage, consider a tenant insurance policy. It’s a small investment that provides big protection! If you are unsure if you need additional coverage or have any questions contact your TW Insurance broker at 1-888-338-2685


  1. Canadian Underwriter