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What GTA Renters Need to Know About Tenant Insurance

What is tenant Liability Insurance? Is it different from renters’ liability insurance? My landlord has building insurance. Does that cover me in the event of a fire? There are numerous questions surrounding the insurance industry and the rights and responsibilities of building owners, renters, and tenants. If you are about to move into your first apartment or have been a lifetime renter this article will sort the fact from fiction, the rumour from reality, and answer the basic questions related to the rules and regulations around obtaining renters’ insurance in Toronto and the GTA.

What is Tenants’ Liability Insurance?

Your landlord will definitely have an insurance policy protecting the building that you live in and in the event of a disaster will have his property rebuilt and repaired. While the space you occupy will return to normal, those without renters insurance in Toronto would return to an empty apartment with all of your personal possessions, furniture, and clothing gone for good. Tenants’ insurance, renters liability insurance, apartment insurance, and contents insurance are used interchangeably but are basically policies specifically designed to protect a renter's personal property, possessions, and financial liabilities in the event of an accident.

Is tenant insurance mandatory in Ontario?

If you live in Toronto, tenant insurance is not mandatory in Ontario but can be demanded as a condition of your lease. Landlords understand that there are more than just your belongings to consider. If a visiting guest is injured in your unit or the fire you start in your oven damages a neighbour’s personal property you could be financially on the hook. Many landlords want to avoid confusion and may demand you take out renters liability insurance on condition of obtaining the unit.

What does tenant insurance cover in Ontario?

Content Insurance refers to the portion of your policy dealing with the physical items in your home. Your Toronto tenant insurance will replace or repair your personal property in the event of damage, theft, or destruction up to a specified amount. If you add up the value of all your possessions and assume they all had to be replaced at once, how much would you need? If your policy amount is less than your property’s combined value due to an expensive piece of art or some fine jewelry, then additional coverage can be obtained at an additional cost.

Liability Coverage covers the costs of lawsuits brought against you for injuries sustained in your home or if you cause an accident that damages someone else's property. Most policies cover 1 or 2 million dollars to pay for any damages that may be your responsibility in the eyes of the court.

Additional Living Expenses can be paid out to you as a result of needing to find a place to stay while your apartment is being repaired because your upstairs neighbour overflowed their tub. Hotel bills, meals, and moving costs can all be recouped under certain circumstances.

What does tenant insurance not cover in Ontario?

Your personal belongings that get stolen from the back seat of your car may be covered but your stolen car will need auto insurance. Any business equipment or cell phones used primarily for business will need a separate small business policy and will not be covered by your tenants’ liability insurance. If you have a roommate, their belongings must be insured under their own policy. Damage from pests and rodents, including the costs associated with eliminating an infestation, are not typically covered.

Life can be uncertain so obtaining renters’ insurance is a step in the right direction. For most people an adequate policy will cost $20 to $40 a month which can be a small price to pay for the peace of mind that insurance protection provides. This article is meant as a very basic overview. We strongly recommend going over all of your individual needs with a professional insurance agent to ensure you have the coverage you need.


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