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Comprehensive Tenant Insurance Guide

Your landlord’s insurance doesn’t provide coverage for your personal possessions.

Your landlord’s insurance of most rental units only covers damages to the actual dwelling. This means that, in case of an accident, you have no coverage for any damages to your flat screen TV, expensive electronics, valuable furniture, designer clothing, important documents, etc.

Being careful doesn’t stop accidents from happening.

Even if you think of yourself as a very responsible renter, you can’t fully control damages to other units or neighbouring properties. Property damages, such as fires and water damage, or bodily injuries that may occur because of negligence on your side – are all issues which you could be held personally liable. Without proper coverage in place, it’s a nightmare to even think about how much it’s going to cost you to fix one or more of these issues.

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What Tenant Insurance Covers: A Guide by Sharp

Tenant insurance, in a sense, is like home insurance, but it doesn’t insure your physical unit as that will be covered by your landlord’s insurance. See, you’re a renter – you don’t own the property, so your only responsibility is your own liability and your possessions. Many assume that they don’t need tenant insurance because their belongings don’t have that much worth, but they couldn’t be more wrong.

Ready to get started? We offer free tenant insurance quotes in Calgary, which you can get simply by clicking “Get a Quote” and filling out our form right away.

 

We’ll break down tenant insurance in a little more detail below.

Contents Insurance for Renters

A Personalized Limit for Contents Coverage: This protection secures your personal belongings and entitles you to replace your stolen, damaged, or lost personal belongings that are contained not only within your unit, but also inside a vehicle that is registered to you.

We can even design a specialized coverage plan that includes protection for your higher-value items, such as your musical instruments, your art, wine collections, high-end watches, sporting equipment, bicycles, and so on.

After all, you wouldn’t want anything to happen to your impressive music collection!

Give us a call here at Sharp Insurance to learn about what coverage options we offer as well as the prices we have for your most valuable belongings. Note landlord’s insurance will only cover damages that are sustained by the actual dwelling and won’t cover your belongings.

Tenants/Renters Liability Insurance

A $2 Million Liability Coverage: With this portion of coverage, arguably the most important part of your tenant insurance, you can live with peace-of-mind knowing that any damages caused to your unit or your building by your indirect actions will be covered. This insurance is designed to protect you if you are ever faced with a lawsuit. Tenants can be held responsible for injuries they unintentionally cause to others, and this coverage protects you against such claims.

Although coverage limits vary from tenant insurance policy to tenant insurance policy, Sharp Insurance recommends higher liability coverage to protect yourself against the worst of lawsuits. Ideally work with a tenant insurance broker to determine what are the best limits for your situation and budget.

Extra Living Expenses Coverage

Additional Living Expenses: Should you ever experience a loss, you may find that your unit is uninhabitable for a period of time. Whether that’s because repairs are being done or simply because your building is not liveable for a time, you’ll need to find living arrangements elsewhere.

Additional living expenses can help pay you for temporary accommodations during the time where your unit is being restored. It can pay for necessary expenses if your building is being repaired for an insurable loss, such as water damage or fire.

Additional living expenses may include coverage for hotel expenses, food, clothing, and basic hygiene. Keep all your receipts during this time to receive reimbursement.

If you have further questions about your renters insurance, give one of our experienced tenant insurance brokers a call to ask more about what is covered.

Tenant Liability Insurance

The liability component is easily the most important part of your tenant insurance. Why? Because lawsuits can be expensive. Where you might have only about $30,000 in coverage for your possessions, Sharp Insurance recommends at least $1 million or $2 million coverage for your third-party liability, due to the litigious nature of what we see day-to-day and the average cost of a lawsuit.

Imagine this: you’re hosting a baby shower at your rented unit and a guest burns themselves on the stovetop that you accidentally left on after heating up the kettle for some tea. They hold you liable for their injuries and threaten to sue. The liability portion of your insurance would pay out for their injuries, as well as any legal costs if the suit ended up in court.

Even if you believe you’ve done nothing wrong, you could still be sued. It doesn’t cost much to increase your liability limits, and it’s more than worth it for your peace-of-mind. Ask a tenant insurance broker here at Sharp Insurance about extending your coverage.

Commercial/Business Renter’s Insurance

Not everyone who purchases tenant insurance is a renter. Some people may be business owners who are renting a commercial space as opposed to purchasing. A landlord for a commercial space may mandate you purchase commercial property insurance and/or commercial tenant insurance.

Commercial tenant insurance functions very similar to tenant insurance, only it is designed for higher-risk circumstances that a business may be exposed to if it has clients attending physically everyday.

Like tenant insurance, business tenant insurance or commercial tenant insurance isn’t mandatory, but some landlords will include a clause in the lease which mandates its purchase.

Discuss with Sharp Insurance’s commercial tenant insurance brokers for more information.

Tenant Insurance Coverage Options

Renter’s insurance has a lot of options when it comes to coverage. There’s a few things you will need to decide with the help of a tenant insurance broker.

The first is the level of coverage that you want. This can include the types of perils and/or causes of damage as well as the number of perils you’ll want coverage for. Below are the most common types:

  • Comprehensive – The most intensive, detailed coverage, which offers the most coverage for your belongings and insures everything unless specifically excluded.
  • Broad – This coverage will protect your unit for a broad list of perils, but only will cover you for the named perils for your contents.
  • Named Perils/Basic – The cheapest policy, this policy only covers the most basic perils.

Depending on your insurance company, you may have the option to purchase only one of these options or all of them. The better the protection = the more comprehensive the coverage, but more comprehensive policies will cost you more.

There’s also additional coverages you can purchase. Tenant insurance endorsements may include:

  • Sewer Backup – covers damage caused by the drains and sewer backup.
  • Earthquake – covers damage caused by earth movements, like earthquakes.
  • Overland Water – covers overland water damage or “flood” damage caused by the overflow of nearby bodies of water, snowmelt, and more.
  • Groundwater – covers you if groundwater rises and floods your unit.
  • Floaters – Floaters are designed to increase coverage limits to ensure high-value items, like electronics and jewelry are sufficiently protected.
  • Identity Theft – extends existing identify theft coverage.

Get a free tenant insurance quote with Sharp Insurance to begin on your coverage.

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Submitting a Tenant Insurance Claim

It can be an extremely stressful process, submitting a claim. But it doesn’t have to be hard! Submitting a claim can be done with ease through Sharp’s online web portal, our digital app, or through a phone call. You may even submit a claim directly through your insurer. You can find their number on our app, on your insurance documents, or on our web portal.

Be sure that you document as much of the damage as physically possible, whether that’s by video or picture. If there’s a police report, get a copy and be sure to document everything.

Should you be required to vacate your property in the event of a covered claim, you may have additional living expenses to help you. It will include compensation for costs such as transport, food, and accommodation. Ensure that you keep all receipts that you get during this time.

A claims adjuster will eventually be assigned to your case and will help investigate the loss. They will also you a few questions, at what point you’ll be offered a settlement. The claim closes when you accept the amount and the payment is delivered.

We want to help you, advocate on your behalf, and get you your settlement faster.

Tenant Insurance FAQ’s

Sharp Insurance’s tenant insurance brokers are award-winning for good reason. We’re more than happy to help you with your tenant insurance needs. Give us a call and chat about your options.

Here at Sharp, we do our best to answer all your questions and tailor-make a tenant insurance package that helps you and your family get the best peace-of-mind. We want you to have coverage that not only protects your belongings, but your personal liability claims as well.

Knowledge is power. Our FAQ’s are listed below. If the question that’s been bothering you is not addressed below, give a Sharp tenant insurance broker a call.

While it depends on how comprehensive your tenant insurance is and the provider you purchase through, a standard policy will include the following perils:

  • Fire
  • Smoke
  • Explosion
  • Lightning
  • Electrical current
  • Wind
  • Hail
  • Weight of snow (causing a roof collapse)
  • Falling object
  • Impact by vehicle or aircraft
  • Riot, vandalism, theft, and other malicious acts
  • Certain types of water damage (usually caused by plumbing or appliances)
  • Sewer backup*
  • Overland water (flooding)*
  • Earthquake and landslides*

If you’ve noted anything marked with an asterisk (*), this means you’ll need to purchase an endorsement in order to have coverage.

You may have been labelled a high-risk renter if you:

  • Had a lot of claims
  • Been cancelled for non-payment
  • Been cancelled by an insurance company for a reason other than non-payment

You can still purchase tenant insurance even if you’re high-risk. It just may take a few extra steps.

The payout you’ll receive in the event that your belongings are destroyed or damaged as a result of an insurable loss is called a loss settlement. Most insurers will give you these options:

  • Replacement Cost – this is the more expensive option, but it’ll reimburse you for what the item would cost to replace entirely.
  • Actual Cash Value – you’ll be reimbursed for the market value of your belongings, minus depreciation. This is the less expensive option.

Technically any landlord in Ontario or Alberta can require a tenant’s policy to be provided by the prospective tenant before a rental lease agreement is signed. This insurance is for you, not your landlord. Consider just how much you’d lose if you didn’t have insurance! The cost of insurance is minimal next to what you could end up forgoing. Most Canadians pay only between $25-$50/month for tenant insurance, which is less than buying a takeout coffee for each day of the work week.

No one tenant insurance policy will cost the same as another. For the most accurate assessment of what your insurance will cost, get a tenant insurance quote with us today. We are partners with some of the country’s top tenant insurance providers and we know we can find you a great deal on your policy.

Consider the following factors that insurers will note when calculating costs:

  • What was your unit/apartment constructed from?
  • Do you currently have tenant insurance?
  • What is the total value of all your belongings?
  • What’s your insurance history like?
  • What’s the location of your dwelling?
  • Do you have any other insurance policies?

It can be difficult to gauge the amount of coverage you need on your lonesome. Luckily, you can work with a tenant insurance broker from Sharp to assess your needs with the help of an expert.

Home insurance may be a blanket term for all different kinds of property insurance. Renter’s insurance is more inexpensive because it’s designed specifically for renters and provides coverage similar to traditional home insurance, minus the actual dwelling coverage.

Like any policy, renter’s insurance will not cover a number of different activities or losses. Those may include the following:

  • Wear and tear
  • Mold
  • Damage caused by insects, vermin, and animals
  • Water damage from frozen plumbing if you’re away
  • Any damage caused by your illegal activities
  • War or terrorism
  • Nuclear incidents
  • If your home is left vacant for more than 30 days in a row, you likely won’t have any protection if there is damaged

Also, without endorsements for specific losses, like earthquake or water damage, these perils will not be covered by your insurance.

Your tenant insurance will never cover any belongings that are not yours. This applies to anything stored at your place that belongs to someone else, plus common areas which are insured by your landlord’s insurance will not be covered.

A deductible is virtually your percentage of risk. It’s the amount of money you’ll spend out-of-pocket, if there’s an accident in your unit, before your insurance policy kicks in to cover your losses and/or other losses that you’re found responsible for. While you’re able to select the deductible you want, a higher deductible can result in a lower premium.

A policy limit is the max amount of payout you’ll receive for a covered claim. Your policy will have different limits for different areas of your coverage, as well as some items which will have a single limit, and a different limit for personal liability claims.

Again, you’ll have options. Work with a tenant insurance broker to determine adequate limits that are enough to insure all you own but not “too much” to where you’ll be paying for coverage you don’t need. For personal liability, we always recommend $1 million to $2 million. You’ll want about $30,000 as a standard option for your personal belongings and about $3,000 for additional living expenses.

To Serve You Best, We Work Hard to Partner with The Best!

Need a Tenant Insurance Tip?

If you’re a renter, your landlord’s insurance will cover the building and any repairs to the plumbing , electricity, and appliances but you’ll have to buy a personal tenant insurance policy for your personal belongings. You’ll also need to get personal liability insurance to protect yourself if visitors are hurt, or their belongings are unintentionally damaged. Your insurance company will offer different options for your specific lifestyle and budget.

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Currently Not Accepting Walk-Ins

Please be advised that due to unforeseen circumstances, Sharp is unable to assist walk-in clients at the moment.

We are happy to assist you with all your insurance needs over the phone at 1.877.218.2008