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Is Tenant Insurance Mandatory in Ontario?

Tuesday, 8 September 2020

Moving out on your own and signing that new lease is a great step towards independence. If you’ve recently moved into a new place, or you’re looking at your budget while apartment hunting, you may be wondering, “is tenant insurance mandatory in Ontario?” Regardless of whether you are renting an apartment or a whole house, you should consider getting tenant’s insurance to cover you in many circumstances. What does tenant insurance cover? Keep reading this blog to learn more about how tenant insurance is a great choice when you move into your new place!

What Is Tenant Insurance?

Tenant insurance, also commonly called renter’s insurance, can be compared in many ways to home insurance. The primary difference between tenant insurance and home insurance is that tenant insurance does not provide coverage for the actual building itself because it’s the responsibility of the landlord who owns it. Rather, tenant insurance is tailored towards protecting your personal property within the home, liability, and additional living expenses if you have to make a claim. Each policy can be tailored uniquely to your situation, but let’s take a look at those coverages options more closely:

What Does Tenant Insurance Cover: Liability

Personal Liability is a coverage designed to protect you legally if you accidentally injure someone, or they are hurt on your property. If you don’t have tenant insurance, you are on the hook to pay for any damages and legal fees associated with a lawsuit against you. Tenant insurance provides peace of mind and financial protection for you if someone sues you due to injury. A basic policy will cover you for $1 million, and you can also increase your liability limit to $2 million with many of our carriers.

What Does Tenant Insurance Cover: Contents

Contents coverage can be purchased for a specific dollar amount (ie. $40,000) to cover the cost of repairing or replacing household items in the event of a covered claim. This can include any of your belongings such as furniture, clothing, electronics, jewelry, etc. The cost of items adds up quickly, so it’s important to build a home inventory to get an accurate estimate of your personal property. Some items may be subject to limits, so speak with a broker so that you understand clearly what limits may exist on your policy. You can also take out a rider for individual items that are more costly including fine art, special jewelry such as an engagement ring, or wine collections as they may exceed the regular limits within your contents coverage.

What Does Tenant Insurance Cover: Additional Living Expenses

If you end up with a flood, fire, or other loss, it may render your home unlivable until repairs are complete. With tenant insurance, while they assist you in the cost of damage to your personal property, they also provide finances for living expenses associated with having to live elsewhere temporarily. Additional Living Expenses coverage (ALE) will often include meals and a temporary rental or hotel while repairs are going on. This coverage can also apply if the accident originated in another apartment unit in your building but you were affected by the damages.

Is Tenant Insurance Mandatory in Ontario?

The simple answer to the question, “is tenant insurance mandatory in Ontario?” is no, Ontario does not require that all renters have tenant insurance. Often a landlord will require a tenant to obtain renters insurance as a condition in the lease. As you can see, there are so many benefits to having coverage even if it’s not required! A common misconception is that if the damage is caused by another tenant in the building, the landlord or neighbour is required to pay the damage to your contents, however, this is not true. If a neighbouring unit causes a fire or flood and subsequent damage to your personal property, without tenant insurance, you are responsible for repairing or replacing your belongings. On the other hand, if you are responsible for damage to the building and other units, you may be sued and expected to pay. Even if your landlord doesn’t require tenant insurance, there are many benefits to having a policy for a very small cost.

How Much Does Tenant Insurance Cost?

There are several variables affecting the cost of tenant insurance, but you can usually find basic coverage for as little as $20 per month. When you add up the value of the personal property you’ve acquired over the years such as electronics, furniture, and clothing, the security of a tenant insurance policy is highly valuable. Keep in mind that you will choose a deductible, which you must pay towards the claim before your insurance starts paying. Learn more in our blog about the average tenant insurance cost in Ontario cities.


While we’ve answered the question of, “is tenant insurance mandatory in Ontario?” when you can get tenant insurance for such a minimal cost, it’s definitely worth the purchasing when you consider all that tenant insurance covers. You may also be able to bundle your tenant package with your auto insurance to get an even greater discount! If you’re ready to get a tenant policy today or to learn more, our BIG brokers are available to help get you a no-obligation quote. Contact us to get started!

Author: Amy Legault

By: Amy Legault