Who Needs Tenants Insurance?
Tuesday, 17 December 2019
If you just moved out on your own or maybe with a roommate, congratulations on your new place! Whether you are a student, or moving for work, a new place can be a great time for a fresh start. If it is your first time living on your own, all the new freedom you have can be very exciting! If you are renting your new place, have you considered tenant’s insurance? While it’s not required by law, tenant’s insurance is strongly recommended whether you live in an apartment building or leasing a home. It is important to have an insurance policy to protect your belongings and yourself.
Do I Need Tenant Insurance?
“My landlord already has insurance, so I don’t need any.” To put it simply, this statement is false. Yes, your landlord does have insurance, but their insurance covers the building, the walls, floors, roof, doors and so on. This insurance does not cover you or any of your belongings. Additionally, this insurance does not cover any upgrades you have made to your unit, whether that be new carpets or built-in shelving. If there was a fire or flood, their insurance would cover the building, however if you were the one who started the fire, you could be liable for any damage that happens to other units, as well as your own. Without your own insurance, you could be stuck paying for these damages and any legal fees out of pocket.
What Should My Tenant Insurance Cover?
Contents insurance is an important type of coverage to have on your policy. Imagine your apartment is a giant box, and if you flipped it upside down, anything that falls out is covered under your contents policy. Whether it is furniture, jewelry, electronics, clothing or sporting equipment, these are your belongings, or contents. In the event of a fire or theft, these items will be covered by your tenant’s insurance policy. Without this coverage, it can be very expensive to pay out of pocket to replace all these items at once.
It can be difficult to figure out how much insurance coverage you need to cover all your belongings. It is recommended to make an itemized list, or an inventory of everything you own including their replacement costs. By adding up the estimate of how much it would cost to replace everything, an insurance broker can sit down with you and help figure out exactly how much coverage you need. Some other ways you can make this process easier is to record videos or photos of your valuable possessions, save receipts or warranties you have on certain items as proof of ownership. If you have “one-of-a-kind” items or very expensive items, you may have to pay extra for coverage on them, simply because they will cost more to replace.
Tenant Liability Insurance
As mentioned earlier, if you cause damage to the building, such as a fire, you could be liable for the damage. If the fire spreads to other units in the building, you could liable for them as well. Similar to a homeowner’s policy, liability insurance helps to protect you if you or any guests cause accidental damage.
Liability insurance also helps to protect you if someone in your rental unit gets injured. For example, if someone slips in your kitchen and breaks their arm, you would be liable. When someone who is injured on your property decides to sue, this insurance coverage would help pay for your legal defense as well as the cost of any medical bills they accumulate over the time of recovery. It can also cover the cost of medical bills from dog bites. Things like x-rays, dental, or wages lost during recovery would all be covered up to the limit of your liability insurance policy.
Your Tenant Insurance Could Cover Additional Living Expenses
If there is damage made to your home, whether it is your fault or not, additional living expenses will help you reside elsewhere while reconstruction takes place. This insurance coverage will help pay the cost of a hotel, food, and other essentials while you are not in your home. Any other additional expenses you may have will be covered when your rented home is rendered unlivable. If you did not have this coverage on your policy, it would be expensive to rent out a similar space while yours is being repaired. If you decided to live with a relative or friend during this time instead of a hotel, the coverage on your living expenses may be more limited. You should talk to an insurance broker to get more specific of what you need covered for this type of insurance.
Tenant’s insurance is very valuable, just like home or auto insurance is. If you have any questions on what contents would be covered or how much coverage you need, speak to one of our insurance brokers here at BIG. We can take time to help make an inventory or itemized list of all the items you want covered under your policy. You don’t want to be stuck paying out of pocket if anything were to happen to your rental unit or your belongings.Get a quote today!