Do I Need Renters Insurance?

/ By Cowan Insurance Group

The short answer is yes! If you're planning to rent an apartment, home, condo or retail space, the most important thing to remember is that your landlord's insurance coverage doesn't extend to you. In most cases, your landlord's insurance policy will only cover damage to the building. You'll need your own insurance policy to protect yourself and your belongings. Renters insurance not only protects your personal property, it also covers liability if someone is accidentally hurt in your apartment or you are responsible for damage to someone else's property.

Covering what's valuable to you

Renters insurance protects your belongings in case of a covered loss. Depending on your coverage, this can include fire, smoke, lightning, vandalism and theft. It may also extend beyond your home, covering property that may be stolen from your car or even your gym locker.

There are several coverage options to choose from, including:

  • Named perils. This policy only covers what's specifically included in the wording (the named perils), but nothing else. For example, if it specifies fire coverage, you'd be insured for a fire but not a flood. Because named perils policies limit the scope to a specified peril, they are generally less expensive than all-risk coverage.
  • All-risk insurance. Unlike named perils coverage, an all-risk policy covers you for everything except what is expressly excluded in the policy. An all-risk policy is usually more expensive than a named perils policy, but it protects you against more perils.

Our expert insurance advisors are here to help.

Make a list and check it twice

When shopping for Renters insurance, you'll be asked for the approximate value of your belongings to ensure you have the right amount of coverage. Calculating this can be difficult, but doing so can save you many headaches if you ever need to make a claim.

Create a detailed record of your possessions. Take close-up and wide-shot pictures of your belongings, then use them to make an item-by-item list. Some people find it easier to keep their records of belongings grouped according to the rooms they are located in. Others categorize their belongings by item type, such as jewellery, artwork, books, furniture, etc.

Store the information in at least two places, keep hard copies outside your home, like at your office or at someone else's house, and save them to a folder on your computer.

If you have anything particularly rare or valuable, like antiques or collectables, consider having them appraised. Talk to your broker about whether they may need additional protection.

It's also important to do your research. You want to ensure that you're listing values that reflect the cost of replacing the items today, which may be more than the amount you initially paid.

Additional living expenses

Sometimes, when there is damage to your home, the repairs may require you to move out temporarily. In these situations, Additional Living Expenses coverage can help cover the costs of hotel bills, restaurant meals, storage, and moving expenses you might incur. 

Liability coverage

In addition to protecting your personal property, Renters insurance protects you if you are legally responsible for injury or property damage to others. That means you'll likely be protected if someone slips and falls while they're at your place or you unintentionally damage someone else's belongings. Liability also provides coverage up to your policy limits for your legal defence if you are sued, whether the incident occurred within your rental unit or elsewhere.

Whether it's your first place or renting for years, Renters insurance is critical for protecting what matters to you. Working with a broker will help ensure that the limits and coverage you have selected are right for you. They'll take the time to evaluate your needs and create a policy that fits your lifestyle.


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