Is tenant insurance mandatory in Ontario?
According to the Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario, renters in the province constitute about 30% of the total population, and nearly half of all renters in Ontario live in the Toronto metropolitan region. That means that there are quite a number of people in Ontario who currently live in rented apartments or homes. Renting has a number of benefits: It’s often more financially accessible than buying property for many people, and it allows a great deal of flexibility that isn’t necessarily a given for someone who owns their home. Renting a home also constitutes far fewer responsibilities than if you were a homeowner: Landlords—as opposed to tenants—are usually in charge of any maintenance issues unless otherwise stated in a contract, while a homeowner is responsible for maintaining their home and conducting any repairs.
If you’re one of the many renters in Ontario, it’s natural to wonder whether you might be required to own tenant insurance. After all, certain types of insurance are mandatory, such as auto insurance (if you own a car, naturally). The short answer is that no, tenant insurance is not legally required in Ontario. That doesn’t mean that it’s not a good idea to have it anyways.
Why should I have tenant insurance?
Although tenant insurance isn’t legally required in Ontario, it doesn’t mean that a landlord won’t want to see proof of insurance before letting you sign a lease. So if you’re currently hunting for an apartment in Ontario, having tenant insurance could give you an advantage over other applicants who don’t have it. Conversely, not having tenant insurance could hurt your chances of scoring your dream apartment if a landlord requires you to have insurance before signing a lease. But having tenant insurance doesn’t just potentially keep you in the running while you’re applying for apartments. It’s also vital protection that ensures that all of your personal property is covered in case a disaster happens.
What does tenant insurance cover?
A common mistake among renters is thinking that a landlord’s insurance will cover any damages to a tenant’s rental unit and personal property if something like a fire or a burglary in the building causes the property to get damaged. However, that’s not the case. The landlord’s insurance will only cover damages to common areas in the building, but will not cover anything within the walls you’re renting. That’s where tenant insurance comes in.
While every insurance policy differs according to providers, a typical tenant insurance policy will cover the cost of repairs and replacements to your personal property if they’re broken, lost, or stolen in your rental unit.
It’s always important to carefully read the policy to know exactly what property is covered, what the coverage limit is, and whether you’ll need additional protection for things like valuable jewelry, high-value electronic equipment, and expensive artwork.
Another benefit to tenant insurance is the legal liability coverage that it provides. If someone is visiting you in your rented home and injures themselves by tripping on your carpet and twisting their ankle, they could potentially sue you and make you pay for their medical costs. Thankfully, your tenant insurance will cover any medical costs that may arise if someone hurts themselves in your home.
The same goes for any damage you might accidentally cause in your rental unit. Let’s say you’re trying your hand for the first time at making crêpes suzette in order to impress a date, but the crêpes aren’t the only thing you end up setting on fire. The resulting smoke and fire damage to your kitchen would be a massive expense if you’d have to pay it out of your own pocket. Thankfully, tenant insurance will cover the damages for these kinds of accidents.
Temporary living expenses
If your rental unit suffers major damage that makes it impossible for you to keep living in the unit while it’s being repaired, then tenant insurance may cover any additional temporary living expenses, such as hotel or Airbnb costs, meals, and moving costs. Keep in mind that, again, not all policies will offer the same amount of coverage, and there will be a limit to how much an insurance company will cover. Most insurance policies will only cover expenses that go beyond what your typical expenses are. So if you have to move to a hotel for a month and pay $2,000 for your stay, but your monthly rent is only $1,000, then your insurance will only cover those extra $1,000 you’re paying for your hotel stay.
Having tenant insurance in Ontario is a recommended investment for anyone who’s going to be renting their living space. While you may think of yourself as a responsible and careful tenant, accidents can always happen. Even the most prepared tenant can’t foresee a burglary, or someone injuring themselves in their home, or a fire in the building that happens to destroy your belongings in the process. As the saying goes: Better safe than sorry.
If you’re currently wondering where to find a tenant insurance policy that meets your budget—or if you’re unhappy with your current policy and looking to switch—, then YouSet can help you find the policy that matches your needs. Instantly compare policies and choose the one that’s best for you, at the best possible price. Come check us out!
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