There are many perks to renting rather than owning property. If you live in an apartment building, the lawn care, such as raking up endless autumn leaves, is taken care of by a property manager. You’re also free from major responsibilities as a tenant, such as replacing a roof or furnace. Although you are a renter and don’t require home insurance, it is essential that you invest in tenant insurance to cover your personal property and protect your belongings.
Is Tenant Insurance Required in Alberta?
No, tenant insurance or renters’ insurance is not a requirement in the province of Alberta, but we do strongly encourage renters to invest in a policy. Why? It is increasingly common for landlords to request their tenants have insurance coverage for various reasons, including:
- The protection of your personal belongings in case of fire, water damage, or theft.
- Personal liability coverage in the event someone is unintentionally injured in your living space.
- Living expenses coverage in the event you need to temporarily relocate due to repairs or renovations.
Without tenants’ insurance, the above examples would be your responsibility as the renter and come out of your pocket. These costs can add up extremely quickly if an incident occurs.
What Tenant Insurance Does and Does Not Cover
Your landlord will have their own landlord’s insurance that protects them and their property in the event of damage to the building, but their policy does not extend to the tenants. Tenant or renter insurance is designed to protect you, your identity, your liability, and the items of value in your living space.
Tenant insurance or contents insurance covers your personal belongings. Your items will include any items that belong to you that you can pack into a bag or a vehicle when moving. Common items include clothing, electronics, books, furniture, etc. These items are covered even if they are not in your home. For example, if your computer is stolen from your car or your backpack is stolen at the gym, you’ll still be covered by your insurance policy.
If there is a theft in your rented home or apartment, your insurance policy will cover the items taken. Without a policy, you’ll be on your own to replace the stolen items.
If valuable identity documents are stolen, your policy can cover the costs of replacing those legal documents and other related legal fees up to a limit.
If a water pipe bursts in your building, any water damage that occurs to your belongings will be covered by your tenant insurance policy. Your landlord’s policy should cover the damage to the building.
If you have valuable items, such as artwork, jewelry, or professional-grade machinery or tools, your best option is to meet with an insurance advisor or broker. Often, high-valued items require additional insurance to have full coverage, so make sure you let your broker know if you have any collections or valuable items.
Additional Living Expenses
If your apartment is under repairs or improvements and you need to stay somewhere other than your apartment, your insurance will provide a portion of your additional living expenses. Your coverage can include a hotel stay, short-term rental, and meal allotment.
What is Not Covered?
There are certain circumstances when tenant insurance won’t cover damages, and this is usually in scenarios such as natural disasters, including tornados, flash floods, etc. Each insurance policy has different rules regarding what is and is not covered. It is your responsibility to read your policy or consult with your tenant insurance advisor for advice. Our brokers at Cornerstone Insurance are always happy to get on the phone or answer your emails regarding any questions with your policy.
What About Roommates?
If you live with one or more roommates (not family members), then each of you will require your own individual insurance policy. Your coverage only extends to your belongings and the personal property of your guests when they are in your living space. Co-habitants need their own separate coverage if they want their personal property insured. The same goes for you. If your roommate has a tenant insurance policy, it does not extend to your items either.
Giving you Peace of Mind and Protection
The best part about tenant insurance is the peace of mind it can bring. No one enjoys imagining the worst-case scenario, but when you have an insurance policy tailored to your lifestyle, you’ll be able to sleep well knowing that it will protect your belongings if anything happens. When you work with an insurance broker, when an emergency happens, let us know, and we’ll help you file your claims and complete the paperwork so you’ll receive your claim quickly and with less time spent.
How to Shop for Renters Insurance
When you work with an insurance advisor, finding the right tenant insurance policy is straightforward. A well-rounded policy is based on replacement cost, meaning in the event of a crisis, your insurer will provide you with the value of your items when they were purchased. For example, if you bought your TV for $400 and it is stolen from your apartment, your insurance policy will reimburse you $400. It will be your decision to purchase another TV at that same price, buy a cheaper TV for less, or put the money towards a more expensive model and pay the difference.
To apply for a policy, you’ll be required to make a list of all your items and their value when you purchased them. Based on conversations you will have with your insurance broker, your specific policy details and insurance coverage will be adjusted to match your budget, needs, and belongings. At Cornerstone Insurance Brokers, we partner with the best insurance companies to provide a competitive selection of tenant insurance policies to fit your needs.
Tenant Insurance in Edmonton
Cornerstone Insurance Brokers are here to help you find a tenant insurance policy that fits your life. When you work with our insurance advisors, we’ll review your needs, shop the offers from our insurance partners, and present you with the best selection for your budget and circumstance, so you’ll know you’re getting the best insurance coverage for the right price. Contact our office to learn more about the tenant insurance that’s right for you.