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Don’t Be Fooled by Tenant Insurance Myths

Don’t Be Fooled by Tenant Insurance Myths

Regardless of whether you own your home or how cautious you may be with your unit, you cannot control the neighbors around you. They can quickly drive past security gates, allowing malicious strangers into the parkade and subsequently into the building, or even leave a barbecue unattended and start a serious fire.  With unpredictable weather changes in B.C., your home can also be susceptible to severe water damage, floods, or wind damage.  

Tenant insurance, if you’re a renter, is one of the best ways to protect yourself from lawsuits, all your belongings, and your rental unit.  Inflation has contributed to the high cost of living as of late. You may not realize just how expensive it can be to repair or replace your damaged belongings.  Securing the right protection could help you cover expenses that come up accidentally or unexpectedly from a covered loss. Don’t expose yourself to financial losses nor continue to believe the myths that plague Tenant insurance; especially when the cost of living in Vancouver is expensive enough as it is.   


Myth #1: My Landlord’s Insurance Protects Me and My Unit 
Your landlord’s insurance is tailored to cover damage to the property they own, items they own on the property (for example their appliances), and liability arising from ownership of the property.  It does not cover your personal belongings if anything happens to them, if you cause unintentional damage to your landlord’s property, or if someone is injured in your home.  That responsibility lies with you!  Your landlord’s insurance isn’t responsible for covering injuries sustained by the Uber Eats driver if he stumbled over your slippers at the entrance and broke his jaw on your floor.  If a visitor comes over and trips on your rug, subsequently breaking a leg, they can sue you for those injuries.  If you enjoy hosting at-home gatherings and typically extend invitations to multiple guests and if a few of those guests incur food poisoning from the food you cooked and sue you, how would you pay for those bills?  If you have tenant insurance, including liability, you would be protected against these types of claims.    

Myth #2: “I don’t have a lot of stuff to cover” 
Don’t underestimate the value of your belongings.  You might not have “a lot” of stuff but if you own even just an iPhone, that alone is one expensive item you need to protect in the event it is stolen or damaged.  According to police data, smartphones are the number one most stolen items from vehicles in B.C.! Do you own fancy camera equipment, expensive sporting gear, an envious sneaker collection or high-end purse?  Say you brought a bunch of those expensive electronics on a trip to Bali so you could capture two-weeks’ worth of travel memories and share them online, then accidentally leave your phone and camera unattended at the beach or had your iPad stolen at the airport, how would you recoup those costs when you just paid for that expensive vacation?  Imagine renting a U-haul to transport your belongings on moving day to your newly rented apartment then finding out most of your items were stolen because someone broke into the truck while you were inside Starbucks grabbing a quick coffee and lunch. Moving trucks are ideal targets because they store a plethora of valuables. Not every item may be expensive but as the saying goes, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. If a thief is determined, he or she will capitalize on the situation. Too often have we heard of horror stories that involve stolen belongings because a thief broke into a rental truck. In the unfortunate event that something does happen and you secure insurance, at least your belongings would be covered under a tenant insurance policy even if your items aren’t currently located inside your rented dwelling at that time.   
Myth #3: “It’s too expensive” 
Imagine, one summer evening while you’re out, your neighbour fires up his barbecue on the balcony and leaves it unattended as he interacts with guests.  The barbecue begins to smoke up profusely, escalating to a fire, resulting in damage to not only his unit but your expensive patio furniture and extensive damage to your sliding door and living room floor.  If this fire rendered your unit uninhabitable until repairs are completed, you would need to quickly and temporarily move out.  Imagine the financial costs and shock of needing to immediately find another home because you’re now forced to relocate.  It could take weeks or even months for the repairs to complete.  Vancouver and Toronto remain the most expensive cities to live in across Canada.  Do you have enough funds set aside to support you with temporary accommodation and meals should a loss occur to your unit? Often, cleaning costs can begin at a minimum of $20,000-$30,000 just for cleaning all the items in your home. This is because each item must be packaged, shipped off, cleaned, and shipped back.  What could possibly require this much cleaning, you ask? Well, this includes everything ranging from your electronics such as TV, to furniture such as your bed or couch, to every piece of clothing as well as everything else in between. 

Myth #4: “My roommate has insurance, so I’m covered too” 
Unless the person you are residing with is your spouse or common-law partner, you are not automatically covered. Each individual renting that dwelling must be listed on the insurance in order to be properly covered.  This includes siblings and roommates.  Your sibling’s or your roommate’s insurance does not extend to you, or your belongings and lawsuits can involve several parties.  

Tenant Insurance in Detail   

There are three main coverage components under a Tenant insurance policy: personal belongings, personal liability, and additional living expenses. 

Personal Belongings  

Your personal belongings would be covered for damage caused by fire, theft, and certain weather-related losses. Floods and earthquakes, however, are not automatically covered and must be added to the basic policy. Do you have enough protection to repurchase everything you currently own? If you’re uncertain, make a list of your belongings and assess an approximate value to each item then tally these amounts. This is why it is imperative to work with an expert Advisor because you will be guided with the right information. You will understand what limits apply to certain situations and how to create the best plan for you.


Tenants’ personal liability covers you for any bodily injury or property damage unintentionally caused to others. It also pays for damage that you, your family, or your pets cause to others. It pays any court judgments as well as legal expenses up to the policy limit.  

Additional Living Expenses  

Remember the situation we mentioned if you were required to quickly and temporarily move out because of the fire damage in your unit due to your neighbour’s barbecue going up in flames?  If you have tenant insurance, your policy would provide additional living expenses so you wouldn’t be out of pocket for temporary accommodation whether it’s another rental home or hotel.  Another fantastic benefit is that it can provide reasonable expenses for meals!  Could you imagine being forced to move out of your home because of a fire caused by someone else?  On top of that, having to find another place to rent for 1.5 times above what you were originally paying in addition to ordering take-out for the next two weeks because your pots and pans were ruined in the fire and having to pay for those meals when you could have cooked at home would not only be a huge inconvenience but could burn a whole through your wallet.  When considering the peace of mind and the value these benefits conveniently offer, it really is a no brainer.  

What Else Doesn’t Tenant Insurance Cover?  

You should know that if you live in a condo or townhome, the condominium’s building insurance does not cover you, liability suits against you, or your belongings. Furnishing and decorating your home regardless of whether you own the unit or not takes time and effort.  Imagine suffering a loss and having your belongings and space stripped away.    

Tenant insurance does not cover losses caused by a tenant’s own negligence nor does it cover intentional acts.  Just because you do not own the space you are renting does not mean you are excluded from certain situations.  If you are an inhabitant of the dwelling, you have a level of responsibility and can be found liable for claims that arise in that property.   

Knowing what you know now about tenant insurance, how well protected are you, your home, and your belongings?  


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