How to Buy Affordable Renters Insurance Online

May 22, 2020 11 min read

Here’s a shocking fact: More than 50 percent of renters are uninsured, according to the Insurance Information Institute. That’s a lot of homes left vulnerable to theft, vandalism, fire, water damage, and plenty of other unfortunate things you don’t want to be stuck with the bill for.

The average price of a renters insurance policy in Canada is a mere $25 per month, and can end up saving you thousands if disaster strikes. So if the cost of renters insurance is so cheap—and essential—why doesn’t everyone have a policy?

Some people might assume it’s unnecessary; others worry that the policies will be too complicated. But a large percentage of uninsured renters simply overestimate how much insurance will cost. According to a survey from InsuranceQuotes.com, 29 percent guessed that a policy would run up to $1,000 or more per year.

Spoiler alert: That’s over $800 more than the cost of a typical renters policy with MIG. Here’s what we’ll cover in this blog:

Why you need renters insurance

How much is my stuff worth? 

Is getting coverage really that simple? 

What are the not so obvious benefits of renters insurance

 

Why you need renters insurance

1. IT PROTECTS YOUR BELONGINGS AND PAYS TO REPLACE THEM

You aren’t covered by your landlord’s insurance and they aren’t responsible for replacing any of your stuff if it gets damaged or stolen. Renters insurance covers everything you own within your rented space, even down to the dishes. If a tree branch falls on your patio during a storm and destroys your barbecue and patio furniture, you’re responsible for replacing it. If you have insurance, you’ll only have to pay your deductible instead of the hundreds of dollars it would cost to refurnish your outdoor space. The same goes for anything taken in a break-and-enter, including your pricey electronics.

Even if you don’t think your stuff is very valuable, it would likely cost a small fortune to replace it all after a serious event or theft.

2. IT PROTECTS YOU

Third-party liability coverage is one of the lesser-known aspects of renters insurance, but it can mean a lot if you’re ever found responsible for damage to your suite or injury to another person.

If you get distracted while running a bath and flood a whole floor of your condo building, you could be on the hook for damages to the other suites. This could mean paying for building repairs or paying to replace your neighbour’s vintage coffee table.

The same goes for injuries. If your mother-in-law slips on the sidewalk you’re responsible for shoveling or your dog takes a bite out of someone, you could be found liable. If either matter ends up in court you’ll need to pay for a lawyer and other legal fees. The nice thing about renters insurance is that options vary—you can get coverage that goes where you go, so you’re protected if something happens at your home or a friend’s.

3. IT KEEPS LIFE GOING IF DISASTER STRIKES

Not everyone has an emergency fund and it can be difficult to cover the cost of relocating if a fire or a natural disaster makes your apartment unlivable. Life doesn’t stop when the worst happens and renters insurance can reimburse you for alternative housing. This could include a temporary stay in a hotel, finding a new apartment and even the cost of meals while you’re in transition. The cost of all that can add up quite quickly.

4. IT’S AFFORDABLE

Renters insurance can cost less than the cost of a night at the movies (don’t believe us? check out our The Real Cost of Renters Insurance infographic!) While policy prices depend on things like how much your stuff is worth and how much liability coverage you need, the average premium costs as little as $20 a month. It’s easy to find a policy that fits your needs and your budget. With MIG you can get a quote and buy the right policy for your budget online in just minutes.

It’s always a good idea to be prepared for the unexpected. Renters insurance gives you peace-of-mind for a surprisingly affordable price. Visit our product page to learn about MIG’s buyer friendly renters insurance or to get a quote, click here to get started now.

How much is my stuff worth?

First things first: You’ll want to set aside time to take an inventory of your personal belongings, since your overall policy cost will be largely determined by the amount of coverage you select.

Accounting for everything you own might seem challenging, but it’s key. It’ll not only help you determine how much coverage you should purchase, but it’ll be crucial if you need to file a claim in the future.

When you file a claim, you’ll have to fill out a full inventory of anything that was stolen or damaged. Having this type of documentation can speed things along on our end, and make your already stressful situation a bit easier.”

Life hack: Walk around your place and video everything – closets, furniture, decor, anything and everything you want to keep track of. This can be a record of your stuff that can be referred to in the event of a claim.

You might be tempted to lower your coverage limits down to the minimum in order to save a few bucks each month, but resist the urge. If disaster strikes, that small savings is going to end up costing you thousands if the coverage limits you selected aren’t enough to pay for everything you lost.

Make note of any particularly high-value items (like that diamond ring, or pricey laptop), as most insurers will only provide coverage for such items up to a certain dollar amount listed within the policy. Because of these limits, you’ll usually be able to increase coverage limits for those more expensive items. It’s always helpful to have receipts or appraisals on hand for valuables.

Taking a proper inventory of all of your stuff might seem like a daunting task, but doing so can save you a ton of extra stress in the event of a loss

Is getting coverage really that simple?

Brokers like MIG make life easy. By providing just a few pieces of info, you can receive a quote to protect your belongings, all while you binge-watch your favourite Netflix show.

You’ll submit your name, address, and birthday—all of that boring stuff that your phone can probably autofill for you. You’ll also be asked about whether or not you have fire alarms or burglar alarms. Be sure to double-check whether your home is equipped with these: Not only will they keep you safe, they’ll often lower the price of your renters insurance policy.

Next, you’ll need to select your coverage amounts. Since you’ve already taken an inventory of your stuff, and added up an estimate of what it’s all worth, selecting an adequate personal property coverage amount should be a no-brainer. The minimum will usually be $30,000, and can be increased from there.

You’ll also be asked to select a limit for liability coverage. Your liability coverage would protect you if, for example, you overflowed a bathtub that caused property damage to your neighbor’s apartment, or if someone were to sue you for injuries that were sustained on your property. This limit will usually begin at $2,000,000 and can be increased depending on your needs.

In most cases, you’ll also be asked to choose a deductible. A higher deductible often comes with a lower premium, so you’ll save money, but take on more risk. Keep in mind that the deductible is the out-of-pocket amount you’d be responsible for paying before your insurer pays a claim. So if your $1000 phone is stolen, and your deductible is $250, your insurance company pays you $750.

 

What are the not so obvious benefits of renters insurance?

In addition to the benefits outlined above, let’s make some things clear! Your landlord’s policy will not cover you and renters insurance is a lot more affordable than you think. The fact that it’s cheap doesn’t do much if you don’t know all the benefits.  Renters insurance could be free and some people still wouldn’t care if they don’t know how it applied to them and their stuff. So we’ve rounded up some benefits that may not be so obvious.

PERSONAL BELONGINGS AWAY FROM HOME

Did you know this one?  Someone swipes your laptop at your favorite coffee shop while you’re making your order. All hope is lost right? Wrong; your policy has your back.  Yup, you heard that right. Even though it occurred away from your home, renters insurance covers you and your personal property whether you are at home or out and about, living your best life.

DOG BITES

So it turns out your dog doesn’t just have more bark than bite?  No worries, your renters insurance policy still has your back, whether your dog was walking you at the park or hanging out at home.

ACCOMMODATION COSTS AFTER A DISASTER

You’ll be happy to know that your policy will cover your lodging and meals if you are temporary displaced from your residence by a covered peril.

MEDICAL EXPENSES FOR INJURED GUESTS

So, you have some clumsy friends (who doesn’t)?  Don’t worry; you can still have them over. Your policy will cover you if they decide to try out for the olympic diving team down your stairs or decide dinner will taste better with a part of their thumb in it.

LIABILITY COVERAGE WHILE YOU’RE TRAVELLING

The great thing about renters insurance liability coverage is it protects you at home as well as when you’re travelling.  Let’s say you open a car door just as a cyclist is passing by. Your renters insurance policy will cover any expenses incurred in looking after injuries and the bicycle itself.  Portable peace of mind while you travel away from home!

LEGAL COSTS IF YOU’RE SUED

In insurance speak, we refer to this as third party liability coverage. This will cover you in the event that you are sued do to your actions or negligence.  Your policy will not only cover legal fees that you may incur defending yourself, but will also pay to cover damages you are found liable for.

IDENTITY THEFT PROTECTION

Identity theft protection is part of your renters insurance program.  This added benefit provides compensation for the countless hours of your own time and that of a lawyer to undo all the damage caused by someone who has stolen your identity. Making sure you reclaim your identity can be an onerous process but at least you will have the financial ability to carry out the tasks to get you back to being “you” again.

Identity theft coverage through your renters insurance is a built-in coverage to help you reclaim your identity. It will provide compensation for the countless hours of your own time and legal advice to undo the damage done by an identity thief.  Working with credit bureaus, lenders, credit card companies and law enforcement will all take time and money and the identity theft coverage through your renters insurance will compensate for this lost time and expense.

If these benefits have resonated and you think now is a good time to buy renters insurance, take the time to document how much your stuff is worth and then use our renters insurance calculator to estimate how much a policy might cost you. You’ll find the calculator, answers to common questions and many more resources over at our renters insurance hub.

Not so complicated, right? Life can be stressful enough as it is, so you can have some peace of mind knowing that purchasing a cheap renters insurance policy online is easier than ever. Now get out there and get covered!

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Written by

Davis started in the insurance industry in 2009. He completed a Bachelor of Business Administration-Marketing at the University of Winnipeg in 2017 and us currently completing a Master of Management Innovation at Queens University.  He obtained his full CAIB designation in 2016, has his LLQP certification in 2018 and is currently working on his CIP designation. Although his everyday function is not primarily as a broker, as he works on sales and marketing strategy, he enjoys the opportunity of applying his insurance and corporate innovation knowledge to find new ways to integrate technologies to innovate and make insurance simple, easy and clear.