Why You Need Renters Insurance

September 10, 2018 8 min read
Renters Insurance

A big move into a new place can be quite the undertaking; a couch, beds, tvs, kitchen appliances, pots and pans, a microwave, and maybe even some cute houseplants. There is a lot of important stuff to move in and it can be a busy time. In the fun of all the planning for your move, don’t forget to make sure you have the right coverage and protection you need in case anything were to happen.

The thought of buying renters insurance may not get you as excited as moving in the last piece of furniture, finding the perfect piece of decor that makes your rented space feel like home or binge watching your favorite show, but it will give you the piece of mind knowing that you and all your stuff is covered when you go to bed.

In this article, we will explore why renters insurance is necessary for both you and your landlord and what can happen if you don’t get the coverage you need.

What is renters insurance and what does it cover?

Renters insurance will provide you with the financial reimbursement to cover the cost of replacing or repairing your personal belonging in the event of a loss from “an insured peril”.  That’s insurance speak for an insured event that causes the loss or damage, so fire, theft, vandalism, water damage and more.

Another cool feature included in your renters insurance policy is additional living expense, which you might never think of until you need it.  If you have a fire in your space, you won’t be able to live there for quite some time while your place gets repaired and your belongings are replaced.  Your policy includes additional living expenses which will help compensate for costs associated with having to live in a hotel room or a sublet suite while your place and stuff is restored.

Why Is Renters Insurance Important?

Renters insurance is as important as your lease or rental agreement.  As soon as you move into a new space, make sure you have insurance protection to cover losses that can happen to your personal property from fire, theft or vandalism. And it can be a lifesaver in these unexpected situations.

But the lesser known but equally important feature is liability coverage. Let’s say you overflow your kitchen sink by accident. You got distracted for a few moments and now there is water running all across your kitchen floor. This then leaks through to your downstairs neighbour’s kitchen ceiling. The liability coverage included in your renters insurance policy will provide coverage for damage you cause to others and their property, as well as bodily injury claims you are responsible for.

Want to learn more about what renters insurance is and what it covers? Check out our ‘Renters Insurance 101’ blog post.

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 you 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. 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.

Do you need renters insurance to rent an apartment?

Although you may not be required to have renters insurance, you should think twice about not protecting yourself.  You won’t be covered by your landlords insurance and they aren’t on the hook for replacing any of your stuff if it gets damaged or stolen.

These days, many landlords and property management companies will require proof of renters insurance as a condition of the lease. Aside from being mandated to have insurance, more importantly you want to make sure everything you have worked so hard to build and acquire is financially protected.

Imagine if you had to replace all your furniture, your clothing, all your belongings in one shot.  What would that cost for you to bring yourself back to the same place you were prior to a loss?  Take a run through our Renters Insurance Coverage Calculator to get an idea of what all your stuff would add up to if you were to replace it.

Is it required by law to have renters insurance?

Although you are not required to have renters insurance by law, it is becoming more common for a landlord to require a renter to obtain insurance before they take possession of the residence.

Can my landlord require me to have renters insurance?

Yes, your landlord can require that you have a current renters insurance policy as a condition of the lease. Many people assume they have some insurance protection from the landlord. But the insurance policy held by the property management company or landlord will only provide coverage for damage to the structure, not for your personal property.

Why would my landlord require me to have renters insurance?

It ensures you are responsible.  Your landlord wants the best possible renters; them requiring you to have proper coverage can help ensure this.  In their eyes, if you carry renters insurance it shows you care about your home and the well-being of yourself and others.

They don’t want to have to worry about your stuff.  Renters insurance protects your items from damage and theft whether you are at home or away from your residence.  The landlord doesn’t want to get into a situation where your stuff is lost or damaged and there is a dispute between you and them about who’s fault it is.

Although it may not be mandatory, peace of mind is priceless.  Renters insurance plans are usually less than $20 a month.  At MIG, our team is here to help you through the process of getting proper coverage to protect yourself and all of your stuff! To get started and get a renters insurance quote, click here.

Written by

Alex Harms is part of our marketing team at MIG Insurance and she specializes in writing content to make insurance easier to understand for our clients. She obtained her Bachelors in Commerce (Hons.) at the Asper School of Business and worked with MIG as a broker during her studies and now fulltime in a Marketing & Operations role. She has taken on many tasks her at MIG but enjoys the challenge. Outside of work she enjoys spending time with her family as well as her dog Murphy, out at the lake which is their favourite spot!