Some landlords in BC require their tenants to purchase tenant insurance. Regardless of whether or not this is a requirement of your agreement, tenant insurance is something for all tenants to strongly consider.
It might seem like you don’t own a lot, but when you add up the value of all of your clothes, furniture, electronics, etc., it can be thousands of dollars. If there is a disaster, such as a fire or flood, your landlord is usually not required to pay for any damage to your belongings, even if they have insurance for the building. An even bigger risk is that you may be responsible for damage that you or your guests cause to the building. Imagine, for example, that you start a serious fire because you forgot to turn off your stove. If your landlord has evidence that you caused the fire, you might have to pay for the repairs to the entire building, not just your unit.
Many insurance companies and banks offer tenant insurance in BC. Not all provide the same coverage, so you will want to do your research and pick the policy that is best for you. Some policies only cover certain types of disasters – for example, fire but not earthquakes. Some will pay for you to stay somewhere else if you are displaced from your unit. And some will pay to replace your belongings with new items, not just the current value of what they are worth. In addition, the amount of liability coverage (coverage for damage that you or your guests cause) varies, but typically starts at $1,000,000.
You may ultimately decide that you cannot afford the additional monthly cost of tenant insurance, but be aware that you are taking a risk that could result in serious financial consequences.