Tenant insurance is yet another cost to consider in BC’s expensive rental housing market. If you are already struggling to pay your rent and bills, you may decide to pass on this additional expense. Tenant insurance may not be for everyone, but keep in mind that you could be putting yourself at risk by not having it. In addition, some landlords require tenants to have tenant insurance, so it is important to understand what you have agreed to as part of your tenancy agreement. At the very least, consider doing some research on tenant insurance; it is probably more affordable than you think, and it could end up saving you in a time of crisis.
Most tenant insurance policies cover the following:
- Personal possessions: Tenant insurance can cover your lost clothes, furniture, appliances, electronics, etc. For example, if there is a major flood in your rental unit, you might be able to use your tenant insurance to replace your personal possessions.
- Liability: Imagine you forget to turn off the stove and start a serious fire. If you cause damage to other tenants’ rental units, you might be able to use your tenant insurance to pay for those expensive repairs or damaged possessions.
- Displacement: Natural disasters can force tenants to leave their homes temporarily. For example, if you are displaced due to a wildfire, tenant insurance might pay for your hotel and living expenses until you are able to return.
Tenant insurance policies can vary from company-to-company, and person-to-person. Some policies will replace stolen belongings with brand new items rather than items based on their current value, while others may not cover burglary at all if you live with multiple unrelated roommates. In addition, the cost of tenant insurance can vary depending on your credit, and whether you have had insurance in the past. You will have to do some research to find the company and policy that best fits your situation.