Even though tenant insurance is not mandatory by law if you rent a home, it is still a must-have. Tenant insurance often called renters insurance, protects both you and your belongings.
Your landlord is responsible for insuring the building or home you live in against structural damage and other issues, but you are responsible for getting your own insurance coverage for your rental unit and your personal items.
When choosing tenant insurance, you may be tempted to go with the cheapest option possible. But having coverage you can rely on is more important than trying to save a few dollars. Sometimes as little as an extra $2 or $5 per month can get you tens of thousands of dollars of more comprehensive protection for yourself and your belongings.
How to get cheap tenant insurance
When it comes to finding cheap tenant insurance in Canada, all it takes is a little shopping around. There are hundreds of providers, so it’s worthwhile to take some time to get quotes from more than one to see how they compare in coverage and price.
Many insurance providers will give discounts to alumni from post-secondary institutions, so check if there’s a deal for your university or college. Others will offer multi-product discounts, so check with your car insurance provider if they have renters insurance as well.
The real out-of-pocket cost of your tenant insurance will primarily be determined by how much coverage you need. If you live in a large home and have expensive possessions, then your insurance will cost more because you need more coverage than someone who has fewer and less expensive items. That said, other factors impact how much tenant insurance you pay including where you live, what type of home you have, the rate of home burglaries in your neighbourhood, and any prior claims you may have made.
You should expect to pay anywhere from $15 to $40 per month for tenant insurance, depending on where you live and the extent of coverage you need. You can reduce your monthly payment by choosing a plan with a higher deductible or less coverage. Most insurance plans have deductibles that range from $250 to $1,000. Many policy providers will also provide a discount if you pay for your insurance coverage on an annual basis instead of monthly.
READ MORE: Tenant Insurance and Why You Need It
Best tenant insurance companies in Canada
You have plenty of choices for tenant insurance providers in Canada. Here is how the top providers compare:
|Insurance provider/ platform||Lowest price per month||Special feature|
|APOLLO Insurance||$19||Customizable plan for additional coverage for jewelry, bicycles, and computers|
|Square One Insurance||$12||Liability coverage starts at $500,000|
|InsuranceHotline.com||$15||Compares rates from more than 30 lenders all in one place|
APOLLO Insurance offers a suite of insurance policies to cover small business owners, freelancers, and of course, tenants. Tenant insurance from APOLLO provides extensive coverage at an incredible starting price of only $19 per month. You can customize your plan for additional coverage for jewelry, bicycles, and computers. They also offer additional living expenses coverage up to $30,000!
Not only does APOLLO boast some of the most affordable plans in Canada, but its platform also makes it easy to apply and get approval within minutes. They offer outstanding customer service in follow-up, too. Once you’ve submitted your application for tenant insurance, an APOLLO insurance agent will be in touch with you to answer any questions and ensure your policy provides the coverage you need. After you sign and pay for your policy, it will be emailed directly to you. Read our full APOLLO Insurance review.
Square One Insurance
Square One Insurance has what is likely the cheapest tenant insurance in Canada, with policies starting at $12 per month. However, their plans are highly customizable which can increase the amount you pay out of pocket for coverage. You can add additional liability coverage above the baseline over $500,000, as well as contents insurance for specific items like jewelry, bicycles, and sporting equipment. Their sign-up process takes more time than competitors, but it’s thorough. Once you complete it, your insurance policy is sent to you immediately by email, with a paper policy to follow in the mail. Read our full SquareOne Insurance review.
This handy site pulls together rates from more than 30 lenders across Canada. All you have to do is spend a few minutes providing your details and the site will provide you with competitive options. You can also search for auto, home, life and travel insurance while you’re at it. Typically people save an average of 26% on their insurance policy when they use the site to compare rates, so it’s worth checking out when you are shopping around.
What tenant insurance covers
Tenant insurance provides two types of coverage: liability protection and contents insurance. Liability protection is insurance coverage in the event that you are sued for personal injury or property damage. If someone were to get hurt in your home, or, for example, your bathtub was to overfill and flood the apartment below, liability insurance protects you in the event you were sued for damages.
Contents insurance protects the actual contents of your apartment from theft or damage. If someone broke into your home and stole your things, or your belongings were damaged by a fire or flood, contents insurance would provide the means for you to replace them. You might not think you own a lot or that it would be expensive to replace your possessions, but you’d be surprised how quickly it adds up. When you count big-ticket items, like furniture and electronics, as well as delicate valuables like jewelry, most people find they need $25,000 to $35,000 of contents insurance.
Some tenant insurance providers also offer living expenses coverage. If you are displaced from your home because of investigations or repairs after a break-in, fire, flood, or other event, living expenses coverage will reimburse you. You can receive reimbursement for the out-of-pocket costs of staying in a hotel, as well as toiletries and food until you are back in your home.
What’s covered can vary widely between providers, so read the fine print of your insurance plan before you sign up. Different policies will outline whether they cover “named peril,” which only covers exactly what is specified in the policy, or “all risk,” which insures against a broader array of mishaps. For example, if you spill coffee on your laptop and damage it, that situation will most likely not be covered as a named peril. However, you may be able to get a new computer if you have all-risk coverage in your policy.
Is tenant insurance mandatory?
Tenant insurance is not mandatory by law, but most landlords will require you to show proof of coverage. Even if your landlord does not require tenant insurance, you should still get coverage. After all, tenant insurance is something that protects you and your belongings!
What is the average cost of tenant insurance in Ontario?
While the price of tenant insurance can range from $15 to $40 per month, the average cost of tenant insurance in Ontario is about $25 to $35.
What does renters insurance not cover?
Renters insurance covers theft and most accidental damage to your home and possessions, but exactly what is covered depends on the policy you select. Some tenant insurance policies only cover specific events, like natural disasters or a theft, while others will cover all-risk events, like if you drop your laptop.
The bottom line
Tenant insurance is essential for all renters, just like having car insurance is essential for all vehicle owners! Insurance is one of those things you need but hope to never have to use. But if you do, you’re grateful you have it. Paying a few hundred dollars per year for tenant insurance is much cheaper than having to pay thousands of dollars to replace all your belongings in the event of a catastrophe.