Tenants often wonder if they need to get tenant insurance. The answer is yes, but only if your landlord requires it and it is written in the lease agreement. For example, at GK3 Group, we rent out apartments in the Prescott, Brockville, and Ottawa, and for all our tenants, we require them to have their own insurance policy. This is a standard industry practice these days and is being adopted by more and more landlords.
Although some landlords may not require it, we strongly encourage tenants to get coverage to protect themselves. Let us explain why.
An insurance policy will protect you from liability in situations where you have caused damage, or your actions caused someone to get hurt. Let’s say for example, your pet causes an injury to someone or a wet/slippery floor in your apartment causes someone to slip and fall. You could be sued for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you have insurance coverage, you would be protected from undue financial hardship from these types of claims, which can be easily into the hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars.
Accidental Damage to Someone Else’s Property
In a case where you have accidentally caused damage to the landlord’s or someone else’s property, you would be covered through insurance. Let’s say you accidentally cause a flood or fire and it damages the building – you want to make sure you have insurance to cover the cost of repairs.
Living Expenses During Repairs
If your building is damaged due to flood, fire, etc., there might be a period where you have to relocate, while the repairs are being done. If you are carrying the appropriate insurance coverage, you would be reimbursed for living expenses, including things like accommodations and incidental expenses. Securing short-term rentals can be quite costly, and other costs associated with temporary relocation would be too much for many to afford, unless they have insurance coverage.
Many people have the false belief that since the landlord has insurance on the building, tenant insurance is not necessary. This is incorrect in the sense that the landlord’s insurance policy will cover the structure of the building, and any liability on the landlord’s part. The landlord’s insurance will not cover the tenant’s liability, nor the tenant’s contents. In the event of a fire or flood, the landlord’s insurance would cover the cost of the repairs to the building, but what about your stuff, like furniture, computers, TVs, and clothes? Can you imagine having to replace all that stuff at once? The cost would be in the tens of thousands for most households.
It is not only fire or flood that can cause damage to your contents. Unfortunately, burglaries do happen, and if your apartment gets broken into, you will have no way to get your stuff replaced if you do not have tenant insurance.
The good news is that tenant insurance remains relatively affordable. We encourage you to speak to a licensed insurance professional to get a quote but based on our discussions with tenants in our apartments in Brockville and Prescott, the cost seems to range from about $20 to $35 per month.
Peace of Mind
For our tenants at GK3 Group, we always try to communicate clearly and explain the benefits of tenant insurance, and we are happy that our tenants follow our request to get insurance. We believe this is the best policy – just ask anyone who has been saved thousands of dollars after they have experienced a significant loss. There is no price we can put on the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you are protected from liability claims which could be financially crippling, and that all your possessions are protected. It is worth every penny!