A common misconception of some renters is that they don’t need to purchase their own insurance coverage. Erroneously, many believe that if something were to happen, their losses would be covered under their landlords’ policy. For others, they are not able to or just choose to not incur the additional cost.
However, we’ve recently heard the downside of not having insurance coverage following the devastating fires in downtown Brandon last month. Educating yourself and investing in a policy that protects you and your property truly is well-worth the small monthly investment.
Tenants’ insurance means more than just protecting the loss of your personal items; there are three key components that makeup tenant’s insurance as a whole.
#1. Personal Property – This includes any personal property owned by the occupants that are listed on the policy. This could potentially cover everything from appliances and electronics to furniture, jewellery, and clothing, etc. An insurance policy would cover the loss of these items if they were damaged or stolen.
#2. Temporary Living Expenses – There may be a situation where you need to vacate your apartment due to unforeseen damages as a result of a fire, water damage or something of that nature. An insurance policy will help to cover costs incurred of having to find alternative living accommodations.
The third component of tenants’ insurance is likely the most interesting and the scariest!
#3. Liability Coverage (including medical and legal) – Did you know that if your bathtub were to overflow causing damage to the unit (or units) below that you are liable for your neighbours’ losses? Many tenants assume they are only required to cover their own losses, medical bills, and alternate living accommodations which is why they tend to shrug off tenants’ insurance. However, should your neighbour suffer the loss of their personal items or need to vacate their unit and find alternative living accommodations, those expenses are your responsibility.
This is just a minor example, in a more serious situation, what if a tenant suffers an injury because of your negligence? You would be responsible for all monetary losses and are legally required to pay (and let’s not forget about the legal fees that could arise as a result of a situation such as this).
In another extreme example, you might want to consider the consequences if a fire were to start in a unit due to the negligence of a tenant (leaving food cooking unattended). If the result was a total loss of a property, did you know that the tenant who is found to be responsible for the fire is responsible for the entire loss of the building? Scary, right?
So, while you may not think that your sofa or your television is worth the investment of a tenants’ insurance policy, you may want to consider the ramification of being liable for damage to your neighbour, their unit or any common area of the complex.
The cost of a policy is surprisingly minimal and is sometimes as low as the price of a coffee at Starbucks. Yet, having the peace of mind that comes with proper insurance coverage is invaluable.
Vionell Holdings Partnership (VHP) provides rental housing and property management for an array of residential and commercial customers, including Condominium Management. VHP currently has over 3,500 units under management in Manitoba. For more information please visit www.vhproperties.ca.