What BC Renters Need to Know About Tenant Insurance
Are you one of over half a million British Columbians who rent housing? If so, you’ve likely heard about, or considered Tenant Insurance. Hopefully, you have a policy in place. However, rising housing costs may have you reasonably wondering, “Do I really need Renters Insurance?”. Tenant Insurance (also known as Contents Insurance) is not a necessity by provincial law, but a growing number of landlords require it before forming a lease agreement – and with good reason. In this article we’ll explain why insurance is so much more than a “nice-to-have”, or something to purchase simply to appease your landlord.
Whether you’re a fan of minimalist living or have a wealth of worldly possessions, there’s a strong case for getting insured. Yes, it’s important to protect items you’ve worked hard for, in case of damage, theft, or loss, but the reasons to get insured go beyond covering everyday belongings. Having the right policy safeguards you against scenarios that stand to wreak havoc on your financial livelihood. Although certain major areas of responsibility are indeed your landlord’s responsibility (think major plumbing or roof leaks), there are many incidents that a good tenant insurance policy will help you recover from:
Flood or Fire
Let’s say you or your roommate accidentally leave a tap running, then head off to work. A few hours later, the tenant below suddenly has a new “water feature” in his living room. He’s none too pleased about it (go figure!) and neither is the landlord. What now? Likewise, if you lack insurance and start a fire that spreads to other units in the building, liability costs can become a huge burden. Rather than risk paying repair costs entirely out-of-pocket, the right coverage will help you mitigate these type of unfortunate and costly situations.
It’s a dreadful thought, but if your houseguest accidentally trips and falls down your stairs and injures herself, she may need weeks, even months off from work to heal. In the meantime, she loses income, and her bills start to add up. If you’re insured, a proper policy will help you handle at least a portion (if not all) of the related expenses.
Valuables Stolen from Your Vehicle
Maybe you lapse and accidentally leave your laptop in your vehicle. If you’re parked at home, and a thief does a smash and grab, you’ll usually be covered for replacement costs by tenant insurance – especially if you’ve done a thorough home inventory. The damage to the vehicle itself won’t be covered, but that’s what we have auto insurance for.
As a BC resident, it’s especially important to determine whether or not your policy includes earthquake coverage. Frequently, it’s a matter of opting in or adding a specific rider to your policy. If you’re unsure where you stand with an existing policy or need to find suitable coverage, simply ask, and we’ll be happy to help provide you with peace of mind, and affordable options.
Additional Living Expenses
Sometimes shortened to ‘ALE’, additional living expenses become relevant if your rental unit is deemed unlivable for safety or medical reasons. These reasons can range from earthquakes, floods, or even mandatory evacuation due to a forest fire. Being sure your policy includes ALE will help you carry on, and reduce the disruption to your life, not to mention the drain on your bank account. Reasonable and necessary expenses (like hotel and food costs), sometimes even moving costs, are typically reimbursed. Even things like meals or laundromat use may be covered if your temporary accommodations don’t include a kitchen or a laundry facility.
We’re here to help you select affordable, comprehensive coverage. Review, or build a Tenants Insurance policy with one of our team members today.