Renters Insurance: Everything You Need To Know

What is renters insurance?

Renters insurance, also known as tenant insurance, rental property insurance, and home renters insurance, protects your contents and belongings in the event of an insured peril, such as theft, vandalism, or fire. Liability coverage is also part of rental property insurance. It protects renters in case of bodily injury suffered by others and damage to others' property while at their rental property.

Renters insurance is similar to home insurance, however, it does not cover the physical building in which renters have their rental units. Your landlord will likely have insurance coverage for this.

Who needs renters insurance?

Anyone who is renting or leasing residential premises should have renters insurance. Renters of apartments, condos, homes, and university and college residence accommodations should have renters insurance.

Renters insurance will protect personal property, liability, and additional living expenses coverage for the renter.

Renters Liability Insurance - Morison Insurance - Ontario

Why do I need renters insurance?

Renters should have renters insurance to protect their belongings and their liability exposure in case of unforeseen losses. Losses can include water damage, fire, vandalism, theft, and other events.

The liability coverage portion of renters insurance protects renters if someone is injured while at the renters' premises.  An example of this may be if someone slips and sustains a bodily injury while in your rental home. If the injured person takes legal action, the renter of the premises may be found liable and be required to pay damages. Rental property insurance can protect the renter in terms of legal costs and a decision that awards financial damages to the injured person.

Additional living expenses can also be covered in the event that your rental unit is deemed unlivable and you have to live elsewhere until it is repaired or until you find a new place to live.

Is Renters Insurance Mandatory In Ontario?

Renters insurance is not mandatory in Ontario, however do be aware that many landlords will require that you have insurance before you move into your rental unit. The cost of renters insurance is very reasonable given that it covers your belongings, provides coverage if you need to live elsewhere after a significant loss, and protects you in case of a liability issue.

Remember: no renters insurance means no insurance protection. The renter will have to cover the costs of the loss entirely if a they do not have renters insurance and there is a loss..

How does renters insurance work?

Renters insurance protects your personal belongings and provides liability coverage when renting a home, condo, apartment or townhouse. In Ontario, renters insurance is not legally mandatory, however, your landlord may require you to purchase rental coverage for your unit, and having insurance will protect you from having to pay out-of-pocket expenses in the event of a loss.

Ontario Renters Insurance - Morison Insurance

What does renters insurance cover?

The three main areas covered by renters insurance are contents coverage for personal belongings such as furniture, TV's and clothing, additional living expense coverage in the event of a loss and you are unable to reside in the unit until repairs are finished, and liability coverage in case someone is injured while in your rental home.

Renters Content Coverage

This includes personal belongings such as TVs, computers, furniture, clothing, sports equipment, jewellery and other items you own in your rental home. You are protected in case of an insured loss. Limits in your renters insurance policy determine the limit of your coverages. When getting home renters insurance is important to tell an insurance broker what belongings and contents you have to ensure your items are adequately insured and the coverage limits in your renters insurance policy are appropriate for you.

Renters Additional Living Expenses Insurance Coverage

If there is a fire in your unit and you are not able to live in it until repairs are done, or you have to find another rental apartment, condo or home, additional living expenses coverage will cover reasonable costs that may be incurred by you until you move back in or find a new rental home.  Terms are in the insurance policy.

Renters Liability Insurance Coverage

If someone is injured while in your rental home due to an accident or you caused unintentional damage to another person’s property, liability coverage helps to protect you. If the injured person launches legal action, you will have protection as outlined in the policy. These terms are in your policy.

Renters Insurance - Home Business - Morison Insurance - Ontario

Do I need extra coverage for some of my belongings in my rental unit?

Your renters insurance must meet your specific needs. Renters can purchase additional coverages if needed. Some of these coverages include identity theft insurance and at-home business insurance.

Some other extra coverages are sewer backup coverage and valuable items coverage (such as for jewellery or art).  An insurance broker can guide you through coverage options if needed.

What does renters insurance not cover?

Renters insurance does not cover your belongings under certain circumstances, such as natural disasters like flooding, earthquakes, and sinkholes. Renters insurance also does not cover the building where you rent your unit - This insurance is the responsibility of the landlord. It's also important to know that your landlord's insurance does not protect you as a renter.

When should I buy renters insurance?

Renters should buy renters insurance before they move into their rental unit. Renters will then have insurance protection from the moment they move in.

Apartment Insurance - Renters Insurance - Morison Insurance - Ontario

How much renters insurance do I need?

Renters need enough renters insurance to cover the value of their personal belongings and at least $1 million in personal liability coverage.

  • Take an inventory of your belongings - Take a moment to think about what personal property you have and its value. When considering your personal property inventory, it may be easiest to make a list. Include all of your belongings such as televisions, computers, speakers, games consoles, furniture, any appliances, soft furnishings, and any expensive art or collector's items. Be sure to include any sports equipment – hockey equipment, a costly bicycle, or other similar things – in your calculations. Do you have expensive jewellery that you want to insure? Consider how much it would cost you to replace these items.
  • Get help from an insurance broker - An insurance broker will discuss with you what belongings you have and will help you to determine how much renters insurance you need. The value of some items, such as jewellery, may exceed standard limits on some renters insurance policies. In this case, you may want to purchase additional coverages to be sure these items are protected. Discuss this with your insurance broker.
  • Everyone’s needs are different - Each renter's insurance needs are different. Your rental home insurance needs will be far less than someone renting a large condo and renting a multi-bedroom home for their family if you have a small apartment and a limited number of belongings. Make sure your rental insurance policy meets your needs. An insurance broker will help with this.

What type of renters insurance should I get?

Renters should get several quotes on renters insurance from an insurance broker to ensure they get the right coverage and good value. Insurance brokers work with numerous insurance companies, and they will get you several competitive insurance quotes. When you contact an insurance broker and discuss your rental insurance needs, the broker will ensure that you get quotes so you can choose the policy that best meets your needs and budget.

How much does renters insurance cost?

Renters insurance can cost you between $200 and $800 a year. There are many factors that determine the cost of your renters insurance including how much renters insurance you need, the location of where you rents, your claims history and the age and condition of the building in which you rent.

Rental Insurance - Tenants Insurance - Morison Insurance

How often do you pay renters insurance?

Renters have a few options on how to pay for their rental home insurance.  Renters can pay their rental insurance policy in full once a year, select a three-month payment plan or pay monthly. Select the option that best meets your budget. An insurance broker will help you arrange the payment option that is best for you.

How can I buy renters insurance?

Contact Morison Insurance for your renters insurance needs. We work with dozens of insurance companies, and we shop at these companies to get renters the best insurance at competitive prices. Give us a call at 1-800-463-8074, or get started by filling out the form on our website. We have your best interest in mind!

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Our goal is excellent insurance and service for every customer. So, you may ask, what is it like to be a client at Morison Insurance? Our customers say it best. Read our online reviews and testimonials about our insurance, our expertise, and our service.


This content is written by our Morison Insurance team. It is provided for general information only. Insurance needs differ from person to person, and this article is therefore not a substitute for professional advice about your individual insurance needs which can be obtained by speaking to one of our brokers.

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