Virtually all landlords have insurance on their rental property. Yet, some tenants do not have tenant insurance. Landlords often wonder, should I require a tenant to have insurance? The answer is a resounding, YES! Let’s dig a little deeper into why.
COMMON TENANT REASONS FOR NOT HAVING INSURANCE:
My Landlord Has Insurance, Why Do I Need It?
There is a common misconception that a tenant will be covered under their landlord’s insurance policy. This simply is not true. In the event of a fire or other incident, the insured landlord will be covered for their losses. The tenant, on the other hand, is often excluded from their landlord’s policy and will have to cover their losses out of pocket.
Insurance is Too Expensive!
While the cost of tenant insurance can vary, it is normally inexpensive. A policy will likely cost between $20-$35 (CAD) per month. The actual cost will depend on several factors including how much coverage is needed, the type of coverage, the deductible amount, and where the tenant lives. A tenant can consider requesting a higher deductible to drive down their monthly rate.
I Do Not Own Very Much, Why Would I Pay To Insure It?
If you were to calculate the replacement cost of everything you own, it would be a lot higher than you think. Picture losing everything, literally you do not even own a pair of underwear. Your clothing alone would be costly to replace. Consider your furniture, TV, kitchen accessories, etc. It all adds up.
I Am Not Liable For What Happens at the Property, as I Am Not The Owner.
A tenant can be held liable for accidents that happen in their rental property. Picture you are hosting a party and someone gets seriously injured slipping on your wet floor. You may think, “my friend is never going to sue me.” Are you willing to take that risk? What about if your making supper and accidentally start a fire that damages your rental and other units in your building? You could face legal action from the parties impacted.
WHAT IS COVERED WITH TENANT INSURANCE?
The type and amount of coverage will depend on the package offered by your insurance provider. Posted below is a list of items that can normally be covered:
- Replacing personal belongings (e.g. computer, television, furniture) that have been damaged or destroyed
- Loss due to theft
- Liability for injuries
- Liability for damage to surrounding property
- Relocation expenses in the event your rental unit is not habitable
HOW DOES TENANT INSURANCE BENEFIT THE LANDLORD?
Protect Your Own Insurance
A landlord’s insurance premium can increase after a claim. Also, insurance policies can be cancelled if there are too many claims. If a tenant’s insurance can cover the loss from a claim, this will protect the landlord’s insurance policy.
Attract the Right Tenants
A tenant that understands the value of insurance is often a responsible person, who will likely make for a good tenant. Requiring tenant insurance is a good screening tool during your leasing process.
Reduce the Risk of a Lawsuit
Insurance provides a tenant with recourse to recover their losses, without considering legal action against their landlord. Also, parties who experience damage caused from tenant negligence, may come after the landlord if the tenant does not have any insurance coverage.
Faster Repairs After a Loss
Consider the destruction and mess left after a home fire. An insured tenant is covered for the cost of removing their destroyed property. Without tenant insurance, the landlord is often left to cover the cost, prior to any restoration work.
IS TENANT INSURANCE MANDATORY?
In Newfoundland, there is no legal requirement for a tenant to carry insurance. That said, a landlord is within their rights to request proof of tenant insurance as part of their rental agreement.
Interested in Tenant Insurance?
Click any of the links below to explore tenant insurance options at a variety of Newfoundland based insurance providers: