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Tenant insurance in Canada

Insurance is often looked at as the cost of owning something valuable. Homes, cars or other expensive items need protection from damage or theft. Replacement values can be high, and insurance provides peace of mind for items that would put a financial burden on someone if they had to pay out of pocket to replace them.

Tenants, while not being owners, are encouraged to consider similar insurance protection for their belongings, even if they are not the primary owners of the dwelling.

Tenant insurance protects you for covered perils and offers personal liability protection in incidents where you cause damage to an adjacent property, or someone is injured on your property and intends to sue.

While tenant insurance in Canada is not mandatory, many, if not most, landlords require it as a condition of a lease agreement. Also, replacement costs can be quite high, and legal bills can reach the tens of thousands of dollars in some cases.

Tenant insurance can also provide protection on any upgrades made by you while living in the home. New cabinets, fixtures and other additions are usually covered by your tenant insurance.

If your dwelling becomes uninhabitable, tenant insurance can help cover the costs of temporary accommodations, while your unit undergoes repairs.

Tenant insurance coverage types and endorsements in Canada

Below is an overview of the protection most tenant insurance policies offer.

They’re very similar to comprehensive home insurance policies:

While each insurance provider offers different options, they’re usually the same as those that can be added to a home insurance policy.

Some of the most common endorsements include:

Tenant insurance types

Most insurance providers package tenant insurance plans as either All perils or Named perils.

All perils policies cost more, but they offer a much broader range of coverage and give the tenant the confidence that they’ll be protected if something unexpected happens.

Coverage amount

The amount of tenant insurance coverage a tenant purchases should be informed by the total value of the belongings they keep in their rental unit.

Savvy renters will take a room-by-room inventory of their belongings and estimate the cost of replacing each item at least once a year. Doing so makes it easier to ensure that the tenant’s policy is up to date when it comes up for renewal each year.

Actual cash value vs. replacement cost

A tenant will also have to decide between getting an actual cash value plan or a replacement cost plan.

An actual cash value (ACV) plan reimburses the tenant for the value of the items claimed at the time they were damaged. But ACV plans account for depreciation, so the money the tenant gets from a claim might not be enough to replace the items.

If your tenant’s TV is stolen, the depreciated value of the TV will be covered, which is probably less than what the tenant paid for it and less than it'll cost to replace.

Replacement cost plans pay the tenant the full replacement value of the lost or damaged belongings. If someone steals an old TV from the insured unit, the insurance provider will pay to replace it with a new one of similar make and quality.

That's what's great about a replacement cost plan: The tenant will be able to replace all their belongings if they’re stolen or damaged.

Outline of a house. Illustration.

See how our customers save big on tenant insurance.

Type of homeLocationPrevious claimsLowest rateAverage rateSaved
Quote from April 21, 2024
Type of home
Duplex
Location
Kitchener, ON
Previous claims
None
Lowest Rate
$25/mth
$300/yr
Average rate
$39/mth
$468/yr
Saved
$14/mth
$168/yr (35.00%)
Quote from April 21, 2024
Type of home
Duplex
Location
Kitchener, ON
Previous claims
None
Lowest Rate
$18/mth
$216/yr
Average rate
$30/mth
$360/yr
Saved
$12/mth
$144/yr (41.00%)
Quote from April 21, 2024
Type of home
Detached
Location
Guelph, ON
Previous claims
None
Lowest Rate
$22/mth
$264/yr
Average rate
$42/mth
$504/yr
Saved
$19/mth
$228/yr (46.00%)
Tenant insurance quotes are compared from CAA, Dominion Insurance, Economical Insurance, Gore Mutual, Max Insurance, Pembridge, SGI, Square One Insurance, and Wawanesa Insurance.

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How much does average tenant insurance cost in Canada?

Tenants should expect to pay at least $20/month.

Tenant insurance is a customized product, making it a challenge to suggest a more specific average cost.

Premiums vary depending on several factors, including the value of the tenant’s belongings, where the rental unit is located and how much coverage is included in the policy. The policyholder’s claims history is also an important factor.

When more coverage is added to the policy, it will be more expensive. If the tenant’s goal is to find a cheap tenant insurance policy in Canada, we encourage them to focus instead on finding the right tenant insurance policy.

The cost of adequate protection is likely to be less than the cost of paying out of pocket in the event of a claim. If an accident happens and the tenant is without protection, there’s no financial recourse.

In fact, the tenant could be on the hook for legal and medical costs if someone is injured within the rental unit and they successfully bring a lawsuit against the tenant.

Why you’ll love using LowestRates.ca to find cheap tenant insurance quotes.

By entering a few details about your tenant, you can compare the quotes from the best tenant insurance providers in your area. That’s all it takes to save hundreds of dollars per year on your tenant insurance policy – just like that.

Factors that determine your tenant insurance rate

Many factors go into determining the cost of a tenant insurance policy in Canada. Some of the most significant ones include:

How to get the cheapest tenant insurance

How to get the cheapest tenant insurance

Frequently asked questions about tenant insurance in Canada

Where can I get tenant insurance?

Most companies that offer home insurance in Canada will likely offer tenant insurance. Finding these companies and getting the best quotes from them starts with comparison shopping on sites like LowestRates.ca. With a few pieces of information about your location and needs, you’ll get instant quotes from the top providers in your area. Choosing the rate that works for you is simple and we’ll put you in touch with a licensed broker, who can help you secure your rate. The best part? It’s all free to use!

How do I compare tenant insurance quotes?

Start by filling out the form at the top of this page. Applicants will be asked to provide a few details about themselves and the rental unit they’re insuring. In less than three minutes, we'll find the cheapest renters insurance rates available.

After selecting a quote, an insurance broker will call the tenant to lock in the best rate and help set up the new policy. That's it.

Renters insurance also provides coverage for any upgrades you paid for in your rental unit. For example, if you built extra shelving into your closets or added high-end light fixtures, those items would be protected by your renters insurance policy.

Shopping for renters insurance has never been faster or easier.

Is there a credit check when I apply for tenant insurance?

A credit check is optional but will help a tenant get the lowest rate on renters insurance.

Insurance providers use credit checks to help determine how much to charge. A good credit score can lower the price of coverage.

One great advantage of our service is that we only do one credit check per application, so your credit score won't be impacted. Some Canadians who shop around on their own, going from provider to provider, often must submit to multiple credit checks which can temporarily lower a credit score.

Is getting tenant insurance worth it?

The cost of insurance can be expensive, but — trust us — tenant insurance is worth it. Without renters insurance, the contents of a unit are the tenant’s responsibility to repair or replace.

In addition, if any damage is sustained to the unit and the tenant is found to be at fault, they may be held personally liable.

Tenant insurance covers liability for damage sustained to property anywhere in North America. So, if a fallen candle happens to set a tenant’s hotel room aflame in the middle of a romantic evening while they’re on vacation with their partner, their tenant insurance policy very well may cover all or part of this damage. That makes rental home insurance coverage more than worth it in our books.

How can I file a tenant insurance claim?

As soon as a tenant needs to make a claim, we recommend they immediately contact their insurance provider. They’ll guide you through the claims process. Depending on the tenant insurance coverage, it’s likely that the tenant will need to outline the damage as well as what needs to be replaced or repaired.

We encourage tenants to take photos of their belongings so that they have a record of everything in their rental. This will help account for belongings if they're damaged or stolen and the tenant needs to file a claim. Bonus: visual evidence helps expedite the claims process.

We also recommend that tenants keep receipts for higher value items, like televisions and furniture. Credit card statements will also work. It’s a good idea to make sure a tenant can access their credit card history online and that they remember to store any paper receipts in a secure place.

Does tenant insurance cover bed bugs?

A standard tenant insurance policy generally does not cover rodent or insect infestations, including bed bugs. That's because tenant insurance is designed to cover unexpected losses that might occur from fire or theft. Bed bug and other pest extermination is usually considered routine maintenance.

Does tenant insurance cover appliances?

Tenants who move into a dwelling that already have appliances should expect their operation to be handled by the landlord. Appliances that break down or need replacing will be done at the expense of the owner.

However, some tenants either bring with them or buy new appliances for their rented homes. In those cases, appliances would be covered under the tenant insurance policy as part of the overall belongings that are insured.

Lisa Coxon

LowestRates.ca Staff

About the Author

The LowestRates.ca writing team focuses on telling original stories and bringing you the latest news in the world of personal finance.

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*Shoppers in Canada who obtained a tenant insurance quote on LowestRates.ca from January to December 2023 saved an average of 31% The average savings percentage represents the difference between the shoppers’ average lowest quoted premium and the average of the second and third lowest quoted premiums generated by LowestRates.ca. Excludes home and condo insurance.