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Written By Katie Rook


What is tenant insurance?

Tenant insurance is home insurance for renters. While the landlord’s insurance policy covers damage to the building, it does not extend protection to a renter’s personal property. For that, a separate tenant policy is required.

Before securing tenant insurance in Edmonton, it’s helpful for a tenant to understand how home insurance products are structured.

There are two policy types available for tenants:

  • Basic: Offers a basic amount of protection against perils named in the policy. It is sometimes also referred to as a ‘named perils’ policy.
  • Comprehensive: Offers the greatest amount of protection against all perils. It is sometimes also referred to as an ‘all perils’ policy.

Regardless of whether a tenant secures a basic or comprehensive policy, a tenant policy will include coverage for the following:

  • Additional Living Expenses: Also known as ALE, this covers costs if atenant is forced to leave their unit due to damage from a covered peril. For example, ALE will cover the cost of a hotel if the tenant must leave a unit while it’s being repaired after a fire.
  • Contents protection: Compensates the tenant for the value of personal property that is damaged by a covered peril.
  • Liability protection: Covers costs that may follow the accidental injury of someone visiting the unit. Also covers costs for accidental damage to someone else’s property.

Renters can secure even more protection by adding optional coverage. This is done by adding what in the insurance industry is known as an ‘endorsement’, ‘rider’ or ‘floater’. Some of the most common endorsements include:

  • Additional contents: Extends coverage for personal property that’s damaged by a covered peril. It is an especially attractive add-on for renters who have expensive belongings such as specialty sports equipment, jewelry or fine art.
  • Overland water: Protects the tenant’s personal property against water that has overflowed from a nearby lake, river or stream. While water damage is a covered peril in most policies, it does not include protection against flooding. As severe weather becomes more common across the country, we recommend that all policyholders add overland water protection. Without this endorsement, a renter will have to pay out-of-pocket to replace any belongings that are damaged in their unit during a flood.
  • Sewer backup: Insurance providers distinguish different types of flooding. While overland water protects against water flowing over land, sewer backup protection deals with flooding that comes from inside a home. Specifically, it covers costs from damage from water that overflows from a drain or toilet. This type of flooding is common when a significant volume of water falls in a short amount of time and municipal sewer systems are overwhelmed.

What does tenant insurance not cover?

As with comprehensive home insurance policies, comprehensive tenant insurance policies may have exclusions – perils that are not covered. Since the tenant policy is specific to the unit rather than the building, many aspects of building coverage tend to be excluded from tenant policies. 

No tenant policy comes with flood protection. To be protected financially against damage from overland flooding and sewer backup, we recommend adding these endorsements to the tenant policy. 

The weather patterns in Edmonton are changing, putting homeowners and tenants at greater risk of flooding from the North Saskatchewan River that winds through the city.

What is the average cost of tenant insurance in Edmonton?

According to RATESDOTCA Home Insuramap tool, in 2021 the average annual cost of tenant insurance in Alberta was $218. In Edmonton, the average annual cost for the same year was slightly lower: $217.

Insurance experts believe insurance premiums for tenants in Edmonton varies depending on flood risk. The premiums in postal code regions that are closer to the North Saskatchewan River tend to be more expensive. While other factors such as living at a distance from a fire hydrant or living in a neighbourhood with considerable crime can also drive-up tenant insurance rates, flood risk tends to have the most significant impact.

Compared to other cities in the province, the average cost of tenant insurance in Edmonton is about 10% less expensive than the Alberta city with the most expensive tenant insurance rates, Fitzgerald – where in 2021 it cost $240/year for coverage. Alder Flats is the Alberta city with the least expensive coverage: $207/year.

As with Edmonton, home and tenant insurance tend to be more expensive in areas that are prone to flooding. For example, the high premiums in Fitzgerald are a result of the town being located near Slave Lake which is considered a high-risk flood area. On the other hand, there is little risk of flooding in Alder Flats, about 1.5 hours southwest of Edmonton.

Average 2021 annual tenant insurance premiums by Edmonton postal code region

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Factors that affect your tenant insurance in Edmonton

Insurance providers consider many factors when quoting a tenant insurance premium. To assess how likely an applicant is to make a claim, they look closely at the following factors:

  • Claims history: Tenants with a history of making insurance claims are likely to have a more expensive premium. Providers consider past behaviour to be an indication of future behaviour so someone with a history of making claims is deemed more likely to make one in the future. 
  • Location: Location has a significant impact on a tenant insurance premium, particularly for those who live in a flood prone area and/or at a distance from a fire hydrant. 
  • Dwelling type: The type of home a tenant lives in as well as its state of repair impacts premium. Those in newer buildings may be able to secure lower premiums.
  • Personal property: Contents coverage can increase a premium, particularly if the tenant adds a rider for coverage of expensive items such as specialty sports equipment, jewelry or an art collection.
  • Liability limit: While the minimum requirement for liability protection in a home insurance policy is $200,000, we recommend a minimum limit of $1 million because of how quickly legal and medical bills can add up. If a tenant has a $200,000 limit, but is successfully sued for $1 million, they’ll have to cover the $800,000 difference on their own.

How to get the cheapest tenant insurance in Edmonton

  • Bundling: Tenants who own a vehicle may be able to reduce their insurance costs by bundling the auto insurance and tenant insurance policies so that each is held by a single provider.
  • Credit check: Tenants who allow their credit to be considered may be able to secure a lower rate. While a good score can help bring down a rate, providers can’t use a bad score to increase the rate.
  • Comparison shop: Shopping around to find the best coverage at the lowest rate is one of the most effective ways to find a lower premium. Use our free, online tool to compare rates from 50+ of the most-trusted providers in Canada.
  • Customize the policy: More coverage costs more. Tenants can reduce their insurance costs by customizing their policies. For example, a tenant who has no valuable belongings can reduce their premium by opting not to add contents coverage.
  • Increase deductible: Tenants who can pay a more expensive deductible in the event of a claim may be able to secure a lower premium.

Frequently asked questions about tenant insurance in Edmonton

Here's everything you need to know about tenant insurance in Edmonton.

Is tenant insurance worth it?

While tenant insurance isn’t a legal requirement in Canada, it’s a relief to those who have it if their home and contents are damaged by a covered peril. The landlord’s home insurance policy will cover any damage to the home itself, but their policy will not extend protection to a tenant’s belongings. 

How much tenant insurance do I need?

Having a tenant insurance policy rather than going without is a good starting point. The coverage limits a tenant opts for will impact the overall premium. We recommend that tenants add flood protection to their policy as well as increase their liability limit to $1 million. While doing so will increase the overall cost of the policy, the financial protection that such coverage provides if a claim needs to be filed will make the cost worthwhile.

How do I get the cheapest tenant insurance in Edmonton?

Comparison shopping and bundling are two of the most effective ways to get cheap tenant insurance in Edmonton. Consenting to a credit check can also be helpful as well as increasing the deductible.

Since location and dwelling type have a significant impact on tenant insurance premiums in Edmonton, a tenant is likely to pay less if they live in a newer building that’s not in a flood-prone area.

What’s the difference between tenant insurance and renter’s insurance?

There’s no difference between the two. Renters insurance is another name for tenant insurance.

*Shoppers in Alberta who obtained a tenant insurance quote on RATESDOTCA from January to December 2023 saved an average amount of $86. The average savings amount represents the difference between the shoppers’ average lowest quoted premium and the average of the second and third lowest quoted premiums generated by RATESDOTCA. Excludes home and condo insurance.

Katie Rook
Katie Rook

Content Manager

Katie Rook was a content manager at RATESDOTCA, specializing in home insurance. She has been a full-time reporter at CTV, National Post, and The Globe and Mail. Her work has also appeared in Dow Jones’ MarketWatch, Toronto Star, Toronto Life, Saint John Telegraph-Journal and VICE. Katie is a graduate of Ryerson and Dalhousie universities.

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