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Tenant insurance offers vital protection to renters, and is surprisingly affordable! Compare quotes and find the best rate.

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Written by Katie Rook

Tenant insurance 101

Tenant insurance is the best investment for renters who want to protect their belongings in the event of damage, theft or loss.

A policy also provides liability coverage and additional living expenses.

This means that if a rental home or its contents are damaged, the cost of repairs and replacing belongings, as well as out-of-pocket expenses for living elsewhere, will be covered.

The liability coverage in tenant insurance policies offers protection if the renter unintentionally injures someone or damages their property. And, equally, if someone is injured or their property damaged in the renter’s home, the policyholder is protected.

Many landlords require tenant insurance as a condition of renting. While the landlord has likely taken out insurance on the property, it’s unlikely to extend to the personal belongings of the renter.

Frequently asked questions about Toronto tenant insurance 

Looking for tenant insurance in Toronto? Tenant insurance coverage is explained below.

What is tenant insurance?

Tenant insurance is a form of home insurance that protects a renter and their belongings against damage, theft or loss. It also provides liability coverage as well as additional living expenses if the tenant can’t stay in the unit due to damage.

In the event of an insured loss, any home insurance policy a landlord has will cover the cost of repairing the structure of the home. However, that coverage is not likely to include the belongings of the tenant.

For example, if pipe bursts and damages a rental unit and ruins a TV inside, the landlord’s policy will cover the cost of repairing the structure while a tenant’s policy will cover the cost of replacing the electronic device.

What is the average cost of tenant insurance in Toronto?

Because of the range of variables that go into determining a tenant insurance premium, there’s no average cost.

One of the most significant factors around a premium is coverage amount.

For the best coverage, renters can customize their policy to their liking, selecting from different types:

  • All risks – sometimes called comprehensive – policies cover tenants for any loss that is not specifically excluded
  • Named perils policies will cover a tenant only for the perils specifically stated

When a renter has more coverage, such as an all-risks policy, they can expect to have a higher premium.

Other factors that go into a quote for renter’s insurance in Toronto, include the:

  • Condition of the rental apartment, condo, house or townhome
  • Location of the property being insured
  • Tenant’s insurance claims history and, potentially, credit score
  • Value of the contents being insuring.

Is tenant insurance worth it?

Tenant insurance is an especially good investment for a renter who wants to protect their belongings against damage, theft or loss. A policy will also provide liability protection as well as additional living expenses if the renter can’t live in the rental due to a covered loss such as a fire.

Many landlords require it before granting a tenant a lease, knowing that any home insurance policy they have on the home won’t cover the tenant if there’s an insured loss.

Renters who have valuable belongings such as jewelry or art should consider additional content insurance coverage.

How much tenant insurance do I need?

The minimum amount of coverage for most renter’s insurance in Toronto is about $30,000.

If the estimated value of the policyholder’s contents is greater, more than the minimum is required and the premium will be higher.

While base coverage will protect renters who have valuable belongings such as jewelry, art collections or high-end sports equipment, when there’s a coverage limit, they should consider additional contents insurance.

Tenants can buy what's called a personal articles floater which will list their additional items and their value on the policy. They may be required to provide appraisals for some items.

For the best coverage, a renter should speak to a broker about customizing the policy so that it aligns with their lifestyle.

A broker will connect with a tenant after they use the free, online quote tool at RATESDOTCA. The broker’s recommendations are 100% free, the tenant is under no obligation to make a purchase.

How do I get the cheapest tenant insurance in Toronto?

To get the cheapest tenant insurance, start by comparison shopping.

The free, online tool at RATESDOTCA is a fast and easy way to get quotes from the best insurance companies in Canada.

Insurance companies will look at several factors, including the coverage type and amount, the location of the property, its condition and details about the policyholder.

Renters are likely to secure a cheap tenant insurance premium when they have not made a claim in at least the last 10 years, and, if they have a good credit rating . In Ontario, insurance companies do grant discounts for people with strong credit scores. To get the discount, you must consent to the insurer pulling your credit report.

Tenants willing to bundle their policies so that each is held by a single provider may also save. For example, if their tenant insurance and car insurance policies are held by the same insurance company.

What does tenant insurance not cover?

What’s covered by a tenant insurance policy depends on the policy type.

For example, an all risks – sometimes called comprehensive – policy will cover any loss that’s not specifically excluded. Some commonly covered losses are fire, hail, burglary and water damage from burst pipes.

An all-risks policy may have exclusions. Common exclusions are flooding and damage from disrepair.

A named perils policy will cover the tenant for the perils specifically named in the policy.

Liability coverage in tenant insurance policy also protects the tenant if they unintentionally injure someone or damage their property.

Damage to the structure of the home will be covered by the landlord’s policy, though not by the tenant insurance policy.

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

Renters may see tenant insurance referred to in Toronto as renter’s insurance or apartment insurance.

There’s no difference between them. The three terms are used interchangeably to describe insurance coverage for a rental property.

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