Wondering what tenant insurance is, and what it actually covers you for?
Tenant insurance can protect you in three main areas:
Liability is one of the largest areas of confusion when it comes to tenant insurance. Often times, tenants think that their personal liability coverage is included in their landlord’s policy, which isn’t the case. Liability can cover a variety of things ranging from someone injuring themselves on a slippery driveway to someone suing you because of a dog bite.
Added bonus: If somebody does decide to take legal action against you, tenant insurance will cover legal costs, including legal representation.
If your unit or home is unfit to live in and you need to temporarily relocate while the issue is worked on, any linked costs fall to you. For example, if you need to live in a hotel for three weeks while fire damage is repaired, all of your accommodation and food costs would be covered with a tenant insurance policy.
Contents coverage enables you to repair or replace your belongings if they're destroyed, stolen or damaged. A great way to document all of your personal belongings is through an inventory list or a quick inventory video. If you don’t have tenant insurance, it can be a good exercise to start totalling up the costs of your belongings. You’ll find that the total can jump up pretty quickly!
Added bonus: In most tenant insurance policies, items are replaced at “replacement value” meaning that you’ll be compensated for the brand-new cost of the item versus compensating you based on what the item is worth now (depreciated value).
A landlord policy will usually cover the building itself, their liability, their contents (for example, if they own the appliances) and any losses in rental income as a result of a claim. Tenant insurance takes care of your contents, your liability and your additional living expenses. As a tenant, it’s really important to review your lease agreement to understand what you are responsible for on the property (clearing the driveway, reporting any issues etc.)
Tenant insurance is an extremely affordable way to ensure that you and your assets are protected. Usually, claims are connected to highly emotional/stressful events, and tenant insurance gives you peace of mind during these difficult times. Another tip is to make sure that you have coverage in place before an emergency strikes, as it will be very difficult to obtain coverage until the emergency has passed.
Donna-Leigh White, Senior Insurance Advisor at Valley First, a division of First West Credit Union discusses tenant insurance and why it’s important to have coverage. Questions? Feel free to connect with Donna-Leigh at DLWhite@valleyfirst.com