The protection of your assets and the risks of third party liability should be a primary concern for all renters, simply because accidents happen and we rarely see them until after the fact. An unattended pot or overflowing bathtub can cause a lot of damage to your furniture and contents. Renter’s insurance covers your contents against damage caused by fire, smoke damage, water damage, vandalism, theft and many other dangers.
What is the specific protection a renter’s insurance can offer?
- Content – Protection for contents in the policyholder’s unit and other personal effects carried or used by the occupant inside and outside the premises. If you could turn your unit upside down and shake it, anything that falls would generally be considered “content” while anything that doesn’t fall is part of the building and not covered. The content may include, but is not limited to, furniture, clothing, televisions, bedding and tableware. Of course, some restrictions may apply.
- Personal liability – If a resident is found responsible for causing damage to the building or other people’s property (for example if a resident has accidentally started a fire in their room) or has caused bodily harm to another person on the premises, the cover under the policy will respond up to the insured limit pay legal assistance and compensation according to the Policy Conditions and Exclusions of the policy.
- Additional living expenses – If, as a result of an insured loss, the renter’s unit is rendered unfit for occupancy or an occupant has to leave his unit while repairs are being made, the cover under the policy will reimburse the increased costs up to the insured limit incurred by the occupant to temporary accommodation according to the conditions and exclusions of the policy. If a resident needs to move to a hotel for a few days while their appliance is being repaired, these additional costs and increased food costs for restaurant meals may be covered under the policy, subject to policy terms and exclusions.
- Other covers – Additional coverages may be available for earthquakes, jewelry and fine arts. Consult your insurance broker if necessary.
A deductible may apply to cover. Consult your insurance broker for the policy conditions.
Some renters insurance policies offer access to value-added services directly from the insurer as an added benefit of the coverage. For example, Novex Insurance Company offers Novex Assistance – a program designed to provide renters with services including:
A telephone helpline with unlimited legal information for advice on property, landlord/tenant relationships, employment contracts, social benefits, licensing and permits, inheritance and family law.
home care services including housekeeping in the event of damage to property; looking after sick children or grandchildren; babysitter during hospitalization; doing homework upon return from hospitalization; and visiting nurse.
Please note that home care services are subject to certain limits and conditions. Ask for details.
Renters Insurance Programs
Renters insurance programs exist for a number of different types of renters that can provide customized coverage and pre-negotiated preferential insurance rates. These preferential rates can provide cost savings over retail tenant insurance offerings.
- Building Tenant Insurance Programs – For the benefit of tenants living in certain buildings.
- Senior Tenant Insurance Programs – For the benefit of senior tenants living in certain retirement homes. May relate specifically to hearing aid, wheelchair or scooter coverage.
- University/College Tenant Insurance Programs – For the benefit of their students while in residence at certain colleges or universities.
In most cases, renters insurance programs can be offered free of charge to the owner of the building, the owner of the retirement home, or the college/university. Building owners can get better property and general liability experience by allowing the insurer to subrogate. This, in turn, could lead to lower commercial insurance rates in the future.
Protecting your content and yourself from liability risks is a wise move whether you own your home or not. Renters Insurance is a risk coverage that is often overlooked by renters and in many cases can provide significant risk protection at reasonable rates. Ask your insurance broker about the benefits of renters insurance and find out how cheap it can be to cover your property and liability risks.