Every now and again, we hear in the news about fires or broken water pipes affecting apartment buildings and rental units. Tenants can be forced out for a period of time while their unit is being repaired. Sometimes units are completely destroyed, including all of the tenant’s belongings. It may be hard to believe, but a quick Google search reveals many surveys and statistics that all show a lot of tenants do not have tenant’s insurance.
Tenant’s insurance, like all insurance is meant to help protect you from financial hardship resulting from a loss. Many rental leases actually stipulate that you maintain tenant’s insurance coverage.
Most tenant’s insurance packages including South Easthope Mutual’s feature three key coverage components that are very important for tenants – Contents, Liability and Additional Living Expenses.
Contents – Insuring your belongings to help rebuild after an insurable loss
You may not own the building, but you probably own a lot of contents. If you take a look through the rooms in your rental unit, you probably see you’ve got a lot of stuff. From all of your clothing, to pots and pans, kitchen appliances to household furniture and electronics, it all adds up. You’d be surprised if all of your clothing was destroyed in a fire, how much money it would take to rebuild your wardrobe let alone larger items like furniture in your unit.
Contents coverage is there help you rebuild your life and possessions when they are lost after an insurable peril. People often don’t carry enough coverage, under estimating the value of their contents. Work with your agent or broker to make sure you have enough coverage. One thing to note is that coverage for some insured items may be subject to certain maximum limits. Also, always make sure to read your policy and the wordings. Some policies pay claims on replacement cost and others on actual cash value.
We highly recommend that you periodically take an inventory of all of the contents in your home. This could be done by using your smartphone to take photos all around your rooms to show the contents.
Talk to your agent or broker if you have any high value items in your apartment such as jewellery. You will want to make sure that they are properly covered.
Liability – Helping to protect you in the event of a lawsuit
If you accidently left a candle burning or forgot something cooking on the stove that started a fire and it spread to other units and caused major damage, you could be held responsible for that damage and may need to cover the costs. This is a situation where your liability coverage would most likely respond.
Another instance where your liability would probably respond is if someone slipped and fell while in your unit. They might hold you financially responsible for the costs of their medical bills and pain and suffering.
Your liability would usually cover the legal costs associated with potential lawsuits if you are legally liable.
South Easthope Mutual’s tenant’s packages generally offer liability coverage of $1 million and $2 million. Talk to you agent or broker to see what coverage level best fits your needs.
Additional Living Expenses – Covering against extra living expenses after an insured loss
Where would you go if a fire damaged your apartment and you couldn’t stay there? Where would you sleep, shower and cook your meals? If you had to stay in a hotel for an extended period of time or eat out in restaurants, could you afford that? It would probably drain most people’s bank accounts quickly.
If you had an insured loss, your Tenant’s Insurance would respond to pay for additional living expenses such as hotels and moving costs; expenses that you would normally not have if you were living in your own home.
Depending on the company and the package, other coverages like power fluctuation, identity theft and certain water protections may also be included.
If you’re living in a rental unit, talk to a South Easthope Mutual agent or broker. They can help you determine the coverage levels and package that you need.