Tenants Insurance: The protection of your assets and third party liability risks should be a primary concern for all renters simply because accidents occur and we rarely have visibility into them until after the fact. An overflowing saucepan or bathtub can cause serious damage to the unit and contents. Tenant insurance covers your content from losses caused by fires, smoke damage, water damage, vandalism, theft and many other dangers.
What is the specific protection that tenant insurance can provide?
Protection of content in the contractor’s unit and other personal effects worn or used by the resident on and off site. If you were able to turn your unit upside down and shake it, any fall would generally be considered “content”, while anything that is not part of the building and is not covered. Content may include, but is not limited to, furniture, clothes, televisions, bed linen and dishes. Of course, some restrictions may apply.
Personal responsibility –
If a resident is believed to be responsible for causing damage to another person’s building or property (for example, if a resident accidentally ignites a fire in his room) or causes personal injury to another person on the premises, the coverage under the policy will respond up to the insured limit for the payment of legal fees and compensatory damages subject to the Terms, conditions and exclusions of the policy.
Additional living expenses –
If as a result of an insured loss the tenant’s unit is not suitable for employment or a resident must move away from his unit while repairs are being made, the coverage under the policy will pay the increased costs up to the insured limit incurred by the resident to temporarily obtain housing subject to the Terms, Conditions and Exclusions of the policy. If a resident has to move to a hotel for a few days while his unit is being repaired, these additional costs and higher food costs for restaurant meals may be covered by the Policy subject to the Terms, Conditions and Exclusions of the Policy.
Other coverages –
Additional coverages may be available for earthquakes, jewelry and fine arts. Please check with your insurance broker as required.
Coverage may be subject to deductible. Check with your insurance broker for policy specifications.
Some insurance policies for tenants offer access to value-added services, directly from the insurer, as an additional benefit of the coverage. For example, Novex Insurance Company offers Novex Assistance, a program designed to provide tenants with services including:
- A telephone line of unlimited legal assistance for advice on property, landlord/tenant relationships, work, contracts, social benefits, licenses and permits, inheritance, and family law.
- Home care services, including cleaning in case of property damage; babysitting for sick children or grandchildren; babysitting in case of hospitalization; housewife returning from hospitalization; and a visiting nurse.
Home care services are subject to certain limits and conditions. Please ask for details.
Tenant insurance programs
Tenant insurance programs exist for different types of tenants that can offer tailored coverage and pre-negotiated preferential rates for insurance. These preferential rates can offer cost savings compared to retail tenant insurance offers.
- Creation of insurance programs for tenants – For the benefit of tenants living in certain buildings.
- Insurance programs for senior tenants – For the benefit of senior tenants who live in certain retirement homes. It may include in particular covers for hearing aids, wheelchairs or scooters.
- Insurance programs for university/college tenants – For the benefit of their students who live in residences in some colleges or universities.
In most cases, tenant insurance programs can be provided free of charge to the building owner, the nursing homeowner, or the college/university. Due to the insurer’s ability to substitute, a better experience of loss of property and overall liability for building owners may result. This in turn may lead to lower commercial insurance rates in the future.
Protecting your content and yourself against liability risk is a prudent step to take regardless of whether you own your home or not. Tenant insurance is a risk cover often overlooked by renters who, in many cases, can provide significant risk protection at reasonable rates. Ask your insurance broker about the benefits of tenant insurance and find out how little it can cost to cover your belongings and liability risk.