The words “renters insurance” written on a paper cut out of an umbrella.

How Much Is Renters Insurance?

Sep 28 2022

Landlords need to consider two main types of insurance: landlord insurance and renters insurance. In many cases, both of these insurance types are needed to cover risks associated with rental properties. Although neither of these insurance types is legally required in Canada, many landlords see to it that they have both. In some ways, renters insurance takes over where landlord insurance ends. 

But how much is renters insurance? How much renters insurance should a landlord require? And should you require this type of insurance in the first place?

Let’s take a look at some of the fundamentals of renters insurance and landlord insurance.  

Closeup of a document titled “Renters Insurance”

What is Renters Insurance?

The term renters insurance pertains to the kind of insurance needed by renters or tenants of a residential rental property. Although businesses can also rent commercial spaces and are “renters” as well, the type of insurance needed in this case is commercial property insurance. This can be specialized and is sometimes referred to as “business renters insurance.”

Now let’s talk about its coverage points. Renters insurance provides protection for the following: 

The Loss or Damage of Personal Belongings

Renters insurance covers the cost of repairing or replacing the personal belongings of a renter that have been stolen or damaged. This can include electronics, clothing, furniture, and even food stored in the refrigerator. 

However, some policies may have limits when it comes to high-value items such as collectibles and jewelry. Each policy also has a specific scope of perils covered.

A thief breaking into an apartment

Personal Liability

Renters insurance also covers personal liability. In case a renter inadvertently damages someone else’s property or is liable for a guest’s injuries, renters insurance will cover repair costs and medical costs. 

Unforeseen Expenses Following a Calamity

In the event that a renter’s space becomes damaged or uninhabitable following a calamity, renters insurance can cover additional costs such as hotel bills (up until the property is repaired) or relocation costs.

Optional Renters Insurance Coverage

Some insurance policies also provide food and other expenses until the property is repaired. The coverages mentioned earlier are usually found in standard renters insurance. Below are some extras a renter can opt to purchase on top of standard renters insurance:

Personal Articles Coverage

As mentioned above, some personal articles are not covered by loss or damage of personal belongings. Depending on a renter’s insurance policy limits, personal items include but are not limited to:

  • Jewelry;
  • Bicycles;
  • Cameras; and
  • Golf equipment. 

Earthquake Damage

Earthquake damage covers direct loss to a renter’s belongings caused by an earthquake. This coverage is not the same as the coverage found in loss or damage of personal belongings, which only covers repair or replacement costs of stolen or damaged belongings.

Fire and Smoke Damage

Fire and smoke damage coverage accounts for repair and replacement costs for a tenant’s personal belongings damaged by fire and smoke.

Water Protection Coverage

Some insurance providers may offer water protection coverage. Depending on a renter's insurance provider, this type of coverage protects a renter's personal belongings from potential water damage like burst pipes, overflows, or broken lines in the rented property. Flooding, unless caused by the tenant, will not be covered by this coverage.

Home Business Coverage

If a renter runs a qualified home-based business, some insurance providers also provide home business coverage options for renters. This type of coverage accounts for loss or damage to a renter’s business property, income losses, money and securities, and liability costs.

Is Tenant Insurance the Same as Renters Insurance?

Yes. Renters insurance and tenant insurance are one and the same. Therefore, these two terms can be used interchangeably.  

Renters Insurance vs. Landlord Insurance

Some landlords may wonder if renters insurance is still necessary if they’ve already secured landlord insurance for their rental properties or vice versa.

In many cases, both of these insurance types are needed to fully protect landlords from different risks. Renters insurance begins where landlord insurance ends. Here’s how:



Coverage Points

Type of Insurance

Tenant / Renters Insurance

Landlord Insurance

Personal liability of renter

Yes

X

Landlord liability 

X

Yes

Personal belongings of renter

Yes

X

Belongings of the landlord used for property upkeep

X

Yes

Additional living expenses of renter in case of property damage due to covered peril

Yes

X

Rental property repair costs related to covered damage

X

Yes

Lost income during property repair due to covered damage

X

Yes

 

In the above table, it shows that there is no overlap between landlord insurance and renters insurance. This means that the presence of one does not make up for the other. Instead, they’re meant to synergize and provide you with the protection you need as a landlord. 

If you’re wondering how having renters insurance can benefit landlords, we’ll discuss that further in the next section.  

Why Do You Need Renters Insurance?

According to Forbes, a number of renters do not see tenant insurance as a necessity. Some tenants also assume a landlord's or their roommate's insurance can cover their personal belongings. But it is important to remember that a landlord's insurance only protects the rental property, and their roommate's insurance only covers their roommate's belongings. 

If you are a landlord looking to make this insurance a requirement, you may get questions from potential tenants on the matter. When requiring potential tenants to get renters insurance, it will be helpful to present the full scope of benefits that this insurance type offers.

Benefits For Tenants

For tenants, the benefits of renters insurance is clear. Their belongings are covered along with additional expenses in case a covered calamity strikes. Furthermore, this insurance type includes personal liability, which ensures that they’re covered in case they are liable for accidental property damage or injury to others. 

Some tenants may think purchasing renters insurance is too expensive, but reminding them how having renters insurance will protect them from severe financial loss that may arise from unforeseen events may change their minds about it. 

Benefits For Landlords

For landlords, the main benefit of requiring renters insurance is that it creates a level of assurance and safety for everyone that sets foot in the rental property. Furthermore, renters insurance helps reduce the risk of lawsuits. For example, if a tenant suffers property damage due to a fire, they are more likely to try to sue the landlord if they have no other way to cover their losses. 

This is just one example that illustrates how people, when faced with unforeseen costly accidents, may be pressed to try to find someone to sue. As a landlord, this could happen to you. That is, if you didn’t take the due diligence of making sure that tenants are all adequately insured.

At the end of the day, a landlord requiring a tenant to get renters insurance is not just for the landlord’s safety and benefit. Renters insurance’s primary goal is to protect the tenant from severe financial loss from the repair or replacement costs for personal belongings damaged by various causes covered by the policy.

A miniature model of three people with a lifebuoy around them representing renters with renters insurance

How Much Is Renters Insurance?

There is no fixed amount or range that a landlord should require. However, the average renters insurance has a $30,000 coverage for personal belongings and a $100,000 coverage for personal liability. 

It is important to note, however, that the required coverage for personal belongings can be based on the total value of the renter’s belongings.

Customized Insurance That You Can Count On

That wraps up our guide on “How much is renters insurance?” and How much renters insurance should a landlord require?” We also talked about the benefits of requiring renters insurance. 

Typically, landlords are not responsible for getting renters insurance for their tenants, but showing the benefits of renters insurance and requiring them to purchase a policy will encourage them to get insurance for themselves. However, renters insurance alone may not be enough. In order to protect your rental properties, you need a customized landlord insurance policy—and we’re here to help!

KASE Insurance is an award-winning, Ontario-based insurance brokerage firm that specializes in tailor-fit insurance solutions. You can count on our dedicated team of insurance brokers to guide you and help you understand your policy’s coverage, limitations, and triggers. This way, you know exactly what you’re paying for and the extent of protection for your rental property. 

If you would like to learn more about what we can do for you, reach out to our team.

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