Is renters insurance mandatory in Ontario?
Renters insurance is not mandatory in Ontario. However, it's a highly recommended form of individual property insurance. As a tenant, you must protect your personal belongings.
It's also important to have personal liability coverage if you cause damage to your unit or injure another party. This is not included in your rental property owner’s policy. Without this insurance, you would have to pay to replace lost or damaged items. Many people are not in the position to take on a big financial loss. A renters insurance policy protects you in these situations.
How does tenant liability insurance in Ontario work?
Tenant insurance works similar to home insurance in Ontario and all other types of insurance. You choose a plan that meets your unique requirements.
You can choose plans that are basic or more comprehensive. You can also increase your plan limits to reflect the number of things you have in your unit. Adjust your insurance based on your situation. If you own a vehicle, you can combine it and get a discount on both policies. You have the flexibility to get insurance to reflect your current needs.
Insurance is regulated by the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRAO). This includes Ontario renters insurance. If you have issues with a property owner, refer to the Landlord and Tenants Board, which is part of Tribunals Ontario.
What does tenant insurance cover in Ontario?
Tenant insurance provides Ontario residents with much more than just protection for personal items. Your clothing, electronics, furniture, and much more are protected. You also receive several important types of protection. Here is what is included in standard policies:
- Individual property: Receive protection for your items if they are stolen or damaged because of theft, fire, and other perils. The insurance policy will cover the costs, so you don't have to pay out of pocket to replace them. How much coverage you should have will depend on the amount of stuff you have.
- Personal liability: If you cause damage to or injure a third-party, your plan will provide you with funds from your insurance company to cover legal fees and settlement costs. Plan limits apply.
- Additional living expenses: Receive compensation to cover the costs of staying in a hotel temporarily if your unit is uninhabitable after an insured loss. You could also get reimbursed for costs to move to a new unit if your current unit is deemed permanently uninhabitable. Additional living expenses can come in handy at a time when you need assistance.
Here is a summary of the main types of causes of damages or loss that are covered:
- Fire and smoke
- Wind and hail
- Falling objects
- Some types of water issues
Optional tenant insurance in Ontario
You can customize your Ontario tenant insurance policy by adding a variety of endorsements. Add these when you compare quotes. Enhance your plan with the following additional coverages:
- Identity theft: Having your identity stolen is increasingly common. Get reimbursed for the expenses and legal fees to replace your identity and legal documentation. Get more information about identity theft insurance.
- Water damage: Water-related damage is not part of standard tenant insurance in Ontario. Have protection for items damaged because of sewer backup and overland flood by adding this endorsement.
- High-value items (floaters): Get specific protection for high dollar value items such as jewellery, electronics, sports equipment, collectables, and other items. You can get a floater to increase the coverage limits for specific items. Speak with your insurer about your need for this type of coverage.
- Increase plan limits: Increase your plan limit to ensure you have the right level of coverage for your belongings. The more stuff you have, the greater the need to increase your limits.
Other renters insurance options and endorsements may be available based on the insurance company in Ontario. Adding more liability or contents coverage will result in added costs and a higher premium. Be sure to speak with your insurer to understand the details about what's covered in your tenants policy.