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The cost of tenant insurance coverage will differ from renter to renter. But as a baseline, here are three sample quotes we received in November 2023 from our partner for three different renting situations. The policies' coverage limits have been adjusted to match the recommended amount each renter should hold.
for 1 tenant
for 2 roommates
for a family of 4
for 3 roomates
better choices made
to Canada’s top financial institutions
Matt Hands, VP, Insurance and MoneySense
Although you may think there's no need for property insurance while you're renting, this isn't actually the case. Renting a home comes with its own set of financial risks – a guest could slip on your wet floor, a fire can start in your kitchen, or a thief can break into your unit. While you may not be prepared with the emergency funds in place, you could protect yourself ahead of time with a tenant insurance policy.
Tenant insurance, also known as renters insurance or apartment insurance, is an agreement between you (the renter) and your insurance company. It's there to protect you financially from the various risks associated with renting a home. By making regular premium payments to your insurer, you'll be covered for unexpected expenses that could come up, such as a liability suit, the loss of personal items, and even the additional living expenses that come up if you need to move out of your rental temporarily.
Is tenant insurance mandatory in BC?
This depends – while tenants aren't required to hold a policy by law, your landlord could make it a stipulation in the lease agreement. You may need to show them proof of coverage before you're able to settle into the new home.
Even if you aren't required to get tenant insurance, it's highly recommended that you do. One common misconception is that a landlord insurance policy will also provide coverage for the tenant – this is not the case. A landlord's home insurance is simply there to protect the landlord from financial risk. As a home renter, you're still exposed to all different sets of risks.
The liability portion of your tenant insurance policy pays out claims related to third-party bodily injury or property damage. This means that if someone sues you because they get injured in your unit (e.g. a slipping and falling) or you damage their property (e.g. breaking a neighbouring unit's wall), your insurer will help cover related expenses, such as legal bills and settlement fees.
The standard liability limit on most tenant insurance policies is $1 million in coverage, but you can also increase this amount for the added peace of mind.
Examples of BC renters insurance claims
Rental unit damage
How much is tenant insurance in BC?
The cost of renters insurance in BC is generally quite affordable. Depending on the tenant's specific needs, some policies may even cost less than $20 per month. Find out how much you'll be paying with us today.find out now
Factors that impact the cost of renters insurance in BC
Basement units come with different risks than a high-rise apartment. The age and construction materials of your rental may also be factored into your tenant insurance quote.
The specific BC address you're renting from will matter to your insurer. High-crime neighbourhoods and flood-prone areas tend to lead to hike up your insurance premium.
The more stuff you own, the more coverage you'll need – and therefore, the more expensive your insurance will be. For high-value objects, you may even need an endorsement for extra protection.
Having certain pets, such as a vicious dog breed, can impact your tenant insurance rate negatively. This is because you're more susceptible to a liability claim (e.g. if your dog bites a guest).
If you rent with other people, you'll want to let your insurer know. It's also a good idea for roommates to get separate policies to ensure everyone is adequately protected.
Some insurance companies may use your credit score to calculate your tenant insurance rate. You won't be penalized for bad credit, but a good score can help lower your bill.
The more claims you've made in the past, the more likely (or seemingly more likely) you'll need a payout in the future. Therefore, insurers will increase rates for those who don't have a clean insurance history.
Be sure to ask your insurance representative about any applicable discounts. For instance, you can save money by bundling your tenant insurance with your car insurance.
How to get the cheapest tenant insurance in BC
Shop and compare
Bundle insurance products
Install safety systems
Pay annual premiums
Increase your deductible
Stay claims free
Get an online renters insurance quote today.
Ready to secure your BC renters insurance? We can help – in under five minutes, view how much you'll be paying for your customized policy.
Now that you've learned all there is to know about tenant insurance, let's take a look at some key statistics on renters in British Columbia. Here are some interesting numbers we found, according to the Canadian Rental Housing Index.
591,550 households in BC rent instead of own – While nearly 600,000 households in British Columbia rent, there are over 1.2 million households in the province that own their home. That means about 32% of the total household population is renting.
The average cost for rent and utilities in BC is $1,148 – When comparing this to the Canadian average of $1,002, British Columbian tenants pay about 15% more than the national standard for rent and utilities.
The average renter household income in BC is $58,698 – That's slightly more than the Canada-wide number of $53,163. And on average, British Columbian tenants spend 23% of their income on rent and utilities. However, 21% of households spend over half of their income on these living expenses.
of households in British Columbia rent their property instead of own.
of BC households spend more than half their income on rent and utilities.
Do you need renters insurance in British Columbia?
How do you get tenant insurance in BC?
Can you buy BC tenant insurance online?
What is tenant liability insurance in British Columbia?
Can landlords require renters insurance in BC?
Matt Hands, Business Director of Insurance
With 6+ years of experience at Ratehub.ca, Matt’s focus has been on growing its newest business unit, Insurance. He is a thought leader and a valuable resource to respected publications across Canada. read full bio
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