Are you a renter in Canada? Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a first-time renter, it’s essential to understand the ins and outs of renter insurance. Well, life is full of unexpected twists and turns, and being prepared for the unexpected is a wise decision. We all want a safe and secure place to call home, but unexpected events can disrupt our peace of mind. That’s where renters insurance comes in. From covering the cost of replacing your personal belongings to providing liability coverage for unforeseen accidents, tenant insurance in Canada can offer peace of mind and financial security. So, let’s start by understanding why renters insurance Canada is a smart choice, what it covers, and how much it typically costs. 

Tenant insurance: What is it? 

Renters insurance, also known as tenant insurance, is a type of financial protection that can provide you with peace of mind when you’re living in a rental home in Canada. It helps safeguard your belongings, covers property damage, and offers personal liability coverage. It’s important to note that while your landlord may have insurance for the physical structure of your rental property, their policy doesn’t usually extend to cover your personal belongings. This means that if your belongings are damaged or stolen due to events like fire, theft, or certain natural disasters, the landlord’s insurance won’t help you replace them. This is where tenant insurance in Canada comes into play.

With renters insurance, you can ensure that your belongings are protected. If an unfortunate event occurs, such as a fire damaging your furniture or a theft resulting in the loss of your electronics, your policy will help cover the cost of replacing those items. This can be a huge relief, especially when you consider the financial burden of replacing all your belongings on your own. Additionally, tenant insurance in Canada can also provide coverage for temporary living expenses. For instance, if your rental unit becomes unliveable due to a covered event, such as a fire, and you need to stay elsewhere temporarily, your policy may cover the costs of alternative accommodations like a hotel or rental unit.

What Is the Process for Tenant Insurance?

What Is the Process for Tenant Insurance 

Renters insurance in Canada works in a similar way to other types of insurance. Every month, you pay a premium, and if you ever need to make a claim, you will have to pay a deductible. The insurance company will cover the costs that go beyond the deductible. It’s important to note that the higher your deductible, the lower your monthly premium will be. The amount you pay for the monthly premium is determined by various factors. These factors include the size, location, age, construction, and type of your residence. Additionally, your previous claim history and your age are also taken into consideration. 

For example, a larger property with more contents and residents, such as a 2000 sq. ft. property, has a higher chance of encountering problems. Similarly, a property located in a high-crime area may be at a greater risk of theft, leading to higher premiums. When it comes to insuring your belongings, there is a distinction between actual cash value (ACV) and replacement costs. With actual cash value, your belongings are replaced based on their current value, taking depreciation into account. On the other hand, a replacement cost policy will cover the cost of replacing your items as if you were purchasing them brand new today.

It’s important to be aware that there may be limits on how much you can claim for certain items, such as collectibles, jewellery, art, and wines and spirits. These limits vary depending on the insurance policy you have.

Who Should Have Tenant Insurance?

Who Should Have Tenant Insurance

If you’re renting, it’s highly recommended that you have tenant insurance. While it’s not mandatory in Canada, many landlords include it as a requirement in the lease agreement. Even if your landlord doesn’t request it, getting tenant insurance is still a smart choice. Take a moment to think about the value of your possessions and whether you could afford to replace them all. Ask yourself, ‘Can I financially handle replacing all my personal belongings?’ For most people, the answer is a resounding ‘No’. Without renter’s insurance, you could face the devastating situation of losing your home and belongings without the means to pay for accommodation or replacements.

Furthermore, if you accidentally damage someone else’s property, you may be responsible for covering the repair or replacement costs. Having tenant insurance significantly reduces the likelihood of having to bear those expenses. Unless you have significant savings and can handle unexpected financial burdens at any time, investing in tenant insurance is a wise decision.

What Is Covered by Tenant Insurance? 

Renter’s insurance provides coverage in various areas to protect you and your belongings. The main areas of coverage include:

  • Contents insurance

Contents insurance

This protects your personal belongings, such as jewellery, furniture, TVs, laptops, and more, in case they are stolen or damaged.

  • Liability insurance

This coverage safeguards you in the event that someone gets injured in your rented residence and decides to take legal action against you. It also protects you if you accidentally damage someone else’s property or cause damage to your own living space, like if you accidentally cause a flood by leaving a tap running.

  • Additional living expenses

If your rented space becomes uninhabitable due to a covered event like a fire or flood, this coverage will help pay for your temporary living expenses, such as staying in a hotel or renting another place to live. In addition to these primary areas of coverage, a comprehensive renter’s insurance plan may also include:

    • Coverage for non-owned property: This protects personal property that belongs to others while it is in your possession.
    • Coverage for personal property at other locations: Your personal property is covered even when it is temporarily away from your rented premises, no matter where you are in the world.
    • Coverage for belongings in your vehicle: This provides protection against theft, attempted theft, or burglary of personal property that is inside or on any vehicle, whether it is parked at your residence or elsewhere.

What Does Tenant Insurance Not Cover?

What Does Tenant Insurance Not Cover? 

Although tenant insurance covers many situations, there are certain things it does not cover:

    • Broken TV: Whether or not your broken TV is covered depends on the cause. If it broke due to accidental damage by your child or simply due to old age, the claim will be denied. However, if it was destroyed in a fire or stolen, it is likely to be covered.
    • Car Damage: While the belongings inside your car may be covered by renter’s insurance, any damage to the vehicle itself is not covered. For that, you will need to rely on your auto insurance.
    • Water Damage: Tenant insurance generally covers water damage to your belongings caused by common incidents such as accidental overflows or water discharge. However, it usually does not cover damage caused by weather-related events like sewage backups or floods.

NOTE: Your landlord is responsible for maintaining the building, while you are responsible for your own living space and possessions. This means that you do not have to replace any pipes if your plumbing breaks, but you are responsible for replacing your damaged property.

    • Mould Damage: Since mould is often seen as a result of neglected home maintenance, it is typically not covered by renter’s insurance. However, it may be covered if it directly results from water damage caused by a covered event.
    • Bed bugs: Most renter’s insurance policies do not cover the cost of exterminating bed bugs or any damage they cause.
    • Earthquakes: Tenant insurance Canada usually does not include coverage for earthquakes. Given the significant damage earthquakes can cause, adding earthquake coverage will increase your monthly premium.

What Will the Cost of Insurance Be?

Most people don’t have thousands of dollars readily available in case something goes wrong, so paying for insurance to protect your living space is definitely worth it. For a basic 2-bedroom apartment, renter’s insurance can cost as little as $15 per month or $180 per year. This price may increase if you have valuable items like jewellery, sports equipment, or electronics. However, if you don’t own luxury items, this is a reasonable amount to pay for peace of mind. 

On average, tenant insurance costs around $300 per year. The rates may be lower if you also insure your car with the same insurance company. In Canada, tenant insurance costs vary by province, usually ranging from $12 to $30 per month ($144 to $360 annually). On average, Canadians pay $23 per month for tenant insurance, with British Columbians paying slightly more at $26 per month and Ontarians paying slightly less at $21 per month.


Renters insurance in Canada is an important protection for tenants. It provides coverage for personal belongings, liability, and additional living expenses. While not mandatory, it is strongly advised to have renters insurance to safeguard against unexpected events and potential financial burdens. By understanding the coverage options and costs involved, tenants can make informed decisions and ensure their peace of mind in their rented homes.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the average cost of renters insurance in Canada?

The annual cost of tenant insurance Canada is approximately $300. However, if you choose to insure your car with the same insurance company, the rates might be lower.

Is renters insurance mandatory in Canada?

No, renters insurance is not mandatory in Canada. However, many landlords may require it as a condition of the lease agreement for tenants. It is still highly recommended to have renters insurance even if it is not mandatory.

Does Tenant insurance cover flooding?

Yes, tenant insurance can cover flooding. However, it depends on the specific policy you have. Some tenant insurance policies may include coverage for damages caused by flooding, while others may exclude it. It's important to carefully review the terms and conditions of your policy or consult with your insurance provider to understand the extent of coverage for flooding.

What kind of Insurance do you need as a tenant?

As a tenant, you generally need to have renter's insurance. It helps protect your personal belongings from damage or theft, covers liability in case anyone gets injured on your rented property, and provides additional living expenses if your place becomes uninhabitable.