Early last month in Burnaby there was a blaze that destroyed 35 suites. The majority of residents without tenant’s insurance coverage had to face loss of all their belongings, including their beloved pets.
“Everybody lost everything. Many cats died, a couple snakes died and a rabbit and frogs, lots of pets,” one of the rescued residents said.
The fire also revealed that the wood-frame building, which was about 50 years old, did not have a sprinkler system, and the majority of the tenants did not have insurance. Those tenants who couldn’t find friends or family to stay with, about a dozen people, were being put up in nearby hotels for immediate accommodation.
In fact, if you rent your apartment or house from a landlord, tenant’s insurance is available to help you replace your belongings after a loss due to fire, theft or water damage. You do not need to get coverage for the building because this is your landlord’s responsibility. Your tenant’s insurance policy also pays for extra costs that result from the loss. And your insurance protects you if someone gets hurt or someone else’s property gets damaged because of your negligence. There are several benefits of a tenant’s policy.
Firstly, it protects your belongings in the apartment. If you suffer a loss due to a risk or peril, such as fire or theft, your possessions, including furniture, clothes and electronics, are covered. Policies usually cover certain items such as jewellery or sporting equipment to a minimum amount, so if you have items worth more than the designated amount, talk to your insurance broker about adding extra coverage. Keep receipts for your large-ticket items or have items appraised, and keep these records stored in a safe place. It’s also advised that you create an inventory of your belongings along with brand names and serial numbers, and take photos or videos, and store this inventory record in a safe place.
In the event of a loss, insurance pays for any necessary expenses while your apartment is being repaired, such as hotel bills, restaurant meals and moving costs. This coverage is subject to certain limits.
Tenants are responsible for the harm they cause to any part of their apartment building itself and to others who live or visit there (your neighbour’s apartments). For example, if a lamp or appliance starts a fire that causes damage not only to your apartment but also to other tenants’ or neighbours’ contents and any structure of the building you can be held responsible for the cost of that damage.
If your faulty toaster oven starts a fire that damages not only your apartment, but also the entire complex, you may have to pay out a lot of money. Similarly, if someone slips and falls in your apartment, you could be held financially responsible for the cost of the injured person’s pain, suffering and medical bills. Tenant’s insurance covers these costs.
Types of Tenants’ Insurance You Can Buy and What They Cover
Each insurance company packages tenants’ insurance products by different names, but they should all include two kinds of coverage – Basic Liability coverage and Contents coverage.
1. Basic Liability coverage protects you if you or your guests cause damage to the building – whether it is your unit or the whole building. If you don’t have this protection and you are sued for the repair costs, you could be financially responsible for the whole bill. This coverage is comparable to the liability coverage in a typical homeowners’ policy.
2. Contents coverage replaces your belongings if they are lost or damaged. You may think you have little of value, but you would be very surprised how much it would cost you to replace everything – all at once. You should insure for an amount representing the new replacement cost of all your belongings. Coverage is on a named perils or an all risk basis.
Located in downtown Vancouver BC, Bridges International Insurance Services is a leading Canadian insurance broker for over 10 years. We represent major Canadian insurance companies that have been assisting residents in BC. Check out our website at http://www.biis.ca and contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org or 604-408-8695 or 1-888-267-4461.