What can tenant insurance actually do for me?

September marks the time when students are packing up their bags and heading back to school. For some, this will be the first time moving into a house or apartment of their own. While most students are busy organizing internet and cable, some are skipping out on a very important aspect that might cost them thousands: Tenant insurance. According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, about half of all renters do not have insurance – especially youth.

Here are a few reasons why tenant insurance is really worth your while:

1. Protects your valuable belongings. While keeping a used couch or old coffee table safe from damage might not be a top priority for students, damaged or stolen laptops and gadgets can be a big concern as replace costs can get expensive, especially on a student budget.

2. Parent’s homeowner policies typically only cover on-campus housing. Depending on our your home insurance policy most companies only cover on-campus coverage that is only available after a $500-1000 deductible.

3. Covers more than personal belongings. Insurance policies go beyond protecting a student’s personal property and extend to the tenants legal liability. If a burner is left on and it starts a fire, the landlord can hold the tenant accountable for not only the damages to their unit but for the whole complex.

4. Protects damages that occur outside of your apartment. Contents that leave your apartment are still covered. If your $2000 bicycle gets hit on your way to class then your tenant insurance will likely replace or reimburse the costs.

5. Protects the tenant if someone is hurt. If someone slips and falls in your apartment then having insurance covers you from the liability of any medical bills that may incur.

6. Ensure you are covered during repairs. In the event your apartment needs to be evacuated or is under repairs, tenant insurance will cover all hotel, meal and potential moving costs.

Tenant insurance costs roughly $100-$500 a year which is a small price to pay for peace of mind knowing your possessions, legal liability and guests are covered. The cost of an apartment complex repairs or medical bills can easily surpass a student loan.