As anyone looking for houses might already know, the housing market is insane right now. If you’re looking for a house in Canada, the average is $716,000. While that figure might be reachable to some people, the fact is that most people who are moving to another location may need to consider renting for the time being.
Renting comes with several benefits. True, you won’t be able to build up equity on a house, but you aren’t generally responsible for the upkeep, maintenance, and catastrophic repair costs. All of those fall under the landlord’s home insurance policy.
When you’re renting, you’ll want to get set up with a highly dependable renter’s insurance policy to cover your living space, your property, and other things.
We’ll certainly get into the 10 best renter’s insurance in Ontario, but first, let’s get a bit of background on why you should get renter’s insurance and what it covers.
What is Renters Insurance?
Renter’s insurance is specifically for those people who rent the space they are living in. Since the owner of the property will have their insurance for the property, renters have insurance to cover their property in the rented space.
Renter’s insurance companies will typically require you to pay premiums every month.
While Ontario does not legally require renters to carry insurance, most landlords will require it as part of their lease agreement.
What Does Renters Insurance Cover?
When you experience a natural disaster such as a flood or theft of your personal property, and your living space is rented, you file a claim on your renter’s insurance policy.
The policy will typically cover personal liability, contents, and additional living expenses, though you can tailor your policy to your own situation.
– Liability coverage is for situations where someone comes into your property and sues you for an injury, for example. Your legal costs would be covered up to the maximum liability coverage you set when you create your insurance policy.
– Contents coverage makes sure your belongings are covered in the event they get lost, damaged, or stolen through no fault of your own
– Additional living expenses cover you if you have to vacate your rented space while repairs are carried out. An example would be after a flood when your apartment or house needs to be renovated, and you cannot continue living in it safely.
Also, renter’s insurance companies will have their own guidelines for how they quote your insurance premiums
What Affects My Insurance Rate?
Renter’s insurance is relatively straightforward because it depends on just six factors.
– Property Type – based on the details you provide about the property, the insurance company will rate its risk. They will also check for the presence of alarms and security.
– Credit Score – if you have a higher score, it may help your rate decrease slightly, but not as much as it would for a home insurance policy. After all, renter’s insurance is generally quite cheap.
– Your Belongings – the higher the value of your belongings you’d like covered, the higher your rate will be.
– Location – if you live in a city such as Toronto, you can expect a slightly higher rate than outside the city based on higher theft rates.
– Previous Claims – if you’ve submitted claims in the past (regardless of which company you were with) you may be viewed as a higher risk, and the quote may reflect that.
– Other Risks – locations that experience higher instances of natural disasters might be quoted higher, but other risks are weighed based on the information you provide the insurance company.
What is the Average Cost of Renter’s Insurance in Ontario?
The average insurance rate varies widely depending on how you set up your policy and where you live. However, you can expect around $210 per year, depending on where you live. Kitchener, for instance, may have an average of about $191, while renter’s insurance in Sudbury could average as much as $328.
Insurance Company Comparison
These comparisons include several important bullet points for each company and a quote based on an applicant with top credit ratings. All the companies listed here will allow you to get a free quote for tenant insurance by just supplying answers to a few questions. Most will ask for such information as:
– The Zip Code
– The new address
– Your personal information
– When you want the policy to start
Once you complete the form, you’ll get a quote, after which you can start fine-tuning your policy before completing the process.
Best Renters Insurance in Ontario
The following are some of the best in Ontario for you to choose from. These were selected based on research, the number of users, and user reviews.
– Square One Tenant Insurance – Editor’s Choice
Coming in at one of the cheapest (about $25 per month for “just some insurance”), Square One has a strong position. Their website gives you a clear explanation after the application process about what is covered and what isn’t covered.
The standard items like theft, fire, and inland flood are covered as well as water backup, wind damage, and hail. However, coastal floods and repeated leakage are not covered.
Allstate is one of the largest insurance companies in the world. They cover all of the items that need to be covered.
They also offer additional coverage for things like jewelry and electronics, so you can ensure your bases are covered. Premiums may run a bit higher than other companies, but at least you have more customization to your policy.
– RBC Tenant Insurance
Big banks may be a bit worrisome to work with, but they have additions on their tenant insurance that aren’t typical, and most of them have to do with property coverage.
They cover non-owned property or someone else’s property in your rental, personal property at another location or in your vehicle, and special item limits.
However, they don’t cover overland water, sewer backup, identity theft, and unit improvements. With the specialized coverage and expectation of higher rates, it may be best to consider RBC after shopping around.
– Sonnet Tenant Insurance
Sonnet offers tenant insurance that ensures renters have all the basics covered, including personal liability, personal belongings, additional living expenses, sewer backup, and overland water.
They are smaller than other offerings since they are online-only; however, their insurance cost is lower than most. They offer a very easy online interface where you can change your coverage without much complication.
– CIBC Insurance
While it is yet another big bank, that should give you peace of mind that you are working with a company that can back up its policies.
CIBC provides all the basic coverage you might expect, but they also offer earthquake and identity theft coverage. While earthquake coverage might be your liking, CIBC rates tend to be higher than others.
– TD Tenant Insurance
Yet another big bank, however, it comes in with one of the most right-in-the-middle offerings in terms of rates, coverage, and quality.
They give applicants a comprehensive list of items they don’t cover under your standard coverages. The price is also right on average for this group.
– Scotiabank Tenant Insurance
Scotiabank is a well-known company that can provide you with tenant insurance to cover your needs. However, it will come with big-bank rates and doesn’t come with the coverage that the other companies on this list provide.
The most unfortunate subtraction is water damage, though Scotia will also not cover additional living expenses, identity theft, and sewer backup.
– Apollo Insurance
Apollo provides a relatively cheap option compared with some of the big banks on the list, though they still provide for all of the basics.
Not only that, but Apollo also offers coverage for jewelry, computers, bicycles, and additional living expenses
This company is very closely linked with the insurance from CIBC. So much so that the quote system is just a different color. That being said, Desjardin specializes in home and auto insurance.
If you have your auto insurance with Desjardins, you may qualify for a rate reduction.
– Wawanesa Insurance
Wawanesa has been operating since 1896, so it’s certainly got a pedigree. Their website offers a good user experience and gives examples of covered and not-covered categories.
While tenant insurance offerings are fairly comprehensive, Wawanesa may be a draw for people interested in working with companies that care – they have a company policy of actively participating in every community they serve.
Renter’s insurance may seem straightforward, leading some to go with the cheapest to show the landlord that you’ve got it.
However, it bears some shopping around as certain coverages may not only not be covered but also the lack of coverage won’t be known to you until you find yourself needing it.
Make sure to tailor your renter’s insurance to your needs as well as to your location.