3. Find a tenant insurance plan
Question & AnswerDo I need tenant insurance?
If you want to get tenant insurance, it's important to get an insurer that is reliable. You can get tenant insurance from an insurance company or a bank. The Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario keeps a list of all the companies and banks that are allowed to sell insurance in Ontario.
It's a good idea to look at different options. You should choose a plan that you know you can afford.
The cost of insurance usually depends on:
- the amount of coverage
- your credit score
- where you live
- whether you have a home security system
- if you've made insurance claims before
You can look at different websites or call insurance companies to learn more about their plans. You can ask for a quote, which is the possible price you would pay for the insurance plan. To get a quote, an insurer will ask you some questions about the place where you're living.
If there are questions you don't know the answer to, you can ask your landlord.
It's a good idea to ask the insurer questions about:
- what their plans cover
- their cancellation policy
- penalties for late payment
Paying for insurance
Look at your options before you buy. Insurers sometimes try to sell you the more expensive plans. And sometimes your landlord will tell you to use a certain insurance company, but you can choose your own insurer.
Think about how much coverage you need and how much you can pay. You could get a discount on your plan if you tell your insurer that the building has a security system, smoke detectors, or deadbolt locks.
Your first insurance payment will be on the day your coverage starts, which should be the day you move into your rental unit. You usually pay monthly or pay the entire amount for the year. It's important that you remember to pay for your insurance on time. If you don't pay, your insurer might charge late fees or cancel your coverage.
You might also have to pay a “deductible”. A deductible is the amount you must pay yourself when you make a claim before your insurer pays.
For example, your insurance plan might cover up to $10,000 for damage but include a $500 deductible. If your claim is for $5500, you will pay the first $500 and the insurer will pay the other $5000.
When you buy tenant insurance, make sure to get a copy of your coverage plan and a receipt.
Insurance with roommates
If you live with roommates, you might all be able to get protection under one plan and split the cost. You will have to ask the insurer if this is allowed.
If you get income from OW or ODSP
Ontario Works (OW) or the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) can help you pay for tenant insurance if you aren't using all of your shelter allowance. Talk to your caseworker to see if this is an option for you.