“There is a heightened risk if you don’t have your renters insurance,” says Elliot Silverstein, the director of government relations at CAA Insurance. “Your property—like jewellery, electronics—is protected from fire, smoke, flooding, theft and so forth.”
He adds that COVID has likely increased the value of your goods, like the new tech gear for your home office, and the special cooking appliances you’ve added to your foodie repertoire (how did you live without that air fryer!). Having these pandemic “must-haves” is another good reason to take inventory of your property and budget for a policy.
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How much is renters insurance?
Across Canada, renters insurance can range from $15 to $50 per month. But generally, Silverstein says, “if you have a lot of possessions, you’ll be paying more.”
Unlike with home insurance, when you have renters insurance, the type of building you live in doesn’t matter. Why? Because you’re getting the contents insured, not the space itself. However, do ask about discounts if you live in a condo or apartment. For example: If you have a security guard or concierge in your condo or apartment building, it could save you some money. It’s worth noting that many insurance providers require a minimum coverage, like $40,000. So it may be worth looking into providers who do not have a minimum coverage, should your belongings be worth less.
Your postal code factors into the cost, too. Do you live in an area with high risk of theft, or where there is a higher chance of water or sewage overflowing into your ground-floor apartment? Are you a vintage jewellery collector, a sports fanatic with prized memorabilia or an audiophile with loads of rare vinyl? These are all situations that cause your premium to inch up with insurance add-ons to increase the limits on prized collections.
With a few clicks you can scroll rates online to get a picture of your cost. Then, typically, you will be directed to a broker who can help you negotiate the right coverage and find savings like bundling your renters insurance with your auto insurance. Associations you belong to—such as your union, college, university or recreational club—can sometimes bring more savings too.
“In general, you don’t seek out insurance on a regular basis. It is a complex conversation and an insurance agent or broker can help you customize your policy,’ Silverstein adds. Note, even when you use an online quoter, you will be directed to an insurance broker to work on and finalize your insurance policy.