8 Things Post-Secondary Students Should Know About Tenant Insurance
You’ve packed your bags and it’s time to head off to post-secondary, but have you considered insurance? If you are looking for tenant insurance, here are some things you should know:
1. Your parents’ home insurance policy may cover you.
In some cases, a student may be covered by their parent or guardian’s home insurance policy. If your address stays the same as your parent or guardian’s home address, their home insurance policy may extend to you.
However, your parent’s home insurance policy may only cover a specific limit. When you take into consideration higher value items (i.e., cell phones, laptops, TV, etc.), it becomes very easy to exceed the limit on your parent’s policy. You may want to consider a separate tenant insurance policy as they typically offer more coverage.
Every insurance provider is different, so be sure to talk to one of our Rogers Insurance brokers to discuss what would work best for your situation.
2. Your landlord or roommate’s insurance does not cover your belongings.
Whether you’re renting a house, apartment, dorm or even a room, your landlord or roommate’s policy will not cover your personal liability or personal belongings if they are damaged, destroyed or stolen.
Your landlord’s policy is designed to protect only their property and liability, including the building (or rental unit) and any appliances that came with the rental. Similarly, your roommate’s policy is designed to protect only their belongings and liability.
3. The cost of tenant insurance will not break the bank.
Between tuition, books and living expenses, post-secondary can be very expensive. The good news is that tenant insurance is typically fairly affordable. For a small fee, you can have peace of mind that if something were to happen to your belongings, you won’t have to pay replacement costs out of pocket.
Tip: Insurers will often offer discounts when you bundle your policies with them. For example, if you have a vehicle, bundling your tenant insurance with your auto insurance could help you save money.
4. Your landlord can legally request that you have tenant insurance before moving in.
In Alberta, it is every landlord’s legal right to request their tenants have tenant insurance. In some cases, your parent or guardian’s home insurance may be accepted.
In fact, many post-secondary residence buildings also require students to have tenant insurance. For example, it is mandatory for students living in residence buildings at the to have either tenant insurance or be covered by their parent’s insurance.
5. It covers more than just theft.
Tenant insurance covers physical damage, personal liability and additional living expenses.
- Physical damage covers damage to your personal belongings caused by theft, vandalism, fire and more.
- Personal liability protects you financially if you are legally liable for damages as a result of bodily injury or property damage caused to you, your rental property or the property of others.
- Additional living expenses covers extra costs for accommodation, transportation and food if you are mandated to leave your home or if it becomes uninhabitable due to a covered loss.
Some examples of when tenant insurance may cover you include:
- Your cooking venture turns into a misadventure and starts a fire that damages your unit.
- You hosted a party at your apartment and someone who attended slipped on your floor and was injured.
- There is a flood in your area, and you are not allowed to enter your home due to a mandatory evacuation notice.
Please note that every policy differs. Always check with your broker or read your policy documents to understand what your policy will and will not cover.
6. If you move, you can easily transfer your tenant insurance to your new rental.
If you plan to continue renting, you can transfer your tenant insurance to your new rental by simply contacting your broker and informing them of this change. If you do not transfer your tenant insurance prior to moving and your belongings are stolen at your new rental, for example, you will not be covered by your policy.
Be sure to promptly give notice of change of location to ensure that you are covered.
Tip: If you are a Rogers Insurance client, you can make this change through our R Insurance app.
7. Having a list of your belongings can save a lot of stress.
If the worst-case scenario were to happen and you had to submit a claim, having a list of your belongings (known as a home inventory list) can help make the process smoother. List items such as your laptop, phone, jewelry and textbooks, for example, as well as what it would cost to replace them. It is best practice to update your home inventory list annually or when you make a large purchase.
Tip: The easiest time to update or create your home inventory is when you’re preparing to move.
8. You can easily reduce your risks to avoid making an insurance claim.
Your tenant insurance is a great safety net if something were to go wrong, but there are steps you can take to reduce your claims risk. Some examples include:
- locking your doors and windows when you are not at home;
- being aware of fire risks, such as candles or extension cords, and;
- cleaning up hazards like extension cords or spills that could lead to injury.
Accidents happen, but by taking simple steps, you can reduce your risks. And if you need it, your tenant insurance is there for you.