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Does my landlord's insurance cover my contents?

Your landlord most likely has homeowners or rented dwelling insurance. Contents insurance is part of this coverage and protects your landlord from damage to their belongings, also known as contents because it is the contents of their home. As part of their insurance policy, they would be reimbursed for damage to their personal property if it was damaged by an insured risk.

Unfortunately, your landlord’s insurance policy will not cover your contents and your landlord is not responsible for your possessions. The good news is that it is easy and affordable to purchase contents coverage of your own through a renter’s insurance policy from Western Financial Group in Ontario.

What is contents coverage?

Contents insurance protects the contents of your home while they are in your residence and when you take them with you. It covers your possessions, things like electronics, clothing, furniture, jewelry, sports equipment, and art. So long as your policy is in force, you have this coverage even when you are traveling.

How can I purchase contents insurance?

Because your landlord’s insurance does not cover your contents, it is advisable to purchase renter’s insurance to protect your personal property and liability. Some landlords require it as a part of their lease agreement and need their tenants to have it. Renter's insurance is a great way to protect your contents and it also has other important coverage like personal liability and additional living expenses.

Contents insurance is included in a standard renter’s insurance policy and you determine how much coverage you need based on how much it would cost to replace your belongings with new items of like kind and quality. Make a list of everything you would need to replace if you lost everything. Add up how much it would cost to buy new things. Make sure your renter’s insurance policy covers you for that amount.

What does renter’s insurance protect your contents from?

Most renter’s insurance policies cover risks like fire, burst pipes, wind and hail damage, explosions, electrical damage, lightning, vandalism, and theft. There are differences between insurers and policies so be aware of what is covered and what is not.

Add coverage with endorsements

Make sure you understand what exactly your renter's insurance policy covers. It will list the circumstances in which your contents would be covered and also exclusions where your coverage would not apply. Common exclusions include sewer backups and floods so you may want to add insurance in the form of an overland water endorsement or a sewer backup endorsement.

What is the difference between actual cash value and replacement cost?

If you need to make a claim your contents insurance can reimburse you for the replacement cost of your contents or their actual cash value.

Actual cash value covers your contents for what they are worth now, also known as current market value. For example, your computer may have cost $3,000 when you bought it but is now worth only $1,000. If your policy reimburses you for your contents’ actual cash value, your computer would be covered for $1,000. The premium for this type of coverage is lower than for a policy that covers your contents for replacement cost.

Replacement cost is the amount it would cost to replace your contents with new ones of comparable quality. It does not subtract depreciation from the covered amount. A policy that covers your contents for replacement cost is more expensive but would pay out more so you could buy new items that are as close in kind and quality as your old ones.

Exclusions and limits of contents coverage

Coverage limits and exclusions for your contents will be listed in your renter’s insurance policy. Exclusions, or items that are subject to limits of coverage, often include fine art, jewely and precious stones, and bicycles. You can get full coverage for these by scheduling them on your policy. This means you would list an item that would be covered up to a predetermined amount in the event of a claim at an additional cost.

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