Part 1: The benefits of tenant insurance
Tenant insurance covers a lot perils and can make for a more peaceful and pleasant building.
A tenant with content and liability insurance can make life and work much less stressful and a rental property much more stable. However, while a Cornerstone Properties professional property manager or landlord cannot force a renter to purchase contents insurance, they can educate and inform tenants about the benefits and relatively small cost such a policy can offer.
The average renter's insurance policy costs approximately $220 a year – less than $20 per month. Actual cost will depend on factors, including how much coverage is required, the type of coverage, the amount of the deductible and where the building is located.
Correcting tenant insurance misconceptions
It is interesting to note that many tenants incorrectly assume their possessions are covered by the landlord’s insurance policy.
Along with theft, renters’ policies can offer protection against a long list of perils including: explosion, fire or lightning, smoke, vandalism or malicious mischief, damage from water or steam from sources including household appliances, plumbing, heating, air conditioning or fire-protective sprinkler systems.
In the event of a toaster oven fire, for example, which triggers a building’s fire-protective sprinkler system, computers, televisions and clothing can be ruined. A simple replacement price tally of four or five items can drive home the point that insurance is a bargain.
Without contents insurance and faced with an apartment or condominium filled with destroyed electronic devices, furniture and clothing, tenants can become angry, assigning blame, creating conflict in the building.
It is important that tenants understand that landlord's insurance covers the structure itself and the grounds, but not tenants’ belongings.
As well, tenants that are informed and educated will know their rights, responsibilities and obligations, shifting the assumed and blame and responsibility away from the owner, property manager and landlord and back onto the tenant and, hopefully, their insurer.