Survey highlights importance of property insurance for renters

CALGARY- It costs just pennies a day, but a new survey has found a large number of tenants don’t have property insurance.

Renters have long been urged to get themselves a policy to protect their belongings, and plans start as low as $10 per month. Despite that, Canadian Direct Insurance has found that 30 per cent of tenants in Alberta don’t have insurance.

“People don’t think they need insurance because they don’t have a lot,” says Karen Hopkins-Lee from Canadian Direct Insurance. “They don’t know what the cost would be, and I think all of that is an issue.”

The report also found that 34 per cent of renters didn’t realize they aren’t covered by their landlord’s policy.

“Most people feel ‘it’s not going to happen to me so why do I need it?’” explains Gerry Baxter from the Calgary Residential Rental Association. “But if a tenant starts a fire, they’re at fault. The landlord’s insurance company will actually go after the tenants for the damage that’s caused. So, if the tenants have insurance they have liability coverage which means their insurance company will look after it.”

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Many landlords now ask tenants to have property insurance, before signing a lease.

Experts recommend people do a complete inventory of their valuables and basic items, take photos, and keep them offsite in case of fire. It’s also important to update the list when a large purchase is made.

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