Top reasons you need to get tenant insurance

Written by the Square One team

Reviewed by Daniel Mirkovic

Updated June 18, 2024 | Published March 8, 2012

If you are renting a small place and don’t have a lot of possessions, then you may think there is no need for tenant insurance.


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Common misconceptions

Here are some common misconceptions:

I don’t have a lot of things to protect

Even though you may not feel like you have a lot, when you start adding up what it would cost to replace your clothes, shoes, accessories, as well as the basics in your kitchen and bathroom, you’ll be surprised. Download our simple excel home inventory worksheet to get a rough idea of what your possessions are worth. You can also access the online PDF version here.

I’m a student, so am I covered under my parents’ insurance?

Some insurance policies limit the value of the possessions covered for students living away from their parents’ home and most require that you are financially dependent on your parents and that you are only temporarily away from their home. Have you reviewed your parents’ insurance policy? What happens to any coverage if you get a summer job and don’t return to your parents’ home?

Liability? Nothing could ever happen to me

If you decide to have a party and someone slips and falls on your throw rug, you may be held liable. Or if you’re playing a recreational sport and accidentally injure someone, you may be held liable. While we all like to think that our friends would never sue us or accidents won’t happen, are these risks you want to take?

Insurance is too expensive

The cost of insurance depends on the value of your possessions. You can reduce your monthly premium by increasing your deductible – you take on a bit of the risk, and pay a lower premium. When you look at the cost, think about the cost of replacing your laptop and smartphone.

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10 great reasons why you should buy tenant insurance

If you’re still contemplating if tenant insurance is right for you, here are ten good reasons why you should buy tenant insurance:

  1. Landlords require it

    Often when you’re trying to rent a place, the landlord will insist that you have a tenant insurance policy in place. There are many reasons why a landlord would want their tenants to have proper insurance. It helps protect the home against unintential damage from a tenant and can also protect the renter if something unforeseen happens.

  2. Replacement cost on contents

    So you bought your couch at a garage sale, and your mom gave you her old dishes. Maybe you don’t think they’re worth a lot, but when you add up the cost to replace all your belongings with new ones, you may think differently. Even the cost to just replace your clothes and shoes could surprise you.

  3. Damage to the unit you’re renting

    What if your home suffers severe fire or water damage and you can’t stay in it? While your landlord can’t charge you rent during this period, the cost of staying in a hotel or furnished apartment will be much higher than what you would have paid for rent. If you have tenant insurance, it can cover these additional costs. You can even get optional coverage for accidental damage to the landlord’s property that you’re responsible for.

  4. Liability for your personal actions

    What if you accidentally fall asleep while you’re cooking dinner? A tenant insurance policy can cover you for smoke damage to the apartment you’re renting. Or what if you lose control while you’re skiing, and crash into someone? You can cause serious injury, possibly resulting in a lawsuit for your negligence. Your tenant insurance can provide you with $1,000,000 coverage, or more.

  5. Liability for your premises

    If someone comes to visit, and slips on your wet bathroom floor, again you could be sued for their injuries. Tenant insurance policies usually include $1,000,000 premises liability insurance.

  6. Theft from your car

    Maybe your apartment is secure, but it’s always possible that something gets stolen from your car. This will not be covered under your car insurance, but can be covered by a renter’s insurance policy.

  7. Property in storage

    If you’ve got things in storage (maybe you’re waiting for a new home to be built, or maybe your sports equipment won’t fit in your new basement suite), you can get storage insurance on your tenant insurance policy. Some policies may include it automatically.

  8. Worldwide coverage

    Using some of your hard-earned money to travel the world? Your tenant insurance policy will not only protect your contents at home while you’re away on vacation, but it will also cover the belongings you take with you.

  9. Electronics. Computers, phones, PS5s, smartwatches, and more

    We all have them. Your tenant insurance policy can protect them.

  10. Pet coverage

    What if your puppy nips someone’s nose? Liability claims are very common as a result of dog bites. If you own a pet, your renter’s insurance policy can cover claims of this type.

Having tenant insurance can’t prevent bad things from happening. But it’s nice to know that someone will be there to help put things right if the worst does happen. And with Square One’s home insurance starting from as little as $12 a month, why risk going without it? Square One offers tenant insurance in Alberta, BC, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec.

Watch the full video

Want to learn more? Visit our Renter resource centre for more tips and information about life as a renter. Or, get an online quote in under 5 minutes and find out how affordable personalized home insurance can be.

About the expert: Daniel Mirkovic

A co-founder of Square One with 25 years of experience in the insurance industry, Daniel was previously vice president of the insurance and travel divisions at the British Columbia Automobile Association. Daniel has a bachelor of commerce and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia. He holds a Canadian Accredited Insurance Broker (CAIB) designation and a general insurance license level 3 in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario.


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Even when you take precautions, accidents can happen. Home insurance is one way to protect your family against financial losses from accidents. And, home insurance can start from as little as $12/month.

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