How Tenant Insurance Protects You

From protection for your personal belongings to coverage against liability claims, tenant insurance protects you in a number of ways.*

Your Personal Belongings

Your landlord’s property insurance doesn’t cover your personal belongings. Tenant insurance, on the other hand, provides coverage for your personal belongings inside your unit.
You should choose enough coverage to repurchase everything you currently have as personal belongings inside your unit. If you're not sure, itemize all of your personal belongings, room by room. Apply an approximate amount to each item and then total these amounts.

You can choose from two types of coverage to protect your personal belongings:

  • All Perils coverage protects your personal belongings against the widest range of risks and only excludes the perils specifically listed in your policy.
  • Specified Perils coverage protects your personal belongings against the most common risks, which will be listed in your policy.

Examples of common perils include: fire and lightning; falling objects; water escape, rupture and freezing; smoke; windstorm or hail; vandalism and more.

Some valuable personal items, like jewellery, coin collections, computer software and more also have special coverage limits. If these limits do not adequately protect your possessions, you may be able to purchase additional coverage.

Tip: Update your personal belongings inventory at least once a year. Photograph or video all your belongings and keep a record of serial numbers and receipts where applicable in a secure location (such as a safety deposit box.) If you ever make a claim, your visual record of the missing or damaged items will make the process much easier.

Upgrades to Your Rental Unit

Your landlord’s insurance won’t cover any upgrades you have made to your unit–such as better flooring or high-end light fixtures. That’s why your tenant insurance policy comes with tenant’s improvements and betterment coverage, which gives you coverage up to a specific dollar amount.

All improvements and betterments you make to your rental unit are covered for the same perils that your personal belongings are insured against—either All Perils or Specified Perils.

Tip: If you make upgrades to your rental unit, update your policy to make sure you are properly covered. Also keep receipts and proof of all upgrades you have made to your rental in a secure location (such as a safety deposit box.)

Additional Living Expenses

If you can’t live in your rental unit while repairs are being made, your tenant insurance will also help to cover expenses such as moving costs, a hotel room, restaurant meals, storage and more.

For example:

  • If your unit is considered unfit to live in due to an insured peril and you have to move out while the damage is being repaired, your plan will cover necessary and reasonable additional living expenses.
  • If you are denied access to your unit by the police, fire department or other civil authority because of damage to a neighbouring unit, your plan will cover a necessary and reasonable increase in living expenses for up to two weeks.
  • If you sub-let part of your rental home or unit to another tenant and he or she is forced to leave because of an insured loss, your plan will reimburse your full rental value while the repairs are being made.

Accidental Damage or Injury to Others

The liability coverage that comes with your tenant insurance policy can protect you financially if you unintentionally cause property damage or bodily injury to others—while inside the building or anywhere in the world.

For example, this coverage protects you if:

  • Your toaster oven catches fire, damaging your unit and part of your neighbour's unit. (Your neighbour's and landlord's insurance companies may cover these damages but will still come to you to seek reimbursement.)
  • Your housekeeper slips on a spill on your kitchen floor and injures her back.
  • You throw a baseball on the beach while on vacation in Florida and you accidentally knock out a bystander's tooth.

Your liability coverage helps protect you whether someone sues you or not:

  • Your policy will pay for property damage or personal injury you unintentionally cause even if you are not legally liable.
  • If someone does sue you due to injury or property damage covered by your policy, the costs associated with your defence are covered by your policy.

Tip: It’s a good idea to purchase as much liability coverage as you can afford—we recommend at least $1 million in coverage and offer up to $2 million in coverage.

Choosing the Right Coverage

View and Compare Plans

Choose from two tenant insurance plans. Explore the features and benefits now.

Endorsements for Your Property

You can purchase extra coverage for water damage, or to protect especially valuable items you own.

Home & Property Insurance FAQs

Find answers to your questions about home insurance coverage, deductibles, premiums or discounts.

It depends on the type of home you live in. If you own a house, your property insurance will cover the house itself and detached structures like a fence or storage shed.

Your insurance will also cover personal belongings such as jewellery, artwork, furniture, computers, carpets and more.

Finally, your policy also includes third-party liability coverage. This protects you against personal liability if somebody is injured while on your property or if you accidentally cause damage to a neighbour's property.

Your coverage should begin as soon as you become the legal owner or tenant, even if your home or condo unit is still being built.

  • All Perils protects your insured property against the widest range of risks and only excludes the perils specifically listed in your policy.
  • Specified Perils protects your insured property against the most common risks, which will be listed in your policy.

The owner of the property you're renting almost certainly has insurance on the building itself. They may also have coverage for certain items inside your rental unit, such as the carpets, light fittings and appliances. So you may wonder why you need coverage too.

Here are three excellent reasons:

  • Your landlord's insurance will not cover your personal belongings. Your jewellery, artwork, furniture, entertainment equipment and other valuable belongings will not be protected.
  • Your landlord's insurance most likely does not cover any upgrades you have made to your rental unit and paid for yourself. For example, you may have installed upgraded carpets or added built-in shelving units in the closets.
  • Finally, you need to protect yourself against personal liability for injuries to visitors to your home or for damage you accidentally cause to your neighbours' property.

For details, see: Tenant Insurance.

Your condominium corporation has insurance, so you may wonder why you need your own coverage.

Here are three excellent reasons:

  • Your condominium corporation's policy will not cover your personal belongings. Your jewellery, artwork, furniture, entertainment equipment and other valuable belongings will not be protected.
  • Your condominium corporation's policy only covers items that are part of the building. You need your own insurance to protect the upgrades you have made inside your unit, such as better carpets and built-in cupboards.
  • Finally, you need to protect yourself against personal liability for injuries to visitors to your home or for damage you accidentally cause to your neighbours' property.

For details, see: Condo Insurance.

The liability coverage included in a homeowners, condo or tenant insurance plan protects you financially if you unintentionally cause bodily injury or property damage to others—at your home or anywhere in the world. For example:

  • A babysitter slips on a spill on your kitchen floor and injures her back.
  • A dead tree in your yard falls and hits your neighbour's roof, causing damage.
  • You throw a baseball on the beach while on vacation in Florida and you accidentally knock out a bystander's tooth.

Insurance coverage for water damage depends on a number of things, like where you live and how your home was constructed. Insurance for some types of water damage may be included automatically in your policy, and some may need to be purchased as extra.

Examples of causes of water damage that aren’t covered under most standard home insurance plans are flooding and seepage:

  • Flooding results in damage from water that flows into your home from natural sources like lakes and rivers, or large amounts of pooled water.
  • Seepage refers to the slow movement of water or other fluid through small openings, cracks or pores in your home.

Causes of water damage that are usually covered by most standard home insurance plans include or can be added by endorsement:

  • Sewer backup: Water is forced through the sewer system back into your home, or your sump pump fails (Sewer back can be added by endorsement).
  • Water Escape: This covers water damage that may be caused when your bath or sink overflows or a pipe or hose inside your house breaks.

Not automatically. However, you can purchase earthquake coverage for an additional premium. For details, see Endorsements for Your Property.

Most property insurance will protect your belongings when you travel. For example, if your luggage is stolen from a hotel room or your car, you may be covered for the loss.

Remodeling your home may change the valuation placed on your property. If you build a major addition or swimming pool, you will need to update your insurance policy.

Overland water is fresh water that accumulates on land which is usually dry, resulting from:

  • Torrential rain or snow melt;
  • Overflow of a body of fresh water.

We’ve made the Overland Water Endorsement available for purchase in response to the effects of changing weather patterns and the increasing number of severe storm events that often cause property damage.

If you purchase this additional protection, you will have coverage for damage caused by overland water entering your property from torrential rains, rapid snow melt, or overflow of lakes, streams and rivers. This includes coverage for loss or damage from the sudden and accidental entrance of overland fresh water through foundations, basement walls or basement doors. This coverage is not included in your Extended Water Damage coverage.

However, please remember that Your Extended Water Damage option also provides very important coverage. This includes the sudden and accidental backing up of water or sewage through:

  • Drains, waste and sewer pipes that are underground or outside the building
  • Septic tanks, septic systems or connected piping located outside a the building
  • Retention tanks or holding ponds, sump pits, sump pumps and their attached piping or equipment
  • Eaves troughs or downspouts

Overland water does not cover:

  • damage from coastal flooding of salt water including spray or storm surge.
  • seepage through basement walls, doors or foundations that is not caused by Overland Water
  • loss or damage from water resulting from the intentional breaches of structures such as dams, dykes and levees

The Home Repair Bundle includes all three services for $125 per year:

  • Home Repair Assure to fix a minor issue before it leads to a large claim;
  • Claim Prevent to prevent a further claim occurring from the same cause after a claim has already occurred;
  • HALO Assist for free access to phone advice from legal and health experts.

In addition to the home repair service, you have access to unlimited information about covered repair issues in your home. You can call the toll-free number any day, any time and a service representative can answer questions you may have about home issues and repairs. If your home repair issue is not covered under the program, you can choose to be referred to a trusted service provider in your area. You can then arrange and pay for service directly with them.

Three different services are available.

  • Claim Prevent can be used immediately after a covered claim.
  • The services in HALO Assist can be used immediately after the date coverage starts
  • For the Home Repair Assure portion of the endorsement, there is a 45-day waiting period from the date coverages starts

The services cannot be purchased separately.

The deductible is the amount you must pay out-of-pocket for a claim before your insurance policy pays.

The standard deductible amount is $1,000 for homeowner, condominium owner or tenant insurance policies. You may be eligible to increase or decrease your deductible amount, which may impact your insurance premium. Since the deductible amount is what you pay out-of-pocket for a claim, it is important you choose an amount that you can afford if you ever need to make a claim.

In most cases for property loss or damage, a deductible will apply. However, there are certain instances when you will not have to pay a deductible for property losses.

There are a number of ways to reduce your insurance premiums. Here are some of the best tips for saving through RBC Insurance®.

  • Lower your premium by choosing a higher deductible
  • Combine your insurance through us
  • Install a home security system

You have several payment options, including regular pre-authorized chequing account withdrawals, credit card debits (Visa or Mastercard) and lump-sum payments.

Using any of the services provided under the Home Repair Bundle won’t affect your claims history or claims-free discount. The Home Repair Bundle is designed to help you proactively reduce and prevent the same claims from occurring and provide further protection with assistance services.

If you make a claim under this endorsement, your premium, claims history and claims-free discount will not be affected. You do not have to pay your policy deductible if you have an Identity Theft claim.

* The information above is a summary only and does not include all terms, conditions, limits and exclusions.