Marie-Claude Dulac

By Marie-Claude Dulac

August 9, 2016


Hey, Students! Do You Need Home Insurance?

Article revised on 4 September 2019

You’ll soon be settling into your new apartment. Don’t think it’s necessary to have Home insurance while you’re a student? Nothing could be further from the truth! The handy guide we’ve prepared can unlock all the secrets of Home insurance for tenants!

Find out first whether you’re covered under your parents’ insurance

If you are a full-time college or university student and you temporarily leave your parents’ home to continue your education, your property and civil liability are covered under your parents’ Home insurance contract. 

It would be worthwhile for your parents to check the limits of their coverage with their insurance representative. Careful! Some insurers limit this benefit to students age 18 or less. As well, your roommates cannot be covered under your parents’ insurance. So, in order to have property and civil liability insurance coverage, they will need to get their own Home insurance or be covered under their parents’ policy, if they’re eligible.

If you’re covered under your parents’ insurance, certain insurers, such as La Capitale, will provide unlimited coverage for your property. Note, however, that many insurers will limit your property coverage to 10% of the amount of insurance indicated in your parents’ contract. For example, if the insurance amount indicated in your parents’ contract is $50,000, the maximum compensation you would receive in the event of a claim is $5,000.

You think your property is worth more than that? In that case, your parents will have to adjust their insurance accordingly. If you are not covered under your parents’ insurance contract, you will have to have your own Home insurance.

How Home insurance for tenants works

Home insurance for tenants covers:

  • Your property (your apartment contents) in the event of theft, vandalism, fire, water damage, etc. The property coverage level generally varies based on the type of property you have, as well as on the type of coverage and insurance amount selected. 
  • Your civil liability This coverage will help you pay the amount required if you are held liable for accidental damage to someone else’s property or if someone is injured as a result of a loss for which you are held liable. Civil Liability coverage also protects you in the event of accidental damage to your apartment due to certain risks such as fire or certain types of water damage for which you are held liable.
  • Your roommates’ property and civil liability If the Tenant’s insurance is in your name and you are living with friends or a new partner, you must notify your insurer. The name of each person living in your apartment must be indicated on the contract in order for them all to be covered.

Various types of Tenants insurance products, each offering different levels of coverage, are available on the market. If you do a little shopping around and get advice from insurance representatives, you’ll get the right coverage at the right price.

The amount of insurance and how it’s determined

The amount of insurance corresponds to the total value of your personal property (and that of your roommates, if any). By that, we mean the amount it would cost to replace those items today. The best way to calculate the value of personal property is to take inventory of your belongings and attach the receipts for each item.

Your insurance representative can also help and advise you when calculating the value of your personal property. Once that has been done, your representative will take this amount into consideration when proposing insurance coverage, to ensure that you’ll receive an adequate indemnity in the event of a loss.

It’s also a good idea to ask your insurer if you should apply for supplementary insurance to ensure adequate coverage for certain items. That’s because some insurers limit the reimbursement granted for certain specific items, such as:
• Bikes
• Software
• Computer
• Jewellery

These limits vary from one insurer to another. For example, La Capitale includes free, unlimited coverage for your bikes, CDs, DVDs and video games.

What types of supplementary insurance should I get?

The answer to this question varies based on different factors. Fortunately, you’re not alone! Your insurance representative’s role is to advise you and help you make an informed decision concerning the types of coverage best suited to your situation.

For example, if you live in a basement apartment or have some of your items stored in a basement, you are more likely to need coverage against water damage.

What you need to know about coverage against water damage

Water damage is among the leading causes of losses that tenants experience. Whether it is due to the rupture of a drinking water or drainage pipe or to the breakdown of a household appliance (such as a washer) that is connected to these pipes, damage caused to your property is always covered under the basic contract.

Other coverage is also available to cover damage caused to your property due to:
• Water seepage through the floor
• Sewer backup
• Water seepage through the roof and openings (e.g. doors and windows).

Still not convinced of the importance of being insured?

Take a few minutes to calculate how much it would cost to replace your possessions (clothing, dishes, food, etc.) and furniture if stolen or damaged in a fire. If your apartment were to become uninhabitable, you would need to replace all your possessions, find alternative housing.

You might forget about a pot on the stove or have a dishwasher pipe that leaks occasionally. If you live in a large building, consider the scope of damage that you could be held liable for  and the significant compensation amounts that you could have to assume.

Home insurance would certainly spare you some major headaches!

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