Team at InsureBC. Writing things about insurance tips and tricks.
It’s no secret that the housing market continues to be a hot topic in British Columbia, and particularly in the city of Vancouver. According to the 2016 census count conducted by Statistics Canada, there were approximately 310,000 total dwellings in the city of Vancouver. It is estimated that nearly 55% of these dwellings are renter households and this number is expected to increase further in 2018.
With the increasing supply of rental units throughout the city, demand has easily kept up, and we continue to witness a record low rental vacancy in Vancouver. At the beginning of 2016, the rental vacancy was less than 1%. Combine that statistic with the fact that the average rental rate was $1,757 per month for the same period certainly constitutes a hot rental market.
With nearly 170,000 rental units in the city of Vancouver alone, why is it that only approximately 40% of the occupants in these units carry an insurance policy for their rental property? Are the high rental costs reason for people foregoing their insurance? We have listed three common misconceptions about renters (or tenant) Insurance.
1. They don’t think they need it.
Some people believe that insurance is not needed for their rental property and that their landlord’s policy will protect them. Unfortunately, this is one of the most significant misconceptions when it comes to renters insurance.
FACT CHECK: WHILE YOUR LANDLORD’S INSURANCE COVERS THE BUILDING YOU ARE RENTING, YOU NEED RENTER’S INSURANCE TO COVER ANY LOSSES OR LIABILITY FOR THE CONTENTS OF YOUR HOME.
2. It’s simply too expensive.
As Vancouver continues to be one of the most expensive North American cities to live in, renters are continuously looking for ways to cut their monthly bills, including on something as important as insurance.
FACT CHECK: RENTERS INSURANCE COVERS THE CONTENTS OF YOUR HOME, NOT THE HOME ITSELF SO IT IS SIGNIFICANTLY CHEAPER THAN OTHER PROPERTY INSURANCE. IF YOU ARE CURIOUS ABOUT YOUR RENTERS INSURANCE COST, YOU CAN GET A FREE QUOTE HERE.
3. They don’t believe they own anything of value to protect.
Many people underestimate the amount and value of their possessions. By the time they combine the value of their laptop, clothes, and jewelry, insurance is a definite must.
FACT CHECK: WE OFTEN SEE RENTERS WHO ARE AT RISK OF LOSING $25,000 OR EVEN $50,000 IF THEY DO NOT HAVE THE RENTERS INSURANCE.
Once you actually get people to consider buying renters insurance, some of the most obvious questions asked to tend to be ‘what does my renter’s insurance cover’, ‘does renter’s insurance cover me against a flood’ or even ‘what should my renter’s insurance coverage amount be’? When looking for the right renter’s policy to purchase, it’s important that you consult with the right parties and websites.
Make sure you know what you’re buying and spend some time familiarizing yourself with the various packages available out there. And, though tempting, do not pick your package purely based on price. Like most other things you own, you get what you pay for. Spending $60k on a BMW provides a whole different experience than buying a $16k Honda.
I think I need this! Where do I get a policy – or get a quote?
If you’re still not certain on what to buy after your research, simply take 5 minutes to contact an insurance broker. They can offer you a number of suggestions and put your mind at ease in the process. If you want to get a quote online, you can also check out our quote tool here to get an estimate on the cost of your renters insurance.
Originally published May 22, 2018, updated March 9, 2020