Do you need tenant insurance?

The topic of tenant insurance (or renter insurance) may be the riveting conversational equivalent to watching grass grow. Still, it is an important one and no matter how we slice it, the truth remains that “you don’t need it until you need it” and if you don’t have it, you are already too late.

Alarming statistics show that less than half of Canadian renters have tenant insurance and in Vancouver, approximately 60% of renters feel that it is an unnecessary expense.

A professional property manager will be the first to advocate that the property owner and the tenant must protect themselves with their own insurance plans in place. Insurance products can differ from each provider and should suit the lifestyle of the resident. It is a smart move for any renter to speak with a broker and learn more about how they can protect their tenancy.

Over our many years in property management, we have come across several reservations that tenants have when rental insurance is brought up so we thought we would list the five most common statements we have heard and do away with any confusion around them.

The owner is insured. Do I need more insurance? Yes, you do. An owner’s insurance and tenant insurance are not the same. Simply put, an owner would be insured to protect and support their property in the event of damage to it. Their policy would not be designed to cover the needs of the tenant. In most cases, the replacement of possessions or any additional living costs associated with property damage would be the tenant’s responsibility which is not a pleasant out-of-pocket expense.

Hey, I just rent here! When you tenant a property, any activity performed on that property by you or your guests is your responsibility. Property managers have seen it all, so we’ll ask you to imagine a scenario where a friend who visits your home (now that’s an imaginative thought in 2020, eh?) wants to showcase a risky new dance move. They slip, fall and seriously injure themself. As the tenant of that property, you could be responsible for all their medical expenses and lost wages created by their inability to work. Tenant insurance, when structured correctly, could cover this. Experts advise that the minimum liability coverage should be $100,000 but suggest that $1 million – $2 million in liability coverage is ideal.

I could crash at my friend’s place for a few days. The thought of your buddy with the Ikea pull-out couch is excellent when you have had too much eggnog to drive home but we can promise you that the novelty will soon wear off after a few days. It would be best if you kept in mind that repair work can be extensive and untimely. You could be in a long-term lease and even with a professional property manager involved it could be months before you can return home. Your tenant insurance could be designed to protect and support your living costs should you require to move. Else, you’d better hope that in the past, you’ve picked up a few dinner cheques for that friend with the pull-out couch.

My rental already costs me too much! Okay, sure. But what if we told you that you could have rental insurance coverage for the cost of, say, four toffee nut lattes a month? Would that be too much of an additional expense to protect your home and everything you own? More than ever, this year has proven that uncertainty is the norm so why place yourself in a state of risk? The average cost of tenant insurance in BC comes in at around $25 a month and varies depending on the type of unit you are renting and your possessions. Our advice would be to skip a latte or two, break out the coffee maker at home and invest those savings in the peace of mind that being insured can bring.

I don’t own much stuff. We appreciate that this can be a subjective statement but what about your laptop, TV, tablets, phones, appliances, clothes, shoes or that Pokémon card collection you never told your friends about? If there is no tenant insurance in place you would likely require to re-purchase all these items yourself. Coverage for the necessities needed to get you back onto your feet can be a blessing during an already stressful time. The average replacement value suggested for an apartment is usually around $20,000 but is subject to each individuals’ items. An insurance broker would be able to better advise on the best amount that would have you covered.

At the Sycamore Property Management Group, we can’t stress enough just how important having rental insurance is for a tenant. Our recommendation is to start your New Year off protected by talking to an insurance advisor today. On behalf of the team, we would like to wish everyone a safe and happy festive season, may love, laughter and good fortune carry us through 2021.

Will I get my home back the way it was?

We understand how scary the thought of a damaged home is and we care about protecting your valuable asset. While wear and tear is to be expected when renting out your home; what forms as an excessive amount and who is responsible for it is our job to determine, a job that we do very well.


It starts with placing the right tenant and with our years of combined experience managing basement suites to luxury estates we have proven processes in place such as comprehensive screening processes, preventative maintenance trackers, rigorous inspections and condition reports to ensure you receive your home back in the best condition possible. In the rare event that it is not the case, we will work tirelessly alongside to guide you through the legal avenues available ensuring you get what is owed to you.


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