Cynthia Pommainville

Home Insurance: Are You Well Insured?

Whether you are a renter, a co-owner or an owner, getting home insurance is a must. When you are a renter, it’s up to you to establish the required amount to cover all your belongings. Don’t be tempted to think that you don’t own much and that all you need is the minimum amount of coverage.

Today, I will be presenting the real numbers to you, those from a tenant’s insurance policy of renters who lost everything in a fire.

On a cold winter evening, a family with two kids found themselves on the streets after an electrical fire erupted in the old apartment building where they lived. As luck would have it, they were insured! However, the bad news was that their insurance limit to cover their content was insufficient! Too often, when requesting a quote for tenant’s insurance, clients think that $10,000 is more than enough coverage! But unless minimally, a $10,000 limit for content is quite low. Even if you live alone!

These clients who lost everything in the fire had close to $40,000 of insurable property, but the limit on their contract was a little under $30,000. Here’s an overview of their contents list: furniture, TV, appliances, vacuum, blinds, bedding and drapes, toaster, shaver, mattress, towels, brooms, coffee machine, pots and pans, clothes, animals, sporting and camping equipment, tableware, Xbox, DVD player and many DVDs, food, toys, jewelry, cosmetics… The list goes on and on, but it’s nothing outrageous either. One can presumably say that most dwellings contain the same contents.

To give you a better idea of what $40,000 worth of property represents, here are some figures of the final tally:

  • Furnishings (living room/kitchen/rooms): $7,000
  • Electronics and appliances $7,000
  • Other furniture: $4,000
  • Food:  $500
  • Clothes: $8,000
  • Decorative items: $1,500
  • Other items (sports, activities, jewelry, cosmetics, etc.): $7,000
  • Kitchen items (cooking and tableware) $1,500
  • Pets: $1,000
  • Tools: $1,000

Try the same exercise at home, make up a list adding one item at a time, and you’ll be surprised by the final amount.

Moreover, did you know that when you are the victim of a loss, you also receive a living expense indemnity? This means that the additional amount that it costs you for accommodation, meals, transportation and entertainment while you are relocated up to the limit indicated in your contract.

To make sure you don’t forget anything when you are calculating the value of your property, we have prepared a document that will help you make an itemized checklist of what you are likely to have. All you need to do is calculate the value of each item. Do not hesitate to ask your broker to send you this document! It will also help you establish the limit you need for property insurance when purchasing home insurance.

Your Lareau broker can provide you with a quote in a few short minutes. The premiums for tenant’s insurance is between $15 and $30 monthly. This is small amount to pay in comparison to the value of what you may lose in the event of a fire if you don’t have insurance. Bear in mind that it is never too late to get your first home insurance!

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Cynthia Pommainville Personal-Lines Underwriting Director
Damage Insurance Broker
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