With the recent fire at View Tower’s in Victoria, BC, many tenants are asking do they need insurance. The simple answer is yes.
The first and foremost consideration for tenants is protection of personal property.  Landlords have limited legal obligations and are not responsible for damage to or loss of tenant personal possessions.  For example, if your bath overflows into the apartment and destroys your video game collection, you will have to replace it yourself.
The second is that as a tenant, you are legally responsible for any harm you cause to your building or to any people who live in or visit your building.  That includes the common areas but also the other tenants’ apartments.  If you or one of your guests leave the stove on and there is a small fire which results in any damage to the building  or your neighbors’ suite, you could be presented with a large bill to fix or replace any damaged property.

Simple Tenant insurance is good for peace of mind and will protect you if anything happens while you are renting property.  There are various options and you should look for at least both Basic Liability Insurance and  Contents coverage:

•    Basic Liability Insurance refers to damage caused to the building including your unit.
•    Contents coverage is something that covers what you own for loss or damage, but check carefully before buying. A replacement  policy will replace you property, but a as value replacement policy will only give you what you property is worth at the time of the incident. This can be significantly less than the cost of replacement.

At the end of the day, bad things sometimes happen to good people and that is why there is insurance.  Insurance is good for your peace of mind and will help you establish a good habit of being protected against unfortunate events in life. Always remember to shop around to get the best deal.

Dr. Mieko Bond