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Moving out for the first time? Don't forget your renter's insurance
-- TD Insurance poll finds one-in-two Canadian renters under 35 don't have renter's insurance --
TORONTO, Aug. 13, 2012 /CNW/ - Old sheets and towels, vintage store plates, timeworn furniture - typically when people move out for the first time, they will take anything secondhand they can find. Many young people even assume they don't need renter's (also known as tenant) insurance because their possessions aren't very valuable.
But what if a renter accidentally damages their apartment, or if they are robbed and have to replace their possessions on a tight budget? Renter's insurance is a wise investment, but according to a new poll by TD Insurance, 47% of Canadian tenants under 35 do not have renter's insurance.
"Moving out of your parents' home for the first time can be very liberating, but it also comes with a lot of financial responsibilities," says Dave Minor, Vice President, TD Insurance. "For those trying to make ends meet, tenants may be tempted to forgo renter's insurance to try to cut costs. But consider the cost of replacing your laptop or smartphone if you were robbed. Before moving out, it's important to understand the basics of renter's insurance and ensure you have the right coverage in place to protect yourself."
Minor sets the record straight for renters by debunking the five most common renter's insurance myths:
Myth #1: If something happens, it will be covered by the landlord's policy
Nearly one-third of Canadian renters under 35 (32%) incorrectly believe they are covered under their landlord's insurance policy. But Minor says your landlord's insurance likely only covers the building you live in and not your personal possessions or your liability for accidents.
"If the pizza delivery person slipped on ice outside your apartment building, the negligence would likely lie with the landlord who is responsible for salting the sidewalk," he says. "However, if they slipped inside your apartment because you didn't clean up a puddle, you may be liable for their medical bills, lost wages and damages for pain and suffering out of your own pocket."
Myth #2: My roommate has insurance, so I should be covered too since we live together
"Generally, renter's insurance does not cover your roommate and instead only covers your own personal belongings," says Minor. But if you're considering purchasing joint insurance with your roommate, Minor warns there are a few things you should consider first:
"Renters should discuss with their roommates how they will pay for the policy and also have a clear understanding of what each roommate's valuables are worth," he says. "One roommate's valuables may hold less value than the other roommate - in this case, will the two roommates pay the same contribution to the policy? Something else to think about is who will control the policy, making changes and submitting claims. Knowing each roommate's role will ensure there are no uncomfortable situations."
Myth #3: The chances of something actually happening are so small it's not worth the cost
"I've heard a number of stories about renters who decide to forgo renter's insurance simply because they don't think they are at risk, so are willing to take their chances," says Minor. "But accidents can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere, and the financial impact can be significant." Minor says there are a number of common incidences and simple mistakes that are generally covered under renter's insurance, including:
- If there is a break-in at your home
- If you have a party and you accidentally cause damage to your neighbour's property or your landlord's property
- If you forget to turn off your water when you leave your home for the winter holidays, and one of your pipes freezes and bursts
Myth #4: Renter's insurance isn't affordable (false!)
Renter's insurance can be very affordable, and there are several ways to save.
"The cost of renter's insurance can be as little as the price of two movie tickets, and you will have the peace of mind in the event that the unexpected occurs," says Minor. "Purchasing your auto and renter's insurance with the same insurance provider, or through your student or professional group or alumni association can often yield discounts."
Myth #5: I'm covered under my parents' insurance policy
You may be covered by your parents' policy if you live away from home while at school, but this coverage can be limited. Speak with your insurance provider to find out what coverage you will need. Renter's insurance is inexpensive and some parents may decide that it is best if their kids have their own policy instead of extending their own.
About the TD Insurance survey
TD Insurance commissioned Environics Research Group (www.environics.ca) to conduct an online omnibus survey of 1,012 Canadians 18 years of age or older. Responses were collected between February 15 - 21, 2012.
About TD Insurance
TD Insurance offers a wide range of products to help protect clients from the 'accidents of life' including credit protection, auto, home, health, life, and travel insurance. With more than 3 million clients, TD Insurance authorized products and services are available through a network of more than 1,150 TD Canada Trust branches, the Internet and telephone. For more information, visit www.tdinsurance.com
SOURCE: TD Insurance
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