Canadian Underwriter

37% of Quebec tenants have no home insurance: IBC survey

September 6, 2017   by Canadian Underwriter

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Nearly four in 10 tenants in Quebec have no home insurance, “a regrettable situation that clearly puts their financial security at risk,” the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) said in a press release on Wednesday.

A survey completed for IBC among 3,076 individuals revealed that 37% of tenants have no home insurance, which not only covers personal property, but liability as well, IBC explained in the release.

According to the survey, there were several reasons for not insuring:

  • Too expensive – Almost half (48%) of survey respondents said that the cost of insurance was the main reason. In fact, nearly 70% of insured tenants don’t pay more than $22 a month for their insurance, IBC reported;
  • Little or no property to insure – the lack of personal property to insure or its low value was the second reason mentioned for not buying home insurance (one-third of respondents). IBC added that making an inventory of property often makes a person realize that they own more than they think;
  • Covered by the owner – 15% of survey respondents falsely believe that the owner’s insurance will cover their personal property in case of loss. This is a widely-held belief among the 65 and over age group, who would refer to their owner in case of loss; and
  • Negligence – 16% of respondents hadn’t given it any thought.

“These results show that we need to keep up the information and awareness activities with tenants,” IBC said in the release. “A large number of Quebecers still don’t realize the situation they would find themselves in if they were to lose everything in a fire, for example.”

Anne Morin, supervisor of public affairs at IBC, added that the new survey shows that the general public still needs to be made aware of the risks they run if they have no home insurance. “In addition to losing everything and being homeless, uninsured tenants may have to indemnify the owner if they were responsible for the loss,” she said.

Paradoxically, the majority of respondents knew what home insurance policies cover. Theft and fire coverage were the best known, followed by liability, vandalism and water damage. However, when uninsured tenants were asked who would pay for repairs if, for example, their bathtub overflowed into their neighbour’s apartment or if a fire were to damage their belongings, less than one-half knew that they would be liable for repairs and repayment of damaged property.

“It’s interesting to note that while they may be familiar with basic home insurance coverage, there are still many uninsured tenants who aren’t aware that they would be liable as a result of a loss for repairs or replacement of property damaged through their own fault,” Morin concluded.