Canadian Underwriter

Tenant insurance too expensive at $15 per month, renters say

April 10, 2018   by Jason Contant

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Despite the fact that premiums start as low as $15 per month, nearly half of consumers polled by insurance comparison site reported that they couldn’t afford renter’s insurance.

Last month, conducted a Google Survey of 1,000 Canadian renters, of which 485 didn’t have insurance coverage, Kanetix president and CEO Andrew Lo told Canadian Underwriter on Monday. The main reason cited for not purchasing it was cost (47.8%), “when in fact through prices start as low as $15 and can be purchased easily online,” Lo said.

Other reasons for not having coverage included:

  • Didn’t have much to insure (24.3%). “It seems people underestimate the value of their possessions,” Lo said.
  • Believed they’re covered by the landlord’s policy (17.3%). This is a commonly held myth, but the reality is the landlord’s policy typically does not include coverage for a tenant’s personal property or possessions.
  • Believed they’re covered under their roommate’s policy (10.5%). “This is also a myth,” Lo said, “because unless your name is specifically listed on the policy, you’re related or in a relationship with the roommate, it’s unlikely a roommate’s policy would extend to the other tenants.”

According to the 2016 Census, of the more than 14 million households in Canada, approximately 4.5 million are rented by tenants. The Kanetix survey found that “potentially two million of these households don’t have the protection that comes with purchasing a tenant insurance policy.”

Lo reported that launched in February an insurance quoter built specifically for tenants and renters. “This is a more streamlined quoter, with a smaller question set, where at the end of the quote a monthly premium will be displayed for consumers,” Lo told Canadian Underwriter.

When consumers are ready to purchase, they click a “buy online” button and enter their payment information to have the tenant insurance policy issued instantaneously.

“Previous to the launch of our tenant insurance quoter, the purchase of the policy was taken offline, where a consumer would receive the quotes from and then contact an insurance agent or broker via phone to purchase and issue policies,” he said.

Since adding the quoter, sales have doubled “because the user experience had less friction,” Lo said.

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3 Comments » for Tenant insurance too expensive at $15 per month, renters say
  1. paul armstrong says:

    Many apartment residents are likely struggling to make ends meet so insurance is the last thought on their minds, hoping that nothing or little will happen to them when at the same time they are exposed to other dwellers both from fire, smoke and water occurrences. Also, there is a social expectation that if “it happens to me” someone will bail me out and set me up again. Go Fund Me and other services has proven that.

  2. Tamara says:

    I was paying $10.50 / month back in 2015…. today for a slightly smaller place, they want to charge me $20+ / month. So price has doubled in 3 years – why?

  3. paul says:

    If you change Ins company, they will cost more as you are an unknown risk. Always talk to them when the price change as a clerical mistake may be the reason. Find another company, search for the best price via google or yahoo. Only then will you see your best options.

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