Tenant insurance

Tenant insurance Ontario.

Fast facts about home and tenant insurance in Ontario

Average tenant insurance rate

Average condo insurance rate

Average home owner insurance rate

Average home insurance rate for all policy types

Average real estate price (March 2020)

Million residents

Average household income


Unemployment rate

Understanding tenant insurance in Ontario

Ontario is Canada’s biggest province, home to 14,320,000 residents and over 10,000,000 licensed drivers (according to the Ministry of Transportation).

While Ontario sports some of the highest car insurance rates in the country, its average home insurance rates tend to sit closer to averages from other provinces—even below them, in some cases.

Tenants pay lower home insurance rates than home owners because they don’t need to insure the structure itself. The owner(s) of your building should have insurance to cover any damage that might occur to the structure itself.

That means tenants only need to worry about coverage for personal liability, the contents of their home, and a few optional (and worthwhile) types of coverage.

Get your bundle on & save!

Want even cheaper insurance? Save up to 50% on home and up to 15% on car insurance when you bundle them.

Get your bundle on & save!

Want even cheaper insurance? Save up to 50% on home and up to 15% on car insurance when you bundle them.

Busting myths about tenant insurance in Ontario

Myth: Renters don’t need any home insurance.

False, in practical terms. While there’s no law that says you need tenant insurance to rent living space, you do need to sign contracts most of the time. You can bet those contracts will require proof of tenant insurance in order to rent. It’s also wise just to get it simply because it covers so much risk for such a relatively low amount of money.

Myth: I don’t own much stuff, so I don’t need contents insurance.

That’s a dangerous line of thinking. We accumulate so much stuff that we don’t realize how much it costs added up all in one spot. After a TV, furniture, some electronics, and a wardrobe, it adds up to a lot of value. A lot of home insurers won’t underwrite contents coverage under $30,000 anymore specifically for that reason.

Myth: Tenants are responsible for all damage to their rental units.

Not exactly. You have a reasonable level of responsibility to maintain the rental property while you live inside of it. That means you’ll probably have a legal responsibility to fix any damage you or your guests cause while you’re living there. However, the landlord should have his or her own insurance policy on the property, especially for things like severe weather.

Myth: Tenant insurance only protects my stuff.

Wrong. Your tenant policy adds personal liability coverage, for a start, and that’s incredibly important. It covers the legal costs if you’re ever sued up to the limits outlined in your policy. You can also get coverage on the building itself. You may also want additional coverage for alternative living accommodation if your rental space becomes uninhabitable temporarily.

Average annual home insurance rates by city (all policy types)

This includes home owner’s policies, condo policies, and tenant policies. If you only want to see home owner’s insurance policies, just jump to it below.

Here’s what our data says.

  • Val Caron: $2,280
  • St Catharines: $2,080
  • Pefferlaw: $1,621
  • Thunder Bay: $1,141
  • Woodbridge: $1,100
  • Kanata: $1,082
  • Orangeville: $1,050
  • Angus: $1,013
  • Brantford: $928
  • Newmarket: $927
  • Kingston: $898
  • Hamilton: $877
  • Kitchener: $869
  • Windsor: $863
  • Maple: $852
  • Courtice: $842
  • Markham: $828
  • Simcoe: $822
  • Brampton: $809
  • Woodstock: $804
  • Cambridge: $803
  • Oakville: $782
  • Gloucester: $755
  • Barrie: $749
  • York: $736
  • Nepean: $695
  • London: $691
  • Mississauga: $688
  • Innisfil: $686
  • Ajax: $662
  • Waterloo: $660
  • East York: $660
  • Stoney Creek: $656
  • Scarborough: $649
  • Sault Ste. Marie: $615
  • Richmond Hill: $612
  • Etobicoke: $609
  • Milton: $573
  • Whitby: $554
  • Burlington: $550
  • Oshawa: $545
  • Stouffville: $499
  • North York: $471
  • Toronto: $470
  • Ottawa: $448
  • Thornhill: $441
  • Guelph: $391
  • Niagara Falls: $362

Data from a survey of 2,800 home insurance policies across Ontario.
*See sources below

Average annual tenant insurance rates by city

This set of home insurance averages are only for tenants (renters).

Here’s what our data says.

  • Grand Valley: $674
  • Richmond Hill: $628
  • Maple: $570
  • Windsor: $79.21
  • Woodstock: $526
  • Mississauga: $516
  • Brantford: $516
  • Stouffville: $499
  • Kanata: $498
  • Oshawa: $497
  • Brampton: $492
  • St Catharines: $477
  • Sault Ste. Marie: $470
  • Hamilton: $468
  • Thornhill: $460
  • Whitby: $453
  • Ottawa: $66.95
  • Woodbridge: $447
  • Courtice: $444
  • Gloucester: $441
  • Scarborough: $438
  • North York: $435
  • Innisfil: $434
  • Kitchener: $431
  • Milton: $427
  • Stoney Creek: $423
  • Oakville: $417
  • Ajax: $414
  • Simcoe: $413
  • Barrie: $407
  • York: $402
  • Etobicoke: $396
  • Toronto: $382
  • London: $380
  • Markham: $369
  • Niagara Falls: $362
  • Nepean: $357
  • East York: $343
  • Kingston: $ 340
  • Waterloo: $336
  • Cambridge: $332
  • Guelph: $280
  • Burlington: $245

Quick tips on tenant insurance in Ontario

Seriously consider coverage for alternate living accommodations.

Once in a while, rental properties sustain enough damage to force residents out whle repairs take place. You want to make sure that you’re covered for alternative living accommodations if that happens. It’s an extra layer of coverag that you can add to your policy.

Tenant insurance is usually necessary for off-campus university students.

Don’t send your child away to post-secondary without a tenant policy (hear us out). Tenant policies will protect your kid’s stuff in case something’s stolen or damaged, as well as liability coverage if any inebriated freshmen injure themselves in your kid’s apartment.

Most people undervalue their contents.

Don’t undervalue the total financial cost of your belongings, or else you won’t be able to have all of them replaced if you need to make a claim involving contents insurance. It really adds up when you think about your electronics, furniture, book collection, and your entire wardrobe.

In a basement apartment? Ask your landlord about overland flooding coverage.

Just because your landlord has home insurance on the building doesn’t mean that the building is covered for all kinds of damage. Overland flooding damage does happen, and basements are the first casualties. Cover your stuff.

Just 3 measly minutes to your marvelous rate.

Just 3 measly minutes to your marvelous rate.

How to to get the most out of tenant insurance

Bundle home and auto policies

This is the number-one way to save money on home insurance. We offer up to 18% off on auto policies and up to 50% off on home policies, depending on the  quote. Not to brag, but it’s a pretty sweet deal.

Set a deductible you can afford

You can set a deductible of $0, but that’s going to be more expensive than an identical policy with a $500 or $1,000 deductible. Set it so that you’re getting a better rate, but still able to pay the deductible if you need to make a claim.

Keep an inventory of your belongings

Just do a room-by-room sweep of your belongings and throw them all into a spreadsheet. Give each item an approximate value, then add it all up to see what limit you need on your contents policy.

Choose safe neighbourhoods

Insurance companies also use your postal code to calculate your insurance rates (both for home and auto!). Living where claims, accidents, theft, and even severe weather occur more frequently could see higher rates than the average.

Make sure a fire hydrant is within 300 metres

Home fires happen, and insurance providers take it into account. That’s why they consider your home to be safer if it’s within 300 metres of a fire hydrant. It allows first responders to put out a fire faster, preventing further damage to your home.

Make sure your pet is accounted for

Dog bites are actually covered under your personal liability policy, not dedicated pet inurance policies. Your insurer probably needs to know about your pet so that any claims made related to dog bites aren’t denied for material misrepresentation.

"Schedule" your really important stuff

Some things are more important to us than others: family heirlooms, engagement rings, art, or collector’s sets can warrant special coverage because of their value. You also don’t want them maxing out your contents coverage limit by themselves!

Ask about additional coverage, too

Basic home insurance doesn’t acount for overland flooding or sewer line backups, so it could still pay to look into that for yourself as a tenant—especially if you’re in a geographic area prone to those kinds of risks.

Frequently asked questions about tenant insurance

Does my roommate’s tenant insurance cover me, too?

It’s possible, but unlikely. The other person wouldn’t be able to file a claim for your stuff (unless it was jointly owned, like a couch), and it’s much safer if everyone has their own liability insurance coverage, legally speaking.

Our advice? Tenant insurance is so cheap that it’s not even worth taking the risk.

Are “acts of God” covered in home insurance and/or tenant insurance?

Not these days, no. Insurance providers underwrite policies based on actuarial science, which accounts for just about every kind of potantial event under the sun.

That’s why home policies come with a standard level of coverage (a “named perils” policy), or an advanced level of coverage (an “all-risk” policy).

Does my location affect my home insurance rate, even as a tenant?

Multiple factors related to location affect your home insurance rate. We’ve already mentioned that it helps if there’s a fire hydrant within 300 metres of your home. Your rate could be affected if your home is located where severe weather occurs at a reasonable rate, such as a flood plain or areas prone to wind storms. Last but not least, the level of crime and even the frequency of other insurance claims in your area can affect your rate as well. 

What if one tenant causes damage to another tenant’s belongings or property?

That kind of situation can unfold in thousands of different ways, each determining what’s covered, what exactly caused the damage, and what kind of coverage will apply in the specific situation.

Our advice? Get tenant insurance to cover yourself cost-effectively for legal liability, contents coverage, and maybe even part of the rental property itself.

Sources for facts about Ontario:

  • Survey of more than 2,000 home insurance policies in Ontario
  • Insurance Bureau of Canada
  • Canadian Real Estate Association, “National Price Map.”
  • Statistics Canada


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