Rented Property on Fire
A client recently called us and said “My sons rented duplex is on fire. Do we have coverage?” Her son, who is attending university away from home, did not have a tenant policy on his temporary residence. Luckily his parents’ homeowner policy covered for “dependent students attending a school, college or university away from home” and they had up to $10,000 for their son’s possessions as well as legal liability for property damage and bodily injury arising out of their son’s actions.
If he hadn’t had the coverage on his parent’s policy, and depending on the cause of the fire, he could have been on the hook for the cost of his personal possessions, the cost to repair the damage to the portion of the building he was renting, compensatory damages for any bodily injury caused if his negligent actions caused the fire, and defense costs.
What if you are renting a property, student or not; and there is no coverage?
The solution would be a tenant policy. A tenant policy covers your personal property as well as your legal liability.
A typical Tenants policy will cover the following:
Personal Property – This insures your personal belongings (furniture, clothing, cookware, etc) to the limit you have determined to be their total replacement value. Your personal property is also insured while it is temporarily away from your rented home.
Additional Living Expenses – This coverage applies when the residence you are renting has been damaged and deemed unfit for occupancy by the insurance company. It will cover you for living expenses and fair rental value outside your regular budget for food and rent when you have been forced to leave your residence due to an insured loss.
Tenant Improvements – This insures improvements to the rented dwelling made by you or acquired at your expense.
Personal Liability – This insures any bodily injury or property damage arising out of your personal activities anywhere in the world. It also insures bodily injury and property damage arising out of your occupancy of the rented dwelling. The policy will defend you against legal action in this regard and pay out the compensatory damages should you be found negligent and therefore liable for injury or damage.
Tenants Legal Liability – This insures property damage to the premises you rent which is caused by an insured peril. This is important because a Landlord can come to you for payment for damage that you cause to the rented premises. For example, if you left a pot on a stove and a fire ensued damaging the premises, you could be held responsible for paying the damage. This coverage pays for your legal liability as a tenant.
If you have a son or daughter who is attending school away from home in Canada or the United States and is dependent on you for support and maintenance you may find they have coverage under your existing home or condo policy. Call our office to make sure you have this coverage if this situation is applicable to you.