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A happy group of students are holding a flag of Canada while standing in front of student housing. Tenant insurance for international students is vital.

Buying tenant insurance is essential for international students renting, studying, and working in Canada.

Having tenant Insurance can save you from unforeseen costs and protect your possessions, and your school may even require it (college or university if you’re living on-campus).


Landlords may demand tenant insurance

Likewise, if you’re renting off-campus, your landlord may demand it as part of the rental agreement. 


So, what is student tenant insurance, what does it do, and how do you get it?

Tenant Insurance covers your personal property, liability, and additional living expenses if, for example, you must move temporarily due to an event such as a flood or fire in your apartment or building.

Tenant insurance gives students protection

While your landlord will have insurance, this will only cover the building itself; for example, it does not insure your belongings or cover your liability in case of damage or injury. 

So tenant insurance, also known as renters insurance, gives you security and protection – in other words, peace of mind. 

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Seven things to know about tenant insurance for international students in Canada

  • YOUR STUFF – tenant insurance covers YOUR personal belongings within your apartment. The insurance helps pay for any loss or damage to your personal property (and includes items damaged or stolen).  Your stuff – such as electronics, phones, laptops, gaming systems, and jewelry – is expensive and valuable. They are also prime targets for thieves.
  • LANDLORDS LIKE IT – Expect a landlord to require tenant insurance. They will ask for a copy of your policy before you move in.
  • SO DO SCHOOLS – If you live on campus in student housing, your school (university or college) will likely insist you have renters’ insurance. The school is your landlord. Most schools will detail in the residency agreement that they are NOT liable for theft or damage of student property.
  • EMERGENCIES HAPPEN – Tenant insurance ensures that if you can’t live in your apartment due to a covered emergency such as a fire, you will get financial assistance for temporary accommodation (like a hotel or Airbnb) and food.
  • ACCIDENTS HAPPEN, TOO  – Count on it – and some are costly. Personal Liability coverage in your tenant insurance policy protects you if your landlord holds you responsible for property damage or personal injury to someone at your apartment. Also, parties and sharing student accommodations with others bring visitors, including some who may cause damage or steal your stuff.  You could be held responsible if they damage your home or injure someone.
  • IT IS NOT THE LAW – Legally, you do not require tenant insurance in Canada. No law makes renters purchase tenant insurance coverage, but remember that it provides protection, security, and peace of mind. And, of course, your landlord may obligate you to buy it according to the terms of your lease agreement with your landlord.

How do international students get tenant insurance?

Contact an insurance company and talk to the broker about renters’ insurance for university and college students. They have the knowledge and expertise to guide you through this process. Here’s a handy link where you can get a quote online.

Remember, when you decide to get tenant insurance, read the agreement carefully to know what is covered (and what is not!). Be sure to share the agreement with your landlord.

Also, it’s always a good idea when looking to rent a home in Canada to inform a prospective landlord that you intend to get tenant insurance. This shows that you intend to be a responsible tenant.