Landlord Insurance

Landlord Insurance

Safeguard your rental property with comprehensive landlord insurance.

Zensurance - Landlord

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Rental Property Home Owner

Insurance for landlords

If you own a rental house, apartment, basement apartment, or rental condo, it’s wise to ensure you have enough insurance to protect yourself from unexpected events, as well as third-party bodily injury and property damage claims. For example, if a tenant or visitor to your property slips, falls, and is injured, they could sue you for third-party bodily injuries.

A landlord insurance policy is vital to keep your property and its contents safe. Without it, any damage or financial losses you suffer can be wildly expensive, especially if an accident or incident escalates to a third-party lawsuit.

Landlord insurance covers property owners from financial losses for events or occurrences that happen at their rental properties. In general, a rental property insurance policy protects landlords for losses or damages to the property they own, its contents, the loss of rental income resulting from an insured loss, and any attached structures to that rental property, such as a shed or garage. For instance, if an unexpected event like a fire or a burst water pipe should damage your property.

Within a landlord insurance policy is a type of coverage known as rental income insurance that can be applied to rental properties. Sometimes referred to as ‘fair rental value’ coverage, it can help replace lost rent income if the property is temporarily uninhabitable after an insurable claim.

A comprehensive insurance policy for landlords typically covers the following:

  • Liability coverage: General liability protects you against third-party property damage or bodily injury claims and lawsuits. For instance, if you are sued for bodily injury damages by a tenant or a visitor to your property after they slip, fall and are injured. This portion of your policy may pay your legal expenses and any settlement costs.
  • Property coverage: Property insurance pays for damages to your rental property and its contents from unexpected events that are out of your control, such as a fire, wind damage, water damage, theft, or vandalism. It also includes:
    • Rental income coverage to replace lost rent payments if a property is temporarily uninhabitable after a covered claim up to a specified limit.
    • Contents coverage for items that are not permanently attached to a building, such as kitchen appliances.
  • Equipment coverage: Equipment insurance covers the costs to repair or replace equipment such as the kitchen appliances in a unit and the building’s HVAC system if they are broken or damaged due to a mechanical or electrical issue.

There are additional types of insurance you can add to a landlord insurance policy to up your protection, such as:

  • Overland flood insurance: Many property policies do not include overland flood insurance. It covers your expenses if a freshwater flood caused by extreme weather, a spring thaw, or an overflowing body of water inflicts internal and external damage to your property or that enters the dwelling from the basement, roof, windows, and doors.
  • Sewer backup insurance: If your rental property is unexpectedly damaged by a municipal sanitary sewer that floods your home through drains and septic tanks, sewer backup insurance is designed to cover the costs to clean it up.
  • Earthquake insurance: If your rental property is located in an area that is prone to earthquakes, adding earthquake insurance to your policy can cover losses and damages to your property and contents caused by earthquakes.
  • Legal expense insurance: If you’re stuck with a tenant who refuses to or cannot pay the rent and you want to evict them, you’ll likely face a lengthy and expensive legal battle to oust them. Legal expense insurance is by far a more economical option. It pays for legal advice or the cost to retain an experienced attorney.

The cost of an annual premium for a landlord insurance policy is determined by an insurance provider that considers several factors, including:


  • The location of your rental property and type of building it is
  • Your years of experience as a landlord and rental property owner
  • The number of rental units you have and the type of occupancy per unit (e.g., professionals, students, or commercial businesses such as retail stores)
  • Your annual and projected revenue
  • The types of coverages you have in your policy
  • Your insurance claim history


You have the option to choose the types of coverage you want and the related deductibles. Many landlords carry at least $2 million of liability coverage.

A comprehensive landlord insurance policy covers several types of rental properties, including:

  • Single-detached homes
  • Semi-detached homes
  • Condominiums or stratas
  • Apartments
  • Rooming houses
  • Duplexes and flats
  • Townhouses
  • Cottages

Speak to a licensed Zensurance broker if you have questions about the type of coverage your rental property requires.

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Common claims scenarios

damaged roof from storm

Problem: A severe windstorm swoops down and tears the shingles off the roof of your building, exposing it to rain that pours down and leaks inside, resulting in significant damage to the roof and the building’s interior.

Outcome: Your property coverage may pay for the cost to repair the roof and water damage to the building. If you also have business interruption coverage as part of your policy, you may also be reimbursed for any rental income you lose while repairs are being done to the building and its apartments.

snow driveway - liability

Problem: A tenant slips and falls on the walkway entrance to your building that is covered in snow and ice and fractures an ankle. They decide to sue you for bodily injury damages, since it is your responsibility to keep the walkway clear of snow and ice.

Outcome: Your general liability coverage may pay for your injured tenant’s medical expenses, as well as the cost to defend yourself in court, and any financial settlement you are ordered to pay to the tenant by the court.

property damage from storm sewage

Problem: The municipal sewer system backs up during a heavy rainstorm, driving wastewater back toward your building. It floods your building’s basement with raw sewage, causing significant damage.

Outcome: If you have optional sewer backup coverage as part of your property policy, you may be covered for the cost to clean up the mess in the basement. If you also have business interruption coverage as part of your commercial property policy, you may be reimbursed for any rental income you lose while repairs are being done to the building.

Frequently asked questions

Do my tenants need renters’ insurance?

Although it’s not a legal requirement for your tenants to have renters’ or tenants’ insurance, it’s recommended you encourage your tenants to purchase their own insurance policies to cover damage to or loss of their belongings. Renters’ insurance will also provide your tenants with liability coverage if they accidentally damage your property. A landlord insurance policy will not cover any losses of or damages to your tenants’ possessions, such as their furniture and clothing.

What’s the difference between home insurance and landlord insurance?

A home insurance policy is designed to protect a private homeowner’s primary residence and personal possessions, and it provides liability coverage for you and your family. If you’re renting a room or the basement in your home where you live, your private home insurance may offer some level of coverage for that space. However, private home insurance does not cover any properties you rent or lease.

Landlord insurance covers the cost of damage or loss at rental properties. It includes coverage for the dwelling, its attached structures, the contents at those properties you own, your liability from owning the property, and loss of rental income following an insured event, such as fire and smoke damage.

Is landlord insurance for a rental property a legal requirement?

No. A landlord insurance policy is not mandatory for rental properties in Canada. However, it is highly recommended to purchase a policy to protect yourself and the property from unexpected damages or third-party lawsuits. You are leaving yourself exposed to significant financial risk if you don’t have a policy to protect your property.

Does a landlord insurance policy cover damages caused by a tenant?

It depends. Most landlord insurance policies will cover a rental property from named perils, like damages from severe weather. If a tenant accidentally causes damage, such as a kitchen fire that destroys appliances, it may pay for the cost to repair or replace the appliances, any structural damages, and the rental income you lose while repairs are being made. However, if a tenant intentionally damages your property, such as punching a hole in a wall, the policy may not reimburse you for paying for that repair. Likewise, a landlord insurance policy does not cover the cost of maintenance-related issues. You are responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the property. Also, it does not include coverage for household equipment breakdowns such as a malfunctioning furnace, dishwasher, or stove.

Are there additional coverages I should add to a general landlord insurance policy?

Yes. There are additional or optional coverages you can include in a general landlord insurance policy. For example, you may wish to add sewer backup coverage to the policy to protect your property to cover any damages to the sewer line that runs from your building to the municipal sewer drainage system. Should the sewer malfunction and wastewater from the sewer or a septic tank seep into your building, there could be significant damages to the building’s floors, walls, and other structures.

You may also want to consider adding what’s known as overland water coverage, which safeguards the property from damages resulting from a flood, excessive rain, snow melt, or overflowing lakes or rivers. Not all insurance companies will provide you with overland water protection, so speak to a licensed broker about finding an insurer that will provide this type of coverage for your property.

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