renter's insurance

Renter’s Insurance: Why You Need It

Renter’s tend to think that if anything happens in their rental unit, the landlord or superintendent will take care of it. But that’s not always the case, especially when it comes to accidents, like fires. And no landlord will cover the loss of personal items. But do you really need renter’s insurance? Is it worth the expense every month?

 

Why should you get Renter’s Insurance?

Renter’s insurance, sometimes called tenant’s insurance, should cover the stuff that your landlord’s insurance policy doesn’t. That is, everything that belongs to you. Your landlord should be responsible for the building itself — walls, windows, floors — but you’re responsible for everything else. You might even be held responsible if any damage is caused by your negligence, such as smashing a window with a golf club. It’s just an example.

 

What does Renter’s Insurance Cover?

Any policy you get should cover your belongings, the aforementioned liabilities in case of damage, and “loss of use.”

Loss of use refers to the costs you incur when your apartment is not livable for a time following an accident or disaster. If your house suffers a catastrophic flood, you’re going to have to find somewhere to live for a time, and that might mean finding a hotel. “Loss of use” will reimburse you for the hotel fees, as well as any other charges you may incur.

It can also — but not always — cover any improvements that you have personally made to the unit, like new doors, cupboards, or fixtures.

Your insurance may also be affected if you use your unit as an Airbnb or other short-term rental property.

Renter's Insurance

What are the limits of Tenant Insurance?

Basic tenant’s insurance will not cover any loss incurred from using your rental unit for a home-based business, unless you get a policy that specifically includes that. You’ll also have to get additional coverage for any medical bills resulting from negligence in your home.

How much am I covered for?

Basic renter’s insurance can cover from between $30,000 to $100,000 for your personal belongings, and upwards of $1,000,000 for liability (medical costs, etc).

How much should I expect to pay?

Renter’s insurance can range in costs from $20-50 per month on average. It depends on the value of your belongings, age of the rental unit, neighborhood, and other considerations.

Who offers Renter’s Insurance?

Renter’s insurance can be obtained from many brokers:

Aviva

TD Insurance

Belair Direct

Keep Up to Date

Always avoid liability issues by keeping your home in good working order, even if it’s just a rental. Contact Odd Job to see how we can keep everything running smoothly: Get an Estimate.

Home Insurance: 4 Things that Can Void Your Policy

As Toronto’s #1 Handyman, we know how important it is to keep your home insurance up to date. We’ve seen damage from easily avoidable disasters, and we’ve cleaned up after them. We think our insurance will be there for us in an emergency. But what if there were little things we don’t even think about that could make it all disappear?

We all know that lying to your insurance broker will void your policy, but there are less obvious ways to find yourself left holding the bag. Here’s Odd Job’s list of 4 things that might just violate your home insurance.

1. Leaving the Water On

We don’t just mean leaving the faucets running, even though that’s definitely a no-no. We mean your main water supply. Did you know that an insurance company can refuse to pay up if you go away for more than a few days without shutting off the water? If a pipe bursts while you’re away on vacation, the insurance company can refuse to cover the damages. You should also get a water monitoring system with alert capabilities; that way you can immediately alert the insurance company and show them you took the proper precautions.

Want more tips to prevent and reduce water damage? Click here.

2. Not Keeping Your Home Insurance Broker Up to Date

 

You should let your broker know whenever you make a significant renovation, like building a new wall or room. If your home differs from how you’ve described it initially, even accidentally, they can refuse to pay up. Some changes may not even be covered by your policy.

3. Running a Home Business

This entry is a cautionary tale. I once tried to Do the Right Thing and inform my insurance broker that I was producing art from home to sell, and I was wondering if that would be covered under our insurance plan. Because they were painted wooden items, the ambiguous nature our policy’s classification system led to them being labelled as products of “wood working,” immediately violating our home insurance policy. Before you begin any kind of entrepreneurial activity, it’s important to talk to your broker and get firm boundaries and definitions for what can and cannot be covered. You will likely need a new policy that covers home-based businesses, or you might find yourself out of luck after an accident.

 

4. Avoiding Basic Maintenance

This is the Big One. While you might not see fires, floods, or severe weather coming, many policies expect you to do your part to limit the damage. Remember all that paperwork you received when you signed your policy? That will outline not just your rights and entitlements, but also your responsibilities. Don’t let a small problem become a big headache.

how to install a basketball hoop

Basketball Hoop Installation: 3 Options, Nothing but Net

With the recent success of your Toronto Raptors, Canada, every kid and their dog wants to have their very own basketball hoop. Sure, the kids can play in the basement or garage, but why not give them a more authentic experience?

Help your kids be like their favorite players by installing a basketball net. But which one do you need? Furthermore, how do you narrow down the options? Here’s a quick starter’s guide to the type of net that’s best for you.

1. Vintage Cool: The Classic Garage-Mounted Basketball Hoop

Basketball Hoop 1 - Basketball Net garage

Back in the nineties, there was nothing more ubiquitous in suburbia than a Garage-Mounted Basketball Net. After all, they are the easiest types of nets to install, and the most cost-effective.

Materials Required:

  • an out-of-the-box basketball net kit, like this one, from Amazon.
  • mounting brackets: available from Home Hardware (other fine retailers are available), these should be large enough accommodate the size of your hoop kit.
  • a solid wall. In an ideal basketball world, the backboard should be bolted to studs for stability. NBA regulation hoop-height is 10-feet from the court’s surface.
  • power drill, screwdriver, tape measure, level, crescent wrench, tall ladder. You may also want to caulk around the bolts to prevent rust.

Time: 2-3 hours for assembly and mounting.

Downsides:

  • make sure the netting or chain clears the garage door to prevent a different kind of jam.
  • over-eager players may dunk themselves straight through the door.

2. The Permanent Pole: In-Ground Basketball Nets

Basketball Hoop 2 - Basketball Net

If you prefer a backyard court, or you don’t have a garage, this is the system for you. These sets require a hole to be dug (easier in a garden or grass surface, a little more difficult on a paved surface) and concrete to be poured.

Materials Required:

Time: 1 day to prep and pour concrete, 2-7 days for concrete to dry.

Downsides:

  • expensive.
  • requires concrete to be mixed and poured.
  • long installation time.

3. The Full Court

Basketball Hoop 3 - Basketball Court

This option is exactly what it says on the tin: a full- (or half-) court installation, complete with painted lines and a basketball hoop or two. However, this is really only viable if you have a large property with no existing paving or concrete surfaces, or if you’re aiming to be drafted by the Raptors in a few years.

You can find more in-depth description of the task at Home Advisor.

Materials required:

  • large area to be leveled.
  • concrete, asphalt, drainage system … honestly, a professional crew is the way to go here.

Time: 3 days to prep and 1-3 days to pave, install nets, and paint lines.

Downsides:

  • you’re building a basketball court in your backyard. So, you’re losing grass, patio space, and possibly a garage. You’re also going to be spending a lot of money.
  • requires professional help, and for days. This is not a “weekend warrior” project.

Get in touch with Odd Job today to see what options we can help you with. From assembling portable hoops to installing a wall-mounted net, there are many options Odd Job can help with.

Get an estimate today!

Also check out these other weekend projects for the summer:

Stay Cool and Slash Your Air Conditioner Bill

Refinishing Your Deck

Backyard Clubhouse – Handyman Style