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41% of renters with roommates don’t have home insurance

Thirty percent of renters share their homes with unrelated roommates.

A survey of over 1,500 renters in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario reveals that renters are 8 times more likely to go without home insurance than homeowners — yet 30% of renters share their homes with unrelated roommates. Alberta had the highest percentage at 34%, followed by Ontario at 31% and British Columbia at 26%, according to Square One Insurance, who conducted the survey.

“We conducted this survey because we’ve been receiving more inquires for home insurance by those living with roommates,” states Daniel Mirkovic, Square One’s President. “We wanted to understand what was driving this trend.”

While there are many reasons why renters choose to have roommates, the top reasons for those surveyed were:

  • To help with rent (63%);
  • For companionship (25%); and,
  • For added security (7%).

According to Statistics Canada, residential property values across the country increased by 11% in 2016. While increased property values build equity for homeowners, they make it even harder for first-time buyers to enter the real estate market. This, in turn, causes more pressure on the already tight rental market. In fact, the average cost to rent a two-bedroom apartment continues to rise every year across Canada.

“With the high cost of rent, it makes sense that most renters have roommates for financial reasons,” states Daniel Mirkovic, Square One’s President. “However, it is surprising how many renters (and their roommates) go without home insurance given the increased risks faced when living with unrelated persons.”

Square One’s survey found that renters in British Columbia are the least likely to have home insurance whereas those in Alberta are the most likely.

Based on Square One’s experience, renters have three common misconceptions about home insurance:

  • Landlord’s insurance protects renters.
  • Landlord’s insurance specifically excludes the personal property and liability exposures of renters.

Square One has created an online resource centre for tenants. It offers tips to Canadians on how to find the perfect roommate, structure a lease, and prepare a roommate agreement.

Transcontinental Media G.P.