According to a 2021 survey by TD, 41% of Canadian renters do not have tenant insurance.
That’s a significant proportion of Canadians without protection for their valuable personal belongings such as phones, laptops, jewellery, art, and more.
In today’s post, I will be reviewing the tenant insurance product offered by Scotiabank’s subsidiary, ScotiaLife.
We’ll cover what the product entails, how you can sign up and make claims, and whether there are any better tenant insurance products out there.
Stay tuned for the end, where we’ll declare the final verdict on this Scotiabank tenant insurance review.
Let’s get started!
Insurance to protect the belongings inside your rental property in case of theft or damage
- 24/7 claim centre
- Add-on coverage for special items
- Liability coverage
- Backed by a big-five bank
- Policy details are not transparent on website
- Must call ScotiaLife agent to obtain a quote
What Is Tenant Insurance?
Tenant insurance (also known as renters’ insurance or content insurance) was created for people who rent, as opposed to own, their homes.
Your policy will cover your personal belongings inside of your rented property, as well as liability for any accidents that may happen to your guests while they are in your home.
This stuff won’t be covered by your landlord’s home insurance policy and can be extremely helpful in the unfortunate instances of a fire, flooding, theft, or accidental damage.
If you are renting your home or even a room in a shared house, you should not overlook getting tenant insurance.
ScotiaLife Financial is the insurance subsidiary of the Bank of Nova Scotia, also known as Scotiabank.
Its policies are underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Company in the province of Quebec and by Unifund Assurance Company everywhere else in Canada.
ScotiaLife offers auto, home, life, health, and travel insurance for its customers, and their tenant insurance falls under their home insurance category (along with home and condo insurance.)
Their tenant insurance ensures that your valued possessions are insured in the case of calamities.
Let’s dive into its features, fees, and what to expect if you purchase this product.
Here are the four main features of the ScotiaLife tenant insurance.
- Content Coverage: Covers the cost of repair and replacement of your belongings, plus living expenses if you must evacuate your home
- Liability: Protects you in the case of accidental damages or injury to someone else – $1 or $2 million coverage available
- “All-Risk”: Potential protection for accidental damages to the rental property, medical expenses, or necessary upgrades
- Coverage for special items: Additional protection for special items such as expensive jewellery, handbags, or art
A big downside of ScotiaLife’s tenant insurance is the lack of transparency on their website regarding price, contract terms, and other general information.
All potential customers are required to call the company in order to get a quote regarding tenant insurance, which can suggest that the prices are not the best you can get.
In fact, a quick scan of the internet for customer reviews indicates that ScotiaLife’s tenant insurance fees are higher than other providers out there, specifically in comparison to companies that specialize in insurance and are not tied to a big-five bank.
As a ScotiaLife customer, you can file your claims on the ScotiaLife website or over the phone, 24/7.
You can also get support over the phone or online regarding your policy coverage, advice on what to do regarding your situation, and make arrangements for repairs or replacements of your personal property.
Whether or not you will get paid out directly will change on a case-by-case basis after evaluation by your claim agent.
The benefit of buying insurance through ScotiaLife is that you are backed by one of the biggest financial players in North America. If you’re already a Scotiabank customer, the process of buying this insurance will be quite easy for you.
Let’s compare the ScotiaLife (Scotiabank) tenant insurance to some other Canadian providers to see how it fares.
Here are some details on the RBC Tenant Insurance:
- Deductible: $1,000
- “All perils coverage” on all personal belongings (i.e. excludes very few to no perils)
- Property in your vehicle covered
- Liability coverage
- Non-owned property covered
- 40% of living expenses covered if you must vacate your rental property after damage
All in all, I’m a fan of the fact that RBC lays out exactly what to expect from your protection plan before signing up.
I also appreciate that they offer additional benefits such as protection for personal items in your car and non-owned items that may get damaged while in your possession.
I would recommend this plan over ScotiaLife as you can get more for your money. You can learn more about this product here.
Square One is an insurance brokerage that is currently serving Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec.
They have been running since 2011, and their tenant insurance offer is fairly priced and has extensive coverage. Here are some details:
- Policies start from $12 each month
- A customizable plan that allows you to choose your limits, coverage, and deductible
- Includes liability coverage
- A comprehensive package that includes “all risks”
- Living expenses covered
- Identity theft and financial loss
Square One is a front runner in Canada when it comes to tenant insurance. I would highly recommend them to you if you are on the market for one.
Check out this review on Square One to find out more.
You can sign up for the ScotiaLife tenant insurance over their sales line at 1-833-224-7306.
Before doing so, I would recommend getting a quote over the phone. This way, you can compare price points, coverage details, and deductibles before purchasing the product.
Note that ScotiaLife also has a 24/7 claims line, a support line at 1-833-224-7305, and a complaint centre for addressing any issues you may be experiencing.
Tenant insurance is an absolute must-have as a renter.
If you don’t already have it, I would recommend pulling yourself out of the demographic that constitutes 41% of renters in Canada and looking into buying coverage.
With the Scotiabank tenant insurance, I’m a fan of the 24/7 claim centre, coverage for living expenses if you need to evacuate your property and the special add-on coverage for your special items such as valuable jewellery or art.
However, you may be able to find better options out there that offer more coverage for a lower price. As such, I highly recommend that you do your research, get quotes, and compare coverage before buying.
Interested in other types of insurance? Check out this post on the best life insurance providers in Canada.