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I’m trying to put a positive spin on the idea of already overburdened renters paying up to $400 or so per year for tenant insurance: If you owned a house, you might pay three or four times that much.

Rent is expensive in many cities and rising quickly. Let me try to convince you why paying an extra $15 to $40 per month for insurance is worth it.

First, tenant insurance covers the stuff you own if it’s damaged by fire or stolen. Second, you’re protected against repair costs if you inadvertently damage your unit or a neighbouring one.

Third, tenants insurance protects you from liability related to injuries that happen in your home, and damage you accidentally caused. Also covered are some degree of living costs if you have to move out of your home while repairs are done. One more type of available coverage is for damages caused by identify theft.

Some tips to make sure you get the right coverage:

  • Do an inventory of your possessions and use the total value when indicating how much coverage you want.
  • Aim for insurance that covers the replacement cost of your possessions, not the cash value after depreciation.
  • Go for $1-million in liability coverage to ensure you’re well protected.
  • If you live at ground level, check into coverage for overland water damage.
  • Choose the right deductible – a low deductible will cost you more per month
  • Finally, compare costs using online quotes or contacting brokers. The process of gathering quotes is tedious, but it pays off if you find a better value policy.

Tenant insurance isn’t mandatory, but some landlords may require it. When renters become owners, you’ll need home insurance to get a mortgage. Condo insurance isn’t a lot more than tenant insurance, but the cost of insuring a house can run easily run you $1,500 per year.

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Ask Rob

Q: Can you explain the pros and cons of purchasing an annuity for retirees with the current high interest rates. Fred Vettese argues for them in his book, Retirement Income for Life.

A: Here’s the column I just wrote on annuities.

Do you have a question for me? Send it my way. Sorry I can't answer every one personally. Questions and answers are edited for length and clarity.

Today’s financial tool

The Canadian Bankers Association warns about the latest text phishing scam, aimed at stealing your money or personal information.

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From the Twitterverse

Gifts are “the lowest form of love.” That nugget comes from a Twitter thread in which people were asked for the most unusual financial arrangement they have made with a spouse.

We want to hear from you

Have you sought gender affirming care that isn’t covered by provincial healthcare? Examples include facial feminization and masculinization surgeries, voice pitch surgery, electrolysis and or laser hair removal. If you or your child has had to pay out of pocket for a procedure like this, please reach out to journalist Kelsey Rolfe, at She’s working on a story that looks at this topic for the Globe.


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