Essential tenants’ insurance tips for renters

Moving into a new rental property and want to take steps to keep your possessions safe?  We take you through the essential information for tenants to consider when taking out home insurance.

Throughout the UK, house prices have been steadily rising, especially in the capital where getting on the property ladder has become more and more difficult.

It has become impossible for many young people to put the required funds aside for a deposit, putting mortgages further out of reach. It’s unsurprising then that renting is more popular than ever. Over a third of the UK’s homes are occupied by tenants and increasing numbers are now viewing renting as a long-term option.

There are many advantages to life as a tenant, like not having to turn to your savings if the boiler or the washing machine give up the ghost.

Another advantage is that you don’t need buildings insurance, as this will be the responsibility of your landlord. That means that any structural issues, such as problems with pipes and drainage or the roof aren’t something that you’ll need to worry about.

Contents Insurance

Even though it’s not a legal necessity, it’s always an excellent idea to insure anything you bring into the property yourself.

At first glance, you might not think you have a lot that’s worth insuring – little in the way of valuables or priceless heirlooms.

However, when you tot up all your clothes, books, CDs, DVDs, LPs, your TV, your crockery and gadgets, it comes to a sum that few people would have to hand if all those possessions needed to be replaced. A fire, a break-in or a flood could potentially spell financial disaster. So, with that in mind, it makes a lot of sense to insure your contents.

Add it up

While it’s time-consuming to work out the total value of everything you own, it’s better to be thorough than just guess an amount.

Go through your home, room by room, and add up the value of all your possessions if you had to replace them as new. Include all of your contents, not just the big-ticket items such as the TV and sofa.

Be as accurate as you can, although over-estimating could lead to a slightly higher premium, under-estimating will leave you underinsured which could result in a claims payment being reduced or the claim declined altogether.

Added valuables

The vast majority of contents insurance policies will have a single item limit. This is the maximum value of one single item covered in your policy. If you have an item that exceeds this amount, such as an engagement ring or valuable musical instrument, this will need to be declared separately from the rest of your contents.

Home and away

Obviously not all of your possessions spend all of their time in your home. Some, such as phones, jewellery and laptops, will be frequently taken out and about with you. It is possible to add cover for your possessions against damage or theft when they’re out of the home. This is generally not included in contents insurance policies as standard but is widely available as an optional add on.

Accidents will happen

While most contents insurance policies cover you against damage that isn’t your fault, such as theft, fire or flood, they may not necessarily include cover against accidental breakage or damage.

You can usually add accidental damage cover to a policy if it isn’t already included.  This could be useful if you own expensive or fragile items like glassware.

Items belonging to the Landlord

A lot of rental properties come furnished or part-furnished. This can range from white goods (fridge/freezer, washing machine etc) and carpets to sofas, beds, wardrobes and more.

While any normal faults will be your landlord’s responsibility, you will likely be asked to pay for any damage that is deemed to be your fault, or it may be deducted from your security deposit.

A small red wine stain on a carpet could mean you having to pay for an entire room to be recarpeted so taking out Tenants Reliability Insurance can be a lifesaver.

This is an addition to home contents insurance that caters especially for renters and covers any accidental damage to your landlord’s possessions while you’re renting the property.

It may avoid losing a substantial chunk of your security deposit, something all renters desperately want to avoid.  However, bear in mind the impact making a claim will have on your future insurance premiums.

For more information, visit our contents insurance page

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