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Tenants’ insurance explained

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If you’re renting a flat or if you’re part of a house share, you might need a contents insurance policy to protect your belongings.

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What does tenants’ insurance cover?

Tenants’ cover is a form of contents insurance that’s designed to protect your possessions from flood and fire damage as well as theft.

This isn't a policy for people who have tenants – if that’s you, then you’re looking for a landlord’s insurance policy.

Though it’s not a legal requirement for tenants to have it, it’s worth considering. Some landlords may even request that you do.

Generally, a contents policy covers:

  • your clothes and jewellery

  • any gadgets, appliances and electronics

  • books, CDs & DVDs

  • your own furniture and soft furnishings (curtains, towels etc.)

  • cutlery and crockery

  • antiques and family heirlooms

  • your bicycle

As a rule of thumb, if you were to take something with you if you moved house, it would generally be covered under contents.

When you stop and think about it, it’s a lot of stuff that could easily be lost, damaged or stolen.

To get a good idea how much your stuff is worth, use our contents calculator tool to figure out how much all of your contents are worth.

Does the building need to be covered too?

prank statue

If you’re renting a house, your landlord is responsible for the building and any fixtures inside it.

Winter storms causing damp coming through the walls? Not your problem.

Burst pipe in the kitchen ruining the floor? Get the landlord to sort it.

If your flat is furnished by your landlord, it's their responsibility to insure their content as well.

Students and house shares

broken window

If there are a few of you living together, you’ll probably have more things to insure.

With more people there’s a higher risk of someone leaving the front door unlocked or your tablet mysteriously disappearing.

This makes it all the more important to protect your belongings.

It’s possible to cover everyone’s contents under a single joint policy, but this could be more hassle than it’s worth.

Not only do you have to make sure that everyone pays their fair share, but you also have to amend the policy whenever one of your housemates leaves or another joins.

If you’re a student, it might be worth looking at a specialist students' insurance policy, which could help cover specific items like your laptop and text books.

Extra cover for tenants

Your contents insurance policy is designed to cover you against fire, flood and theft, but what happens if you drop your iPhone down the toilet?

Some policies offer accidental damage cover on top of the standard policy, usually at an additional cost, which could come in handy should you break any of your furniture or devices.

Keep an eye out for policies that offer tenants’ liability cover. This helps protect you from any accidental damage to your landlord’s fittings e.g. spilling red wine on the carpet.

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