What is contents insurance for flats?
Regardless of whether you own the flat through freehold or leasehold, or are just renting it, contents insurance will protect your household goods and personal belongings against loss, damage or theft.
Contents insurance generally covers items that are not part of the fixtures and fittings of your flat, so it should cover your appliances, devices, jewellery, furniture and clothes.
What’s covered varies from policy to policy, but you should make sure your contents are at least insured for events like fire, flood, escape of water and burglary. With flats, damage can sometimes be caused by neighbouring properties – perhaps a water leak from the flat above you.
This is one reason why contents insurance for flats can work out a bit pricier versus contents insurance for houses. Our contents insurance calculator may be able to help give you a better idea of how much cover you'll need.
Some policies will also cover your belongings against accidental damage, or may let you add this type of cover on at an extra cost. Again, depending on the policy, you may get liability to third parties included, covering against claims of injury from someone who is hurt while visiting the property.
Your policy may also include liability to staff cover, insuring you against claims of injury from staff you may employ at your property.
Legal expense cover is among the other benefits sometimes included, which may also be offered as optional extras, giving you access to legal advice as well as covering legal fees you may incur that relate to your property.
Home emergency cover is another benefit that sometimes gets included – it can pay the cost of calling out tradesmen in a household emergency.
Can I get contents insurance for a shared flat?
Contents insurance for flat shares is a little more complicated. If you share a flat, contents insurance can be more expensive and not as easy to find. One concern for insurers is that an old tenant may still have the keys, while burglars are also known to target shared accommodation.
All of this adds to the insurance risks, and some insurers just don’t want to know. Others who do offer cover may only cover theft where there is evidence of forced entry, so they won’t pay out if you have light-fingered flatmates.
Again, others will offer protection. By shopping around, you should still find a good choice of insurers who will give you the cover you need.
You may be able to take out contents insurance for the entire flat with your flatmates, but an individual policy should be easier to manage in terms of paying the premiums and dealing with changes in personal circumstances. With an individual policy, it’s also more straightforward to work out how much cover you need.