Tenants insurance

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What is tenants insurance?

Tenants insurance is a form of contents insurance for renters that protects your possessions if you live in rented accommodation.

If you rent and want to protect your belongings, you should consider this type of insurance.

Do I need tenants insurance?

If you want to protect your contents in the property you rent, then tenant insurance is good to have. If something is damaged or stolen, you could claim on your insurance policy to replace it.

If you have a high value item in the property you rent like a laptop, bike expensive jewellery or TV, then contents insurance for renters can offer you additional protection if your contents are damaged or need replacing.  

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

What does tenants insurance cover?

Tenants insurance covers your contents in rental properties in the event of a flood, fire, damage and theft.

Generally, a tenant insurance policy covers:

  • Your clothes and jewellery
  • Any gadgets, appliances and electronics
  • Books, CDs and DVDs
  • Your own furniture and soft furnishings (curtains, towels, etc.)
  • Cutlery and crockery
  • Antiques and family heirlooms
  • Your bicycle

The level of cover you get with your renters insurance depends on any additional extras you choose to take out.

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.

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

Can I still get cover if I live in a house share?

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 one joint policy. Just make sure whoever you have listed as the policy holder are the ones you want managing it, they will be the only ones able to make a claim.

What isn't covered by tenants insurance?

It’s worth checking your tenant insurance policy to make sure you’re aware of the following exclusions that could invalidate a claim:

  • A red cross

    Unforced entry - If someone breaks into your home but there are no signs of forced entry any claim you make is likely to be rejected.

  • A red cross

    Wear and tear - The general wear and tear of contents over time is inevitable and aren’t usually covered by tenants insurance

  • A red cross

    High value items - Like jewellery or computers if the value of your contents exceeds your policy’s single item value limit. You’ll need to specify any high value items when you get a tenant insurance quote, insurers will only offer a certain amount for unspecified items, usually up to £1000.

  • A red cross

    Away from home - If you take your belongings out of your house then most policies won’t provide cover if they were to be lost, damaged or stolen. It’s worth checking with your provider first. You can specify the value of cover you’d like away from home for items worth less than £1000.

  • A red cross

    Unoccupied - When you get a quote we’ll ask you if the property will be left unoccupied for more than 30 days at a time. It’s worth double checking with your provider before you do as most policies won’t cover your possessions.

What do I need to get a quote?

To get a tenant insurance quote we’ll ask you questions about the property so it’s worth having the following to hand:

  • Type of property for example a house or flat and whether it’s a listed building

  • Number of rooms the property has

  • If the property is used for business, this doesn’t include working from home if you’re usually office based

  • Approximately what year the property was built in

  • Type of heating the property has and whether you have a hot water tank

  • Types of locks on the doors like an automatic deadlatch or multi-point locking system

  • Any no claims bonus you have collected from previous content insurance policies

  • Any high value items you’d like to insure, their value and whether you want to cover them away from home

How to reduce the cost of tenants insurance?

If you’re looking for a cheap tenant insurance policy, there are a few things you can do to reduce the cost of your premium:

  • Improve your home security measures by installing a burglar alarm or keeping valuables locked up, this could help to reduce the likelihood of theft and insurers may lower your premium. Before you install anything check with your landlord, you might need their permission. 

  • Fireproof your home by installing smoke alarms. If there’s a reduced risk of you claiming for fire damage, then insurers might offer you lower premiums. Smoke alarms are a legal requirement in rental properties, if you don't have one speak to your landlord. 

  • Pipe insulation can help prevent burst pipes in your home which can cause a lot of internal and external damage to the property. You might need permission from your landlord before you do anything though so it’s worth checking first.

  • Paying more excess towards a claim shows insurers that you’re only likely to claim if there’s a good reason which could help lower your premium.

  • Installing flood barriers if you live in an area prone to flooding could reduce the likelihood of you making a claim. Get your landlords permission first, it may be something they could help arrange. 

  • Paying your insurance annually could save you some money. Insurers usually charge more for monthly instalments so paying in bulk could help you get cheaper tenants insurance.

  • Compare tenant insurance policies to find the best deal for the level of cover you need

What our home insurance expert says:

"You might assume that it’s your landlord’s responsibility to replace your belongings in the event of a break-in. This isn’t the case. If you’re renting and want to protect your belongings from theft or damage, you’ll need contents insurance for renters."
Home insurance expert, Jessica Willock's signature
- Jessica Willock, Home Insurance Product Manager

Got more questions? Our FAQs

When do I need to take out tenants insurance?

You should take out tenant insurance the day you move into the property. This will ensure your contents are protected if any get damaged while you’re unpacking.

What is tenant liability insurance?

Tenant liability insurance covers you If you damage any property of the landlords like fixtures or fittings that results in you losing your security deposit.

Can students get tenant insurance?

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.

Is accidental damage cover included in my renters contents insurance?

No but you can add accidental damage cover onto your policy when you get a quote.

Will I be covered if I live in a flat not a house?

Yes, when you get a quote we’ll ask you what type of accommodation you live in and return prices from providers to suit your circumstances.

How much cover do I need for renters insurance?

The level of cover you’ll need depends on whether you have any high value items you’d like extra protection for.

How do I make a claim on my tenants insurance?

To make a claim you’ll need to contact your provider. You can find their contact details on your policy documents or directly on their website.

Why do renters only need contents insurance not buildings insurance?

If you’re renting a property you are only responsible for the contents within it. Anything structural to do with the building is the landlords responsibility.

You might also be interested in other insurance types

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