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Tenants insurance

Compare cheap contents insurance for renters

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What is tenants insurance?

Tenants insurance is a form of contents insurance. It’s specialised insurance 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.

It means you’ll be covered if your belongings are stolen or damaged by a flood or burst pipe, for example.

What does tenants insurance cover?

A tenants insurance policy is home insurance that covers your personal items.

These include large and expensive items as well as smaller personal items, such as:

  • Your clothes and jewellery
  • Any electronic appliances, televisions and other gadgets
  • Your furniture and soft furnishings, like curtains or towels
  • Cutlery and crockery
  • Antiques and family heirlooms
  • Your bicycle
  • Cash

The level of cover you get with your renters insurance depends on any additional extras you choose to take out. These can include cover for replacement locks, legal cover and bike insurance when it’s away from your home.

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.

Some policies also offer tenants’ liability cover. This helps protect you from any accidental damage to your landlord’s fittings, such as spilling red wine on the carpet.

What isn’t covered by tenants insurance?

The things that aren’t covered by tenants insurance include:

  • 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. You can read more in our guide on what to do if you get burgled.
  • Wear and tear of contents over time is inevitable and isn’t usually covered by tenants insurance.
  • Unspecified high value items won’t be covered. You’ll need to specify any high value items when you take out tenants insurance. Insurers offer only a certain level of cover for unspecified items, which is usually up to £1,000. Make sure you calculate the value of your possessions as accurately as possible.
  • Items away from home. If you take your belongings out of your house, most policies won’t provide cover if they are lost, damaged or stolen, unless specified in your policy documents.
  • Rent arrears aren’t covered under a tenants insurance policy.
  • When the property has been left unoccupied for 30 days.

What do I need to get a quote?

To get a quote, we’ll ask you a few questions about the property.

Your quote will be based on various factors, including:

  • The type of property, is it a house or a flat, and is it a listed building?
  • The number of rooms the property has.
  • Whether the property is used for business – this doesn’t include working from home if you’re usually office-based.
  • The approximate year when the property was built.
  • The type of heating the property has and whether you have a hot water tank.
  • Types of locks on the doors, such as an automatic deadlatch or multi-point locking system. If you’re unsure, check out our guide on the types of door locks.
  • Any no claims bonus (NCB) you have collected from previous contents insurance policies.
  • Any high value items you’d like to insure, their value and whether you want to cover them away from home.

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How do I get cheaper tenants insurance?

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

  • Improve your home security
  • Pay a higher excess
  • Install flood barriers
  • Pay for your insurance annually, if you can
  • Compare tenants insurance

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 price. But before you install anything, check with your landlord because you might need their permission.

Pay a higher excess towards a claim. This shows insurers that you’re likely to claim only if there’s a good reason. Check out our guide on voluntary and compulsory excess.

Install flood barriers, if you live in an area prone to flooding. Get your landlords permission first – it may be something they can help arrange.

Pay for your insurance annually, if you can. Insurers usually charge more for monthly instalments so paying in one go could help you get cheaper tenants insurance.

Compare tenants insurance policies by shopping around to find the best deal for your needs and budget.

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Compare cheap contents insurance for renters

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.

Jessica Willock

Home Insurance Product Manager

Need more help?

Can I 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.

Can I transfer my tenants insurance to a new rented property?

It’s possible that your insurance provider will let you transfer your tenants insurance to another property if you move mid-policy. But this is by no means guaranteed, so you’ll have to check with your provider. Often, you’ll be required to cancel the existing policy and take out a new one when you moved.

Do I need tenants insurance?

There’s no legal requirement to take out tenants insurance. But a policy would provide you with peace of mind that your belongings are protected in the event of a fire or a burglary.

How do I make a claim on my tenants insurance?

You’ll need to contact your insurance provider. You can find their contact details on your policy documents or on their website.

How much cover do I need for tenants contents insurance?

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

Is accidental damage cover included in my renters contents insurance?

Not automatically, but you can add accidental damage cover to your policy when you get a quote.

Should students take out tenants insurance?

If you’re a student, it might be worth looking at a specialist students insurance policy, which could help cover specific items such as your laptop and textbooks.

What is tenants liability insurance?

Tenants liability insurance covers you if you damage any property belonging to your landlord that results in you losing your security deposit.

When do I need to take out tenants insurance?

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

Why do renters need only contents insurance and not buildings insurance?

If you’re renting a property, you’re responsible only for your contents within it. Anything structural to do with the building is the landlord’s responsibility.

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

Yes. When you get a quote, you’ll be asked what type of accommodation it’s for, and you’ll be given prices from providers to suit your circumstances.

Do I need pipe insulation?

Pipe insulation isn't a legal requirement but it can help to prevent burst pipes in your home. You might need permission from your landlord before you do anything though so it’s worth checking first.

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