Contents insurance for renters

Compare cheap tenants’ insurance and protect the belongings in your rented home

What’s tenants insurance?

Tenants insurance is contents insurance for renters.

It’ll cover your belongings while they’re in your rented house or flat, so you’ll be compensated if there’s a burglary or your things are damaged by something like a fire or burst pipe.

Most policies also include tenant’s liability cover for accidental damage to your landlord’s items. That could save you from losing your deposit because of a mishap like spilling something on the carpet, or breaking a window.

tenants insurance

What does tenants insurance cover?

Tenants insurance covers your personal property that’s not fixed to your home. Anything from your clothes and books, up to furniture and free-standing kitchen appliances if the place you’re renting is unfurnished.

Any permanent part of the property, like walls, the roof and windows aren’t your responsibility to insure as a tenant. Your landlord will need their own landlord’s buildings insurance for that.

What's covered?

What’s covered by your tenants insurance will vary from one policy to another, but most policies will include:

  • Cover for your personal possessions – furniture, electricals, clothes and jewellery, for example
  • Tenants liability cover to compensate your landlord for accidental damage caused by you
  • Bicycles within the boundaries of your home (check the maximum value though – it can be as low as £500)
  • Cover for cash stolen from your home
  • Replacement locks following theft or loss of keys

Read your policy documents to see exactly what you’re covered for.

You might also be able to pay to add some optional extras to your policy:

What’s not covered?

Each policy will have a set of exclusions. Some things that won’t be covered by most policies are:

  • Damage caused by gradual wear and tear or mechanical breakdown
  • Damages caused to a property unoccupied for longer than 30 days
  • Damage caused by unforced entry due to your negligence or because you didn’t lock doors and windows
  • Theft of high-value items that are over the policy limit
  • Theft of home business belongings
  • Rent arrears

Do you need tenants insurance?

You don’t legally need tenants insurance – it’s your choice whether you want to protect your own possessions or not. But you need to think about whether you could afford to replace your belongings after something like a burglary or fire.

You won’t need to insure the building, though – that’s your landlord’s responsibility. If you’re renting a furnished property, it’s your landlord’s responsibility to insure those as well.

But your landlord’s contents insurance will only cover the items in their property that they own. It won’t cover your possessions that you’ve brought into the property.

Some properties are at higher risk than others. You might especially want to consider tenants insurance if:

  • You live in a high crime area with a greater risk of burglaries
  • You live in an area that’s prone to flooding

How much is tenants insurance?

We found that people paid £74 a year on average for contents-only cover.*

How much you'll actually pay will depend on your own circumstances. Compare quotes to find out how much your own insurance will cost.

*The average price paid annually for home insurance purchased in September 2022 by type of cover. For buildings and contents insurance, it was £190. For buildings insurance only, it was £146. For contents insurance only, it was £74.
average cost of home insurance

How to save money on your tenants insurance?

Rent’s expensive, but there are a few things that you could do to cut insurance costs for your home:

  1. Pay annually

    Monthly payments have interest added so work out more expensive in the long run.

  2. Compare every year

    If you let your tenants insurance auto-renew, you might not be getting the best deal.

  3. Work out what you need

    Accurately calculate the value of your contents so you don’t end up under or over-insured and don’t pay for optional extras that you won’t use.

  4. Consider security

    Ask your landlord if they would upgrade locks and alarms – it’ll protect their investment, as well as your possessions.

Your landlord is responsible for sorting out buildings insurance, as well as cover for any of the furniture they’ve provided that’s included in your rental agreement. Any items you own or that you’d take with you if you moved property, won’t be covered by your landlords insurance. You’d need your own contents insurance for that.
Ceri McMillan - Home insurance expert

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