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Tenants insurance

Compare contents insurance for tenants and renters

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What’s tenants insurance?

Tenants insurance, also known as renters insurance, is a type of home contents insurance suitable for those living in rented properties.

It provides protection against theft of a renter’s belongings, as well as any damage to them by fire, water or subsidence.

Most policies also include tenant’s liability cover for accidental damage to your landlord’s items. This means you may not lose your deposit should an insured accident occur.

Do I need home insurance if I’m renting?

Tenants insurance is not a legal requirement, but it can be a good idea if you want to make sure your personal possessions are covered.

It’ll help to cover the cost of repairing or replacing your possessions if damaged by an event listed on your insurance policy.

You won’t need to insure your building, that’s your landlord’s responsibility. They’ll take care of finding cover for the building as well as the fittings and fixtures.

If they’ve furnished the property, they will likely have insurance for those furnishings as well. Even if you’ve rented the property fully or partly furnished and your landlord has taken out additional cover for the furnishings within the property, it’s unlikely that their policy will provide cover for your personal belongings.

What does tenants insurance cover?

Whether it's called tenants' insurance or contents insurance, a policy should cover your personal items that are not fixed to your home.

Any permanent part of the property, like walls, roofs and windows, would be covered by buildings insurance. If you're a tenant, you almost certainly don't need it - it should be the responsibility of the landlord.

Each tenants or contents policy will differ when it comes to what they’ll cover as standard, but usually it will include items like:

  • Furniture and soft furnishings
  • TVs and electricals
  • Gadgets
  • Home appliances
  • Bicycles within the boundaries of your home
  • Clothes
  • Jewellery
  • Money up to £500
  • Replacement locks following theft of keys

You’ll need to read your policy documentation to see what you’re covered for. If needed you can purchase certain add-ons to increase your cover.

What’s not covered?

Each policy will have a set of exclusions. These are events you won’t be insured for should your possessions be damaged or stolen.

Usual exclusions include:

  • Damage caused by gradual wear and tear or mechanical breakdown.
  • Damages caused to a property unoccupied for longer than 30 days - you need specialised unoccupied property insurance policy for this.
  • Damaged caused by unforced entry due to negligence or a lack of security.
  • Theft of high-value items that are over the policy limit.
  • Theft of home business belongings - you’ll need a specialised home-based business contents policy.
  • Theft or damage that happened away from home – you’ll need personal possessions insurance for this.

How do I get it?

Finding quotes only takes a few minutes. We’ll need a few details about you and your property first, so be sure have the following ready.

  1. Personal information

    Your name, address and date of birth

  2. Rented property details

    The type of property you’re renting and the number of rooms

  3. Knowledge of your surroundings and home security

    Details of your locks and alarms, as well as whether you live near water

  4. Claims history

    Details of any past claims, convictions or declarations

  5. Cover details

    How much you want to insure your contents for. We have a contents calculator that can help you with this.

How to get cheaper renters insurance?

If you’re concerned about the cost of your policy, we’ve got a few tips to help keep your premiums down:

  1. Shop around for quotes

    Compare prices from different insurers and find the right level of cover at the right price

  2. Improve your home security

    Fit a smoke alarm, burglar alarm and join a neighbour watch scheme

  3. Look out for extras

    You’ll be offered a variety of extras, so only get cover for what you need and nothing more

  4. Only pay for what you need

    You’ll be offered a variety of extras, so pay for what you need and nothing more

  5. Accurately value your contents

    Overestimating the value of your possessions could see you pay more for your insurance than you need to

Frequently asked questions

  • What’s tenant’s liability insurance?

    Tenants liability insurance covers the occupier for accidental damage to third-party items in addition to their own, so you won’t need to worry if you spill a glass of red wine on your landlord’s suede sofa.

    According to Defaqto, 97% of contents insurance policies include tenant’s liability cover as standard[1]. Most decent policies will include it but it’s always worth checking to be sure.

  • Does tenant’s insurance cover accidental damage?

    There are typically two levels of accidental damage cover available:

    • Basic level of accidental cover - covers things like damage to your tv, games console or PC
    • Full accidental damage cover - also covers you for accidents like spilling wine or paint
  • Are my contents covered outside of my home?

    In most cases, no. Tenants insurance will generally only cover items for theft or damage while they’rere in your property.

    You’d need personal possessions insurance to protect your items while you’re away from your home.

  • Should students take out tenants’ insurance?

    Student living arrangements can be somewhat unique, but if you're a student living in rented accommodation away from home you may be able to find the cover you need by comparing contents insurance.

    Bear in mind that the number of insurers who will quote for you may be more limited than for non-students, particularly if you're living in shared accommodation.

    If you are sharing and/or living in a hall of residence, you may need to think about a dedicated student insurance policy.

  • Can I get tenants insurance in shared accommodation?

    Yes, you can. Be aware that your policy will have conditions, like being able to lock the door to your room and not leaving your belongings in communal areas.

  • Am I covered by my landlord’s contents insurance?

    Your landlord’s contents insurance will only cover items in their property that they own. Things like their curtains, rugs and kitchen appliances.

    It won’t cover items that you’ve bought into the property like laptops, phones or clothing.

  • If I move home, is my tenant’s insurance transferable to a new property?

    Tenants insurance is transferable, but you’d need to notify your insurer of any change of address.

    They made need to recalculate your level of risk based on your new location.

  • Will tenant’s insurance cover rent arrears?

    Contents insurance won’t cover the payment of rent if you’re unable to pay. If you’re concerned about payment due to loss of income, you could cover loss of earnings with income protection insurance.

    If you’re a landlord, you may be able to cover loss of rent with rent guarantee insurance.

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[1] Last checked 11 August 2020

Page last reviewed: 14 September 2020 

Next review due: 14 November 2020

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