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Insurance for renters

What Insurance Should You Get as a Renter?

1 September 2020 Simon Banks Read time: 3 min
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Simon Banks

Landlords often need to cover themselves with insurance when renting out a home. The most obvious one is landlords' insurance, which protects the building itself. As a renter, fortunately, you don't need to arm yourself with a range of insurance cover to enjoy your new home.

But that doesn't mean there aren't options out there so that you can safeguard your stuff. Yet, it's not uncommon for renters to move into their new place without much thought about insurance cover. Covering yourself, however, can offer extra peace of mind.

There are a couple of insurance products that renters can acquire to help ensure a smoother tenancy. And in this guide, we're looking at your insurance options, as well as how to find the best cover. 

Different types of insurance

House insurance for renters

There are two primary types of insurance for renters, contents insurance and liability cover. Both of these serve different functions, with contents insurance usually proving to be the more popular of the two.

Contents insurance

Even if you don't own the home you live in; there's every chance that you've got stuff there. We've all got stuff, from shiny MacBooks and high-end PCs to watches, jewellery and furniture. More often than not, that stuff is kept at your home. But if it gets damaged or stolen, you've got a problem.

Contents insurance covers the cost of your belongings, in the event that there is a break-in and your items are stolen. It can also safeguard you against accidental damage, be it a fire or another unexpected event at your home.

Liability cover

While contents insurance covers your belongings, liability cover protects items the landlord may have in your home – such as furnishings if it's a furnished property. You're essentially covered against any items they provide for you during the tenancy.

Having liability cover can offer extra peace of mind, especially when it comes to getting your security deposit back. Liability cover only comes into effect when you're at fault. If it's natural wear and tear, or something breaks and the blame doesn't lie with you, the landlord is responsible for fixing the issue.

Do you need building insurance?

When a landlord rents out their property, they need to get landlords' insurance, which is otherwise known as building insurance. This covers the outside of the property and any fixtures and fittings in the apartment – think kitchen worktops, bathtubs and built-in wardrobes, and you get the picture.

Because landlords need to get building insurance (it's usually a requirement from their mortgage lender if they have one), it means you don't need to worry about insuring the building where you live. However, you should check with the landlord if they have building insurance in places while you're living in the property.

How much does insurance cost?

The cost of renter insurance varies and depends on the size of the home you live in and the value of your personal belongings. Contents insurance costs an average of £139 per year and can cover you for up to £50,000 of personal items, while liability cover averages £120 per year. 

Insurance cover cost

Of course, each insurer varies with the product they offer, so you should check how much you're covered for with the specific insurance company. If you get both contents insurance and liability cover combined, expect the price to reduce slightly than if you got them both separately.

How do you find insurance?

Using a comparison website is one way to find insurance cover for your needs. From Go Compare to Money Super Market, there are tons of options online for finding a range of insurance companies who offer contents insurance and liability cover.

It's also worth checking with insurers directly, as not all companies advertise their services on a comparison website. Make sure that you thoroughly check the market and look at options on comparison websites, as well as getting quotes directly with an insurer like Direct Line or Aviva.

Should you cover yourself?

If you want extra peace of mind, you should cover yourself with the relevant insurance. Homeowners cover their contents, and it should be no different for renters. Your items have sentimental meaning and financial value.

Insurance cover for renters

Therefore you should look into insurance policies that cover you if something was to happen to those belongings in your home. If you're renting a fully furnished property, you might also want to consider liability insurance.

Safe. Not sorry

Renters aren't obliged to get any form of insurance when living in a rented property. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't cover yourself. Doing so will provide an additional guarantee, whether it's your own items of the landlord's stuff. Protecting yourself will likely lead to a stress-free tenancy where you can enjoy your place with no worries.

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