Do Tenants Really Need Renters Insurance?

Tenant Renters Insurance

I’m going to address the [utterly mundane] issue of tenant’s renters insurance (for occupants in England & Wales) from the perspective of a landlord (because I am a landlord, so it’s my natural perspective), but hopefully it’s also going to be as equally informative for tenants. So stick around if you’re one of the above.

In this blog post, I’ll be covering the following:

  • If tenants’ require any type of renters insurance
  • The types of insurance available for tenants
  • The landlord’s responsibility (in regards to insurance)

Do tenants’ need renters insurance?

Nope.

There is currently no legal obligation for tenants’ to acquire any type of renters insurance in private rented accommodation. It’s entirely optional.

However, the purpose of insurance is to protect us against unforeseen events, so even though it’s not a legal requirement – just like mobile phone insurance – that’s not to say it’s not worth getting.

I’ve made multiple legitimate claims after carelessly mismanaging my mobile (like a complete fool), so I can safely say taking out the [optional] insurance policy has paid dividends.

So the question really becomes, is renters insurance worth it [for you]? I can’t answer that for you, but what I can say is that if you have valuable possessions in your home, such as jewellery, laptops and other electrical appliances, then there is a good argument for getting insurance.

Bear in mind, most homeowners’ usually get building and contents insurance, so having contents insurance in place is very normal. I say that because when I’ve spoken to tenant’s in the past, they made it seem like renters insurance is a lavish accessory.

The types of insurance available for tenants

1) Contents insurance for tenants

“Tenant insurance”, also commonly referred to as “Renters insurance”, usually just means contents insurance, which covers the personal possessions belonging to tenants, in the event of theft, flood, fire or accidental damage.

Most policies include:

  • Contents cover
    • Clothes and jewellery
    • Furnishings
    • Electrical equipment
    • Mobile phones
    • Money
    • Door locks and keys
    • Stolen cash
    • Bicycles
  • Tenants liability cover
    • This covers accidental damage to the landlord’s items in the property
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2) Rent insurance for tenants

Tenants often search for insurance policies that covers their rent in the event of hardship. From what I’m aware (and I’m pretty certain this is the case), there is no such insurance for tenants. It does not exist.

However, Rent Guarantee Insurance (RGI) for landlords does exist, and it pretty much serves the same purpose.

Rent guarantee insurance covers the rent if tenants default on payment(s). To clarify, it’s a policy for landlords that landlords can take out (not tenants).

The landlord’s responsibility (in regards to insurance)

Since the landlord (or the freeholder) is the owner of the building, it is their responsibility to ensure the property, not the tenants. The tenant has no obligation, legal or otherwise, to protect the physical property against any damages, it is completely up to the landlord to arrange BTL landlord building insurance.

If the property is partly or fully furnished, is it also the landlord’s responsibility to insure those items. However, in the event that the tenant is responsible for any damages, it could be their responsibility to cover the cost to repair or replace (this does not include wear and tear).

Similarly with tenants and renters insurance, landlords actually have no legal obligations to get any type of insurance. However, needless to say, any landlord without proper building insurance is, quite frankly, an absolute mental case.

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