Tenant Insurance Guide for Renters (Cheapest Quotes & Top Tips)

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Having been a landlord for over a decade with multiple properties and tenants, I can tell you that not once has my landlord building insurance policy covered my tenants contents.

From my experience, that’s generally the way it is. Landlords typically don’t splash out on contents insurance for their tenants, so it’s critical for renters not to assume they’re automatically covered.

Apparently, nearly half of all tenants are not protected by insurance – are you one of them?

What is Tenants Insurance?

“Tenant insurance” is a broad term, but it will usually refer to two types of products available to tenants (although, content insurance is far by the most recognised and presumed):

  1. Tenants Content Insurance – this covers your personal possessions in your rental property. Typically, your possessions are protected against theft, damage due to fire, flood, storms, malicious Damage, burst pipes and water leak.

    Technically speaking, it works exactly the same regular home-owners contents insurance.

  2. Tenant Liability Insurance – this cover protects you in case you are responsible for unintentional damage to your landlord’s fixtures, fittings or furniture during your tenancy e.g. accidental damage to windows, glass doors or mirrors, damage to the bathroom suite.

    Basically, the stuff your tenancy agreement says you’re responsible for!

Side note, it’s not unusual for Contents Insurance to include Tenants Liability Insurance! So you don’t always have to buy them as separate policies or an add-on.

Tenant Contents Insurance

Do Tenants need contents insurance?

Renters insurance is not a legal requirement or anything dramatic like that, it’s entirely optional.

However, in the event that something does go wrong, resulting in your possessions being damaged or requiring replacing, it’s best to have a policy in place so you’re covered. Bear in mind, most homeowners usually get an insurance policy which covers both the building and contents, so contents insurance is extremely common among all types of occupants.

Tenants are not responsible for insuring the actual property itself, that’s down to the landlord (or freeholder) to arrange, which is why contents only insurance is mostly popular for tenants and lodgers.

What does Tenants Contents Insurance cover?

Policies can vary in terms of what exactly they cover, but they usually include:

  • clothing
  • furniture
  • jewellery
  • electrical goods

You’ll usually be covered against theft, fire and flood, but cover for accidental damage is usually an optional extra.

‘Personal possessions cover’ (also commonly known as ‘all-risks extension’) can also be added for extra cost – this will cover personal possessions you take outside your rental property, including:

  • jewellery
  • handbags
  • mobile phones/tablets
  • laptops
  • cameras

Ultimately, each policy will vary in terms of coverage, so it’s important to ensure you get a policy suitable for your circumstances and requirements, which may mean you need to opt for optional extras.

How much does Tenants Contents Insurance cost?

Relatively speaking, it isn’t that expensive. According to research from the ABI (2017), the average contents insurance policy costs £139 a year.

Tenant Contents Insurance Quotes
SupplierRatingNotes / Includes
Rating

4.5

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Protect your own things including jewellery, phones and bikes, in and out of home. Includes Tenants Liability Cover.

  • From £5 per month
  • Up to £50k of cover per person
  • Tenants Liability Insurance included
  • Flexible excess
  • Free online changes
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Rating

4.7

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Protects against theft, vandalism, water leaks, flooding, storms and fire.

  • Compares 65 of the biggest insurance brands in the country
  • Very easy and simple online application process (get a quote in under 2mins)
  • Tenant building liability included
  • Includes appliances, furniture, clothing, jewellery, bicycles, laptops, mobile phones and tablets etc.
Get Online Quote
Please note, I try my best to keep the information of each service up-to-date, but you should read the T&C's from their website for the most up-to-date and accurate information.

Tenants Content Insurance Vs Normal Homeowners’ Contents Insurance

In reality, there isn’t really any difference, other than the name of the policy. Both homeowners’ contents insurance and tenants’ contents insurance will generally cover the same issues.

However, when applying for a policy, you should always clarify the fact that you are a renter/tenant in a rental property just to avoid any cases of misinformation, resulting in refused claims in the future.

Specialist tenants contents insurance is generally only ever required for students living in halls of residence or shared accommodation (e.g. HMO).

Tenants Contents Insurance for students, bed-sits, and shared accommodation

If you’re a student, it might be worth checking your parents’ home insurance policy, as it may cover you already against theft or loss. The details are usually under the ‘temporarily removed from the home’ section.

Generally, the cover only applies while your personal possessions are in your accommodation and as long as your parents’ home is your main permanent address.

If you’re unsure if you’re covered, or to what extent, it’s best to contact your insurance provider for clarification.

You may also want to make provisions for expensive items that are taken outside the accommodation, like laptops and mobile phones. If they’re not already covered (while you’re outside the accommodation), you should be able to add it to a list of items that are specifically covered while they are outside of your rented home.

If you are in shared accommodation, you will need to decide whether you want a policy which covers room-only, or a policy which covers the entire flat-share.

These types of insurance policies are specialist for tenants, and unlike with tenants that rent an entire property, a general homeowners policy will not be suitable.

Tenant Liability Insurance

Do I need Tenants Liability Insurance?

Naaah! It’s completely optional.

Although, it’s not unusual for landlords and landlords to recommend it – sometimes even insist on it – but there is no legal requirement, and they definitely can’t force you to get insurance.

Who is Tenants Liability Insurance for?

Simply, tenants that want to be protected against accidental damage to their landlords fixtures, fittings or furniture.

It can cover a puny mishap like stains on carpets, or something bigger like a smashed glass window.

Important to note that Tenants Liability Insurance doesn’t usually include damage by fire or wear and tear! That’s all on you (although, fire damage should be covered by your landlord’s building insurance cover).

How much does Tenant Liability Insurance cost?

Tenant Liability Insurance Quotes
SupplierRatingNotes / IncludesPrice
Rating

4.5

TrustPilot Reviews
details

Covers you against accidental damage to your landlord’s property.

  • £5 – £10k accidental damage cover
  • Very easy and simple online application process (get a quote in under 2mins)
  • Include your landlord’s furniture and fixtures
  • Cover anyone on the same tenancy agreement
  • £50 excess
Price
£55Inc VAT, per year
More details
Please note, I try my best to keep the information of each service up-to-date, but you should read the T&C's from their website for the most up-to-date and accurate information.

Top tips for buying Tenant Insurance

  • Make savings with bundles
    Some providers, like Urban Jungle, will include Tenants Liability Insurance as standard with their Contents Insurance policy, so don’t buy both unnecessarily.

    If that isn’t the case, it’s also worth bearing in mind that some providers will be able to offer you both types of insurance, and generally it’s cheaper to get them from the same place.

  • Read your policy carefully
    I’m sure this is something we’re all guilty of: skimming through the details!

    However, as much as I’m sure my words will land on many deaf ears, I’m still going to be resilient and plead! ALWAYS check your policy to ensure the information is all accurate and that you’re being covered for exactly what you want and need to be covered for.

  • If you’re unsure about anything, ask!
    If you’re not sure about any of the terms in your policy, or if you’re unsure if you’re covered for something in specific, it’s always best to ask the question!

    Most insurers will give you at least 14 days to amend or cancel your policy.

  • Don’t under insure!
    It’s important not to under value the worth of your contents or the cost to repair items, fittings and furniture, because
    under-insuring can lead to you getting less than the value of your items if you need to make a claim.
  • It’s usually cheaper to pay your premium in full upfront
    As with most types of insurance, it’s often cheaper to pay for your policy upfront in full, as opposed to a monthly repayments.

    Not all insurers allow monthly payments, but for those that do, watch out for the extra costs they put on top!

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