Tenant Contents Insurance Guide - Do You Really Need It?

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 tenants contents insurance, so it’s critical not to assume you’re automatically covered.

Apparently, nearly half of all tenants don’t have contents insurance – are you one of them?

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What is Tenants Content Insurance?

Tenants contents insurance is a policy which 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.

Do you need Tenants Contents Insurance?

It’s not a legal requirement or anything dramatic like that, so it’s not absolutely required.

However, in the event that something does go wrong and consequently your possessions are damaged or need replacing, it’s best to have a policy in place so you’re covered.

Needless to say, it’s not your responsibility to insure the building itself, that’s your landlord’s responsibility! So you absolutely do NOT need building insurance. You’re only responsible for the possessions you bring into your rental home.

Tenants Content Insurance Vs Standard Contents Insurance?

In reality, if you’re renting out an entire house of flat, with or without a family, you don’t need a specialist tenant insurance policy! A standard home-owner policy which covers contents is all you need. However, when applying for a policy, it’s best to highlight the fact that you are a tenant in a rental property just to avoid any cases of misinformation.

Specialist Tenants Contents Insurance is generally only required if you’re a student living in a halls of residence or living in a 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 home owners policy will not be suitable.

How much is Tenants Contents Insurance?

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
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City Landlord is an insurance broker that specialises in insurance products for landlords and tenants. They would be my first port of call to grab a quote.

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Tips for getting a Tenants Contents Insurance policy

  • 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, because
    under-insuring can lead to you getting less than the value of your items if you need to make a claim.

    To be honest, it usually doesn’t even cost more to insure contents for the value of £12,000 compared to, say £8,000. So you’re better off playing it safe by not under-insuring!

  • 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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