Tenants insurance

How can I save money on my tenants insurance?

By Peter Carr on Wednesday 6 June 2018

Tenants insurance safeguards your possessions while you are renting. Find out more about what you’re covered for and how much cover you’ll need.

Couple relaxing in new home

What is tenant insurance?

Tenant insurance is a type of contents insurance that covers your belongings while you are renting. Your stuff will be insured if it is stolen or damaged by fire or flooding.

According to MoneySuperMarket data, in August 2017, the average cost for contents insurance for renters was £76 a year. 

Average cost of home insurance for tenants

MoneySuperMarket data. Correct as of August 2017.

What does tenant insurance cover?

Each insurer is different in terms of what they include as standard in a tenants insurance policy. Typically, cover is provided for these types of items:

  • TVs, laptops and other electronics
  • Soft furnishings
  • Furniture
  • Bike
  • Jewellery
  • Sports equipment
  • Books and DVDs
 “Don't confuse contents with buildings insurance, which covers the structure of the building and is the responsibility of the landlord”

How much cover do I need?

When you are renting, you need to buy tenants cover, to ensure your stuff will be insured if it is stolen, or indeed damaged by fire or flooding. 

It's not always easy to work out how much it would cost to replace your home contents. But follow these steps to work it out for yourself, or have a read of ABI’s guide to valuing your contents

  • Whilst some insurers offer online calculators, the best advice is simply to make a list of everything you own, room by room.
  • Keep the figure up to date and remember to contact your insurer if you buy an expensive item, such televisions and laptops, which could affect your contents cover.
  • Decide whether you want to include possessions away from the home – bikes or phones, for example – as these items can sometimes be included in your policy.
  • If you own anything particularly valuable, you might have to give details on the policy. There will also most likely be a limit on any claim.
  • Additionally, if you raise the ‘excess’ then you will more likely pay less for premiums. An excess is the amount you agree to pay toward any claims. 

Map of regional price variations in the cost of contents insurance for renters

MoneySuperMarket data. Correct as of August 2017.

What about shared house contents insurance?

If you live with a group of friends, or just in a house share, then you might only need a smaller amount of cover, because you don’t want to insure everyone else’s belongings.

Shared house contents insurance offers you the choice to cover your own things or yours and your partner’s stuff, providing you can lock the door to your room or area. If you can’t lock the door, then your policy will need an additional ‘walk-in theft’ cover, but most insurers do not offer this.

A shared house contents policy will only cover things taken from or damaged in your room, so if you leave elsewhere in the house or take it out with you, it will not be covered. 

Can I get flat contents insurance for tenants?

Yes, of course. Flat contents insurance for tenants is the same as for those in a house. Just stipulate on the comparison journey that you live in a flat or apartment and not in a house.

Flat contents insurance may even be cheaper because the less rooms you have, and the more secure, the less you will pay for your policy.

Is a basic policy adequate for your needs?

If you buy only basic contents insurance for tenants, it will usually be cheaper than a policy that offers wider cover. But some added extras might well be worth the added premium.

You have the option to extend your policy to cover your personal possessions when you take them out of your home – for example, your smart phone, tablet or bike. Try adding the cover in when you do a price comparison, and decide whether you think the extra peace of mind is worth it.

Most insurers will also agree to insure your own and your landlord’s contents against accidental damage and the cover can be very useful, though may cost extra.

If you include accidental damage, your insurance would pay out if, for example, you spilt paint on the landlord's carpet. You would not only save yourself the expense of a new carpet, but would also safeguard your deposit. 

70% of renters opt for cover away from home

MoneySuperMarket data. Correct as of August 2017.

Add expensive items separately

More expensive items such as bicycles, laptops, tablets, phones or jewellery should be mentioned specifically in your contents insurance policy to ensure they are protected to their value.

Check with your insurer what its ‘single-item limit’ is. Anything that would cost more than that limit to replace should usually be listed separately when you take out the insurance. You often also get the opportunity to add ‘outside the home’ cover for these pricier items.

Nearly 50% of all renters add a bike or laptop to their home insurance policy

Laptops, bikes and jewellery are the three most popular items listed by tenants

MoneySuperMarket data. Correct as of August 2017.

How can I get cheap contents insurance for tenants?

The simplest way to get cheap contents insurance for tenants is to shop around for the best quote. But always remember to compare ‘like with like’.

One policy might be cheaper than the others, but may not offer the same cover limits or types of protection. You can compare quotes from a wide range of insurers at MoneySuperMarket's home insurance page.

All you need to do is enter your personal details into the MoneySuperMarket journey, calculate how much you think your belongings are worth (separating expensive items) – but be careful as one in five enter the ‘sum insured’ as too low – and add any additional cover you want.

Then, you can compare lots of different policies from various insurers, to choose the one contents insurance for tenants which will leave you feeling secure.

For more information on what is covered, how much cover you need and how to save money on your policy, please read our guide to contents insurance.

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