What is tenants insurance?
Tenants insurance is a type of contents insurance that covers your belongings while you’re renting. Your belongings will be insured if they are stolen or damaged by fire or flooding. It’s a form of protection that can be invaluable when it comes to replacing essential items in your home.
What does tenants insurance cover?
Each insurer is different in terms of what it includes as standard in a tenants insurance policy. Typically, cover is provided for these types of items:
“Don't confuse contents with buildings insurance, which covers the structure of the building and is the responsibility of the landlord”
- TVs, laptops and other electronics
- Soft furnishings
- Sports equipment
- Books and DVDs
How much cover do I need?
When you are renting, you need to buy tenants cover so you won’t be out of pocket if your belongings are stolen or 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.
- While 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 any expensive items, such televisions and laptops, which could affect your contents cover.
- Decide whether you want to include personal possessions cover in your policy, which protects items away from the home – bikes or phones, for example.
- If you own anything particularly valuable, you might have to provide details on the policy. There will also most likely be a limit on any claim.
This map shows the average cost of contents insurance by region, according to MoneySuperMarket data from January - June 2018.
What is shared house contents insurance?
If you live with a group of friends, or just in a house share, you might only need a small amount of cover because you don’t want to insure everyone else’s belongings.
Shared house contents insurance allows you to cover your own items, or you and your partner’s belongings, providing you can lock the door to your room or area. If you can’t lock the door, 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 items taken from or damaged in your room, so if you leave items elsewhere in the house or take things out with you, they won’t be covered.
What is flat contents insurance for tenants?
Flat contents insurance for tenants is the same as for those in a house. Just state 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 fewer rooms you have, and the more secure they are, the less you will pay for your policy.
Is a basic contents insurance policy enough?
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.
For example, you could extend your policy to cover your personal possessions - like your smart phone, tablet or bike - when you take them out of your home. Try adding the cover in when you run 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.
71% of renters opt for cover away from home for their possessions, according to MoneySuperMarket data from January - July 2018.
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 make sure they’re protected for their current value.
Check with your insurer what its ‘single item limit’ is - this is often between £1,500 and £2,500. Anything that would cost more than that limit to replace should usually be listed separately when you take out the insurance. You can usually add ‘outside the home’ cover for these pricier items too.
24% of all renters add a bike or laptop to their home insurance policy and they make up two of the three most popular items listed by tenants, along with jewellery – according to MoneySuperMarket data from January – June 2018.
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.
Compare contents insurance for tenants
You can compare quotes from a wide range of insurers on MoneySuperMarket's home insurance page, helping you find the best contents insurance policy for tenants.
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 - and add any additional cover you want. Try to be as accurate as possible when entering the ‘sum insured’ - the maximum amount the insurer will pay out - as if you estimate it incorrectly, your contents might not be fully covered.
You’ll then be able to compare lots of different policies from various insurers and choose the contents insurance for tenants policy that meets your needs best.