why you still need insurance when you’re renting

Amongst everything there is to think about when moving into a new home, it’s easy to forget insurance but it should be one of the first things you think about! A lot of people don’t realise that the landlord’s insurance won’t cover your belongings in the case of loss or theft so we’ve put together some more info on renters insurance to help keep you informed.

what is renters (contents only) insurance?

Renters insurance is a type of contents insurance designed specifically for people who are renting a property. It works to protect your belongings if they are stolen or damaged due to certain events like fire and theft.

In many cases, renters insurance is the same or very similar to a contents insurance policy that would be taken out by a homeowner. This means that when enquiring on contents insurance policies, you would just need to specify that you’re a tenant.

why might I need it?

The landlord will usually take out home or landlord insurance to protect their property but they’re not responsible for any damage or loss that occurs to your personal belongings. It is completely up to you as the tenant to protect your own items if you choose to do so.

When you start adding up what your belongings are worth, it can be more than you realise,
which is why taking out a suitable insurance policy is a step worth considering.

what’s covered?

Usually, all of your important belongings can be covered although it is best to check your policy for any exclusions before committing to it. For example, home office equipment used for running a business may potentially need to be insured separately.

In the event that your home is damaged to a point where it’s deemed unlivable, usually it would be your responsibility to find other accommodation, not the landlord. With renters insurance, some insurers may offer alternative/temporary accommodation for you and your pets.

what events can I protect against?

Typically, most contents insurance protects your belongings against fire, storm and theft.
Depending on what your policy includes, you may also be covered in the event of occurrences such as:

  • Lightning and power surges
  • Earthquakes and tsunamis
  • Cyclones, floods and hail
  • Water runoff and leaks
  • Pet damage
  • Impact damage
  • Food spoilage

what if I’m living in a shared house? can I still protect my belongings?

You may not be able to just insure your room in the property as insurance policies don’t typically let you choose which rooms to cover. This means you may need to take out insurance for the entire household. Make sure to check the policy as some providers will put a limit on the number of people who can be named on a single policy.

If your housemates don’t want to chip in for the cost, you can leave their things off the valuable items list which could help to keep premiums low.

A great way to make sure your policy is right for you is to follow these steps:

  1. Determine how much your contents are worth

  2. Compare insurance policies side by side until you find a good value policy that is suited to your lifestyle and covers you for applicable risks and the content you want insured.

Street Ninety Nine - Why You Still Need Insurance When You’re Renting