A new study has revealed that 55% of tenants don’t have any contents insurance, which means their personal belongings are not covered if they are stolen or damaged by fire or flooding when renting.
“It’s worrying to see that more than half of renters don’t have contents insurance, so they wouldn’t be compensated for the loss of their possessions if the worst were to happen” – said Karen Hogg, Head of Insurance at Sainsbury’s Bank, who conducted the research.
Whilst the majority of landlords have comprehensive landlords insurance which protects their properties against damage, this usually doesn’t cover tenants who are responsible for having the right cover in place for their personal items.
Some tenants confuse contents insurance with buildings insurance, which covers the structure of the building and is the responsibility of the landlord, but these are two different products.
Contents insurance might not be considered a priority by many tenants and seen as an extra financial burden on top of the rent payments and other costs, but it can give them peace of mind and protection when they need it most.
Getting the right cover
Contents insurance products vary greatly and there is a vast choice available out there but typically they provide cover for such items as TVs, laptops and other electronics, soft furnishings, furniture, jewellery, bike and sports equipment, books and DVDs.
It’s important to work out how much cover is needed if the home contents had to be replaced. This is not always easy and it helps to make a list of everything you own, room by room. The figure should be kept up to date and you should contact your insurer if you purchase any expensive items as this could affect your policy.
It also might be worth considering adding extras to your policy, such as accidental damage cover or personal possessions cover, which protects items away from the home. These are likely to come at an extra cost but it could be worth it.
If you live in a flatshare, you might only need a small amount of cover, providing you can lock the door to your room. This type of contents insurance will only cover items stolen or damaged in your room though, so if you take them out with you or leave elsewhere in the property, they won’t be protected.
Keep calm and shop around
Getting the right cover at a cheap price might seem quite a task but you should always shop around for the best quote.
“While homeowners are more proactive in comparing prices and switching, many people who do have contents insurance, could be missing out on a better deal as only 16% shop around when renewing their home insurance” – said Karen Hogg.
Remember though – compare ‘like for like’ contents insurances, as a cheaper policy might not offer the same level of protection.