Do you need tenants’ insurance
Yes, you almost certainly do. Your landlord’s contents insurance won’t cover your belongings if there is a burglary or they’re damaged, due to say a fire or flood.
Even tenants who are renting a fully-furnished property should think about taking out contents insurance to cover their valuables, such as laptops, tablets and jewellery.
Obviously if you haven’t got much worth losing you might think it isn’t worth paying for contents insurance.
However, do bear in mind that even nice properties in nice areas get burgled and insurance is one of those things we don’t realise we need until we need it!
That said, make sure you’re not over-insured and paying premiums on property you don’t have. Some companies offer a minimum level of cover, which might be too high for you.
One thing included in some premiums which I do think is valuable is lost key cover because my tenants always, always, always lock themselves out or lose their keys. One had her bag stolen on a night out and had to pay £300+ to replace all the locks. Unfortunately landlord insurance only protects the landlord’s keys, not the tenants’.
As with all insurance, you need to check the cover carefully and make sure you comply with all the terms and conditions, otherwise it could be invalid and you’ll be wasting money.
In particular, if you are renting a room in a shared house, you might not be covered unless your door has a lock fitted. If this is the case and your room doesn’t lock, it’s worth speaking to your landlord about this.
Of course, even if you do take out insurance, it’s best to avoid the need to make a claim by making sure the property is secure and well-maintained.
Never leave windows and doors open during the day, if windows have locks, use them, make sure there’s a five-lever lock on the main door and never leave it only on a nightlatch when there’s no-one home.
If there’s a maintenance issue, such as damp patches on the ceiling or a leaking appliance for instance, inform you’re landlord straight away.
Make sure you know where the stop cock (the tap to turn off the water supply) is located so you can turn it off in an emergency.
If any of the electrics in the property look dodgy, or you notice warning signs that things aren’t quite right, such as plugs getting hot when connected to the socket, ask the landlord to carry out an electrical inspection.