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First time renting in London: do I need insurance?

Apartments | 4 MIN READ

First time renting in London is an exciting prospect, and every year, hundreds of thousands of people make the same move to the capital. Upon securing your first property in Central London, whether it be an apartment or a room, there is certainly a lot to think about, especially when it comes to protecting you and the items you own.

In this guide to insurance for first time renting, we share practical insights on how first time renters can protect themselves and their possessions with Tenants’ Insurance. Develop your understanding of key components associated with insurance policies, what it does and does not cover, and how to obtain Tenants’ Insurance for peace of mind. Let’s get started.

What is Tenants’ Insurance?

Tenants Insurance - often referred to as Renters Insurance - is a cover specifically designed for tenants and renters to protect their items in a property. This insurance provides coverage for a policy holder’s belongings (contents) and, in some circumstances, liabilities such as accidental damage to your landlord’s contents they have provided for you to use.

What is the difference between Tenants’ Insurance and Homeowners’ Insurance?

You should protect your property and its contents whether you rent an apartment or own a home. With Tenants’ Insurance, your policy will cover your items while the landlord covers the property. Homeowner insurance is specifically for homeowners to cover their property and its contents. 

Do you need Tenants’ Insurance?

There is no legal requirement to have Tenants’ Insurance. When moving into a new home, it is completely your choice whether you buy an insurance policy or not. However, Tenants’ Insurance is the safest way to make sure you are not left out of pocket should your items go missing or get damaged.

Nationwide’s survey revealed that more than two million privately rented households in the UK have no insurance despite the contents of an average property amounting to £25,126. The data of this survey highlights the need to protect your belongings.

Getting covered with Tenants’ Insurance

There are a variety of inclusions and exclusions with Tenants’ Insurance; as well as optional extras you can add to your policy which are dependent on what the insurance company can offer. Below, we take a look at what is and what is not covered with Tenants’ Insurance.

What is covered with Tenants’ Insurance?

As a general guideline, an insurance policy will cover the following:

  • Fire - if a fire occurs at the property and your belongings are damaged
  • Theft - if someone breaks into your property and your possessions are stolen
  • Storms - cover to help recover the costs of damaged contents
  • Earthquake - covers for the loss of your property caused by earthquakes and volcanoes.
  • Flooding - cover in the event of flooding and flood damage to your possessions
  • Burst pipes - protection against damage or loss of items due to a backed-up sewer or drain

What is not covered with Tenants’ Insurance?

Most insurance policies will typically have a list of exclusions that renters should keep in mind when taking Tenants’ Insurance. Again, as a general guideline, most policies will not cover the following:

  • High-value items - your possessions that exceed the policy’s single-item value; often around £1,500 - £2,000
  • Wear and tear - applies to your contents that are damaged over time through general wear and tear.
  • Theft through unforced entry - if a theft occurs in your property but there are no signs of forced entry (such as a smashed window or a broken door handle)
  • Possessions outside of the property - if you lose or damage your possessions outside of the property

WHat about Additional cover with Tenants’ Insurance?

To take the safety of your items one step further, optional extras can give you complete peace of mind knowing all of your possessions are properly protected. Some policies allow you to tailor the cover to suit your personal needs. As a guideline, optional extras can be included:

  • Legal expenses - protection against costly legal proceedings should you need to dispute a claim
  • Accidental damage - Cover for mishaps such as a dropped laptop, coffee spilt over your electronic devices, or a smashed television
  • Tenant’s liability - help cover the costs of any accidental damage to your landlord’s property and belongings that you’re liable for as part of your tenancy agreement

How much does Tenants’ Insurance cost?

Insurance for renters and their contents varies since there are many factors to affect the cost of a policy. For example, the level of cover you are looking for will determine how much your overall premium is. The more contents you want covering, the more you should expect to pay. According to comparethemarket, on average, renters received a contents insurance quote of £96.95.

How to take a Tenants’ Insurance policy

It can be easy to underestimate the value of your possessions. Thankfully, a contents calculator can help you find out how much your contents are worth. Before you get a quote for your Tenants’ Insurance policy, you'll need to fill in a contents calculator to work out the estimated total value of all your possessions. This includes furniture, jewellery, clothing, pictures and ornaments, game consoles, TVs, books, and any appliances that you own (not white goods provided by the landlord).

Use any of these contents calculators to get started and work out the value of your possessions:

Once you have an estimated value of all your possessions, using comparison websites will ensure you find the best value policy for insuring personal items during your tenancy.

A final thought…

We hope this guide proves useful to you and that it has helped you understand the intricacies of insurance for renters further. As previously mentioned, there is no legal requirement to have Tenants’ Insurance, but knowing you are covered for the repair or replacement of your items should unforeseen circumstances occur, taking Tenants’ insurance is more than worth your while.

At Dolphin Square, we take every precaution to keep our residents and their possessions safe. Our 24-hour security ensures peace of mind for tenants to enjoy a luxurious lifestyle with access to a great range of comforts. To find out more about our apartments for rent, get in touch today. A member of our Lettings Team is ready to welcome you to London’s most distinguished address.