Free landlord compliance checklist

Equip yourself with all the knowledge you will need to be a fully compliant and law-abiding landlord. Just fill in your details and we'll send a compliance checklist right to your inbox for FREE!

compliance checklist book artwork

Thank you!

The free download has been sent to your email. Please check your account to ensure you have received it
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Free landlord compliance checklist

Equip yourself with all the knowledge you will need to be a fully compliant and law-abiding landlord. Just fill in your details and we'll send a compliance checklist right to your inbox for FREE!

compliance checklist book artwork

Thank you!

The free download has been sent to your email. Please check your account to ensure you have received it
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Landlords - Find quality tenants faster than ever before for only £900 flat rate
Enquire Today
August 25, 2022

Tenant Insurance Explained

July 17, 2021
Written by
Beth Colman

Tenant insurance: what exactly is it, and do you really need it? Find out everything you need to know to keep you and your valuables covered!

A red umbrella covering some cardboard houses set on a blue background

Table of contents

Both landlords and tenants have various responsibilities when dealing with rented accommodation. Part of that involves protecting not only the property itself, but all of the items contained inside. Tenant insurance is an important part of the puzzle. But with so many different policies available it's not always the most straightforward. Who is responsible for tenant insurance? And is it really necessary?

In this post, we'll break down the key information, including what is and isn't covered, so you can decide whether tenant insurance is right for you.

The Two Types Of Tenant Insurance

Tenant insurance is actually an umbrella term that can refer to two different kinds of insurance. While most insurers will offer both kinds of coverage in the same policy, it's good to know the difference between the two. That way, you'll know exactly what you need and what you are covered for.

Tenants Liability Insurance

As a tenant, it is your responsibility to take care of your rented accommodation. However, accidents happen, and tenants liability insurance is designed to protect you in the event of unintentional damage to your landlord's belongings. This includes things like furniture, white goods, carpets, soft furnishings, integrated appliances and fixtures and fittings.

Tenant liability insurance can be a great way to protect you against deposit deductions. Having cover in place can cover costs for any accidental damage as it happens. If items like the sofa or fridge need to be replaced or repaired, paying out of your own pocket could prove very expensive. Having tenant liability insurance helps to minimise the chances of any deposit disputes and a larger payout at the end of your tenancy.

It's important to note here that tenants liability insurance is for accidental damage only. The policy does not cover theft and any damage caused intentionally (or through wear and tear).

Tenants Contents Insurance

This type of insurance is designed to protect a tenant's personal belongings as opposed to the landlord's. This will typically include everything from furniture and soft furnishings to clothes and electrical equipment. Also, unlike liability insurance, contents insurance isn't normally geared towards accidental damage (more on this below). Instead, it offers protection against theft and damage due to floods, fires, storms, burst pipes and subsidence.

Tenant contents insurance will not cover damage due to wear and tear or theft if there are no signs of forced entry. This is because, by failing to secure the property, you would be in breach of the insurance agreements and so your policy would no longer be valid.

Optional Extras For Tenant Insurance

With both kinds of tenant insurance there are certain circumstances that fall outside of the policy's cover. It's extremely important to be aware of any exclusions to avoid getting left out of pocket. However, many of the scenarios that aren't covered can often be added to your policy for an additional charge. Here are some optional extras you might like to consider.

Personal Possessions

Most contents insurance policies will only cover items while they are inside the home. This is also the case for items like mobile phones and bicycles, even though they are designed to be portable.If you would like additional cover, you can usually get an 'all risks' or 'personal possessions' add-on. This will extend the policy to cover items outside the home and even abroad. Even with the add-on there are often still limits in place, so double check the fine print to make sure you have adequate cover.

old style bicycle leaning in a wall outside

Accidental Damage

If you damage your items unintentionally, most contents policies will cover this up to a certain extent. It will typically only be for damage to things like TVs or computers. However, it does not usually include accidents like unintentionally spilling a drink on your sofa. Full accidental damage cover should protect you for all kinds of incidents. If you have young children, pets or are particularly clumsy, you may want to add it to your policy to help protect your belongings.

modern beige couch in a tenants home

High-Value Items

Contents policies will usually only cover items up to a certain value (typically around £1500). Anything over that amount is considered a high-value item and usually requires extra cover. Certain items like bicycles, tablets and mobile phones may also fall into this category even if they were less expensive.

In this instance, you will usually have to take out extra cover to protect the item against theft and damage. If you purchase any high value item after you've taken out the policy, be sure to let your insurer know as it may not automatically be covered.

apple macbook air on a stylish bed next to a book and cup

Business Contents

If you run a business or work from home, then you may need a different type of insurance to protect your equipment (such as a work laptop). Business contents insurance is designed specifically for this purpose, and any items that apply to your business will likely not be covered by regular tenant content insurance. If you do run a business from your rented accommodation, you must also make sure to let your insurer know. Not doing so could invalidate your policy.

Who Is Responsible For Tenant Insurance?

All landlords have certain obligations when renting out a property, including having the proper insurance in place. Landlords are usually required to have buildings insurance. They may also have contents insurance or specialised landlord insurance in place.

Buildings insurance is there to protect any damage to the building itself, including things like the roof, windows, floors and walls. It is always down to the landlord, not the tenant, to arrange building insurance (and is usually a prerequisite to obtaining a mortgage). However, any contents insurance a landlord takes out is only for items they have provided.

For example, the rental property may come with a dishwasher or sofa that the landlord has purchased. As tenant insurance is designed to cover the resident's belongings, it is the tenant's responsibility to arrange cover.

Do I Need Tenant Insurance?

There is no legal obligation for renters to have tenant insurance. However, for many tenants, getting insurance is a wise decision that will help protect themselves and their possessions. According to research, the average UK household contains £35,000 of belongings. With tenant insurance available at just a fraction of the cost, it often makes financial sense to have cover. Whether or not you decide to get tenant insurance will depend on your personal circumstances, opinions and budget.

For instance, you may not have a lot of possessions, or have mostly inexpensive second hand items. In this instance, you may not think that tenant insurance is worth it. However, if you are renting a furnished property, tenant liability insurance may still be something to consider.

There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to tenant insurance and it is ultimately a personal choice. Even if you don't take out insurance at the start of the tenancy, you can always do so further down the line should your views or situation change. It is worth pointing out here that some landlords will insist on tenants having liability cover when you sign the rental agreement (particularly for furnished properties). As it is not a legal requirement, tenants are well within their rights to refuse, however it will mean they have to find another suitable property.

Tenant Insurance For Shared Properties

If you live in rented accommodation with other people, you are only responsible for arranging tenant insurance for yourself. Many tenant insurance providers will offer the option of covering you and your room only.

However, there will be some who won't offer you cover. This is particularly true if the accommodation does not have locks on the bedroom doors. In most cases, the policy will cover you for damage and theft of items in your room only. This means you will not have cover if you leave your belongings in other rooms of the house. Because of the perceived risks of sharing a home with other people, you can unfortunately also face higher premiums.

If you choose to only take out tenant liability insurance and live in shared accommodation, then you must declare that there are other residents at the property. In this instance, if all of your housemates would like liability insurance, you may find it easier to take out a policy together with each tenant named on the agreement.

two women talking across a kitchen counter

Conclusion

Tenant insurance offers optional protection for any accidental damage caused to your landlords belongings. It also covers damage or theft of your own possessions. It's not unusual to choose not to have tenant insurance (in fact, only 53% of renters in the UK have contents insurance). However, for many renters it offers extra peace of mind and financial security that is well worth the comparatively small investment.

If you are unsure if tenant insurance is right for you, we would be happy to help. At Oasis Living, we work with tenants on a day-to-day basis. This means we can give you expert insight into what, if any, kind of policy will best suit your situation. Head over to our contact page or give us a call. We'll get back to you as soon as we can. We also have more information about contents insurance on our blog.

November 24, 2022
November 24, 2022
Block Management Explained

In this Oasis Living guide, we delve into all things block management, and how it differs from property management!

Read More
November 24, 2022
November 24, 2022
Man with a Van: Moving House in London

Need a reliable moving company in London? We've done the legwork for you and have put together this guide to the top moving companies in London.

Read More
November 4, 2022
November 4, 2022
A Landlord's Guide to Anti Social Behaviour

Anti Social Behaviour - Read our guide for landlords all about how to prevent, tackle and report anti social behaviour!

Read More
October 6, 2022
October 6, 2022
Energy Prices in The UK: How to Reduce Costs

Energy prices are a hot topic at the moment, but fear not, we're here to help! We've written this guide to outline some of the ways you can cut costs.

Read More
a block of flats in London which is managed
November 24, 2022
November 24, 2022
Block Management Explained

In this Oasis Living guide, we delve into all things block management, and how it differs from property management!

October 28, 2022
October 28, 2022
Best Places to Invest In Property in the UK: 2022 guide

In this guide, we examine the main factors that buyers should take into account when determining the best places to invest in UK property.

Read More
September 6, 2022
September 6, 2022
Section 21 Notice: A Landlord Guide

A detailed guide for landlords about the upcoming changes to Section 21 notices: what are they, and why is the law changing?

Read More
September 7, 2022
September 7, 2022
Voted The Best Place To Live In London

Voted The Best Place to Live in London, Crystal Palace has a lot to live up to! In this guide we look into the history, the houses, and the local pubs.

Read More
August 12, 2022
August 12, 2022
How Important is a Property Floorplan

Technically speaking, a floor plan isn't required, but do you notice many listings without them? We explain why they're so important.

Read More
a moving company in london in action
November 24, 2022
November 24, 2022
Man with a Van: Moving House in London

Need a reliable moving company in London? We've done the legwork for you and have put together this guide to the top moving companies in London.

August 4, 2022
August 4, 2022
How To Find Good Tenants

What exactly is a good tenant, and how do you find one for your property? This helpful guide explains how to find ideal tenants for your rental home!

Read More
August 4, 2022
August 4, 2022
Things To Do In London August 2022

Looking for fun things to do in London this summer? This is the ultimate guide to fun things to do in the capital this August.

Read More
May 19, 2022
May 19, 2022
Average Rent in the UK in 2022

A detailed look into the current average rent prices across the UK. Broken down into regions and compared to 2021 rent prices!

Read More
May 10, 2022
May 10, 2022
Best Places to Live in London

A complete and comprehensive guide to the best places to live in London for families and young professionals.

Read More
a tenant covers their ears to block out loud noise
November 4, 2022
November 4, 2022
A Landlord's Guide to Anti Social Behaviour

Anti Social Behaviour - Read our guide for landlords all about how to prevent, tackle and report anti social behaviour!