This article was originally published on 25/10/2019 and was reviewed and updated accordingly on the above date.
Are you tossing up whether to take out tenant insurance to protect your belongings? The below FAQs may help you to make the best decision.
Tenant insurance (or renters insurance) is a type of cover designed for people who rent, opposed to those who own a property. It is a great safety net when belongings at your place get damaged, or if someone injures themselves at your home.
Below, find the answers to common questions asked by tenants… these will better arm you with the knowledge needed to choose the most suitable insurance for personal belongings at a rental.
Why do I need tenant insurance?
Let us answer this question with another question (or two) – what would you do if everything you own was destroyed in a house fire? Or you were burgled? This is where tenant insurance comes in. It is a safety net in case the unexpected happens. Tenant insurance ultimately offers you the opportunity to recoup costs when something goes wrong. For example, say the property you rent catches alight… if you have the right insurance, you may be able to seek compensation for some of the damages.
Doesn’t my landlord have insurance?
Yes, your landlord most likely has insurance, however cover does not extend to a tenant’s belongings. So, if a rental property is impacted by the unexpected – fire, storm, flood – or belongings are burgled, a tenant is not able to claim or recoup the costs under their landlord’s insurance policy. This means, if a tenant does not have their own cover, they may be out of pocket.
Do I really have enough belongings to make tenant insurance worthwhile?
It is a common misconception of tenants that they do not have enough contents worth insuring. However, it does not take much for the total value of belongings to add up. It is suggested tenants complete a quick inventory of all household belongings including electronics (laptop, gaming consoles, television), jewellery, clothes, bikes and linen, and they may be surprised by the value of their household items.
What does tenant insurance actually cover?
All policies are different. However, tenant insurance should typically cover you for specific risks you may face as a renter including fire, theft, storm and liability.
What is liability cover?
This is an area often misunderstood by tenants. It is cover when you are found legally liable for an incident. And, here is an example where this could apply:
#1 … Say you have a guest over and they are sitting casually on the couch, however the mirror that hangs above them (a mirror you/the tenant recently hung) falls and hits them on the head, causing serious injury. They can sue you/the tenant if it was found the mirror was not hooked correctly to the wall. Legal liability would typically cover medical expenses and legal fees associated with this.
How do I know which policy is right for me?
Shop around to find a policy that suits your needs and objectives. When comparing policies, read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) to determine the most suitable cover for your belongings. The PDS explains exactly what is and is not covered.
How do I make a claim?
Every insurer has a different process, however here are some general tips:
- As soon as something goes wrong, you should contact your insurer. The sooner they know, the sooner they can act.
- To submit a successful insurance claim you need to be able to tell the claims team what has happened, where and when. You can do this by snapping pics of the damage and making a list of all items impacted.
- It is important to keep hold of receipts for any belongings you purchase to help prove they were in your possession.
*While we have taken care to ensure the information above is true and correct at the time of publication, changes in circumstances and legislation after the displayed date may impact the accuracy of this article. If you need us we are there, contact 1800 661 662 if you have any questions.