International Tenants' Day

SafeIn celebration of International Tenants’ Day we have some tips to help renters protect their possessions.

Back in 1986, the French tenant organisation CNL proposed a special world day for tenants and the council of the International Union of Tenants agreed it was a good idea. Held on the first Monday in October, to coincide with World Habitat Day, International Tenants’ Day (ITD) is used to highlight housing and tenancy issues.
An often neglected issue for tenants is that of contents insurance. And this October also marks the 10 year anniversary since EBM introduced TenantCover to fill a gap in the market for simple, low-cost and practical contents insurance for renters. TenantCover is a ‘no frills’ policy which makes it easy and cost-effective for renters to protect their belongings. In addition to practical levels of cover, the security requirements are also more realistic than those specified in some policies, requiring only working locks on all external doors.
Following our exploration of why renters need their own contents insurance, we offer up some more insurance tips for tenants in recognition of ITD and our 10-year milestone:
Make an inventory
Preparing an inventory will help tenants to accurately estimate the value of their possessions. After going from room to room and listing all of their possessions, tenants should put the approximate replacement value next to each item (receipts and email confirmation for online purchases are helpful). Contents calculators can also be downloaded from the ICA Understand Insurance website or app stores. Once completed, a copy of the inventory should be stored away from the premises (e.g. in a safe deposit box, at a family member’s home or backed up in the cloud).
An inventory is also a way of noting the kind of belongings that may need to be specified on an insurance policy (for example high value items or collections).
Specify items
Policies have limits on certain items such as jewellery, antiques, collections, artworks and bicycles. Limits can apply to individual items and also a maximum claim amount for all items in that class. For example TenantCover has a limit for jewellery and watches of $1,000 per item and $1,500 in total. 
Renters who need more property cover than TenantCover’s standard $25,000 or wish to specify valuables should get a quote for more extensive contents insurance
Retain proof of ownership
In order to make an insurance claim, proof of ownership is required (there is a need to prove that a loss was suffered before an insurer compensates the policyholder). Retaining original receipts/tax invoices is best, but not always possible (for example, the item was a gift). Insurers understand this and other forms of documentation may be acceptable, including:
  • Photographs or video of the items, especially high value/important items such as furniture, electronics and jewellery
  • Credit card or bank account statements showing the purchase
  • Certificates of authenticity
  • Warranty certificates
  • Valuations
  • Serial numbers, product make and model details
  • Owners’/instruction manuals
  • Spare parts for the item
  • Original packaging
A recent claim highlights the importance of retaining proof of ownership. In this case, a tenant attempted to claim thousands of dollars for stolen jewellery and designer clothes and shoes after a burglary. Photographs of the jewellery were provided as proof of ownership, and the maximum policy claim of $1,500 was paid. However, the tenant did not have any proof of ownership for the designer fashion goods and no settlement could be made for those items.
Update cover
Tenants should make sure they update their cover/specified items when they get new items or dispose of them. When it comes time to renew their policy, they should take the time to make sure that their level of cover still suits their needs. 
For about the cost of one cup of coffee a week (okay, maybe not in Perth!), a tenant can get contents insurance, with TenantCover policies costing from as little as $160 a year for up to $25,000 to cover loss or damage to possessions (sub-limits apply).
Elkington Bishop Molineaux Insurance Brokers Pty Ltd (EBM) issue the product on behalf of QBE Insurance (Australia) Limited.  This brochure contains general advice only so please refer to the Product Disclosure Statement when deciding whether the insurance suits your needs – a copy can be found on our website ( or by contacting 1800 661 662.