When you are renting a house or apartment, the landlord is responsible for damage or loss to the building and fittings and should have landlord insurance to protect against these risks. If you’re living in an apartment, the landlord will be contributing to the strata insurance that covers damage to the building and its common areas.
However, as a tenant, you have some liabilities too that should be covered by insurance – unless perhaps you’re living in a fully furnished rental apartment. For example, as a tenant, you are responsible for your possessions – such as your clothes, furniture, electrical goods, books and other valuable belongings. Therefore, if a disaster occurs, you’d be wise to have some contents insurance to ensure you can replace your lost possessions.
Recently, we had a tenant living in a property managed by one of our NSW offices, who was affected by a fire. The tenant had no contents insurance, an oversight complicated by the fact that the local fire brigade could not determine the cause of the fire. The landlord, with our support, helped the tenant secure a new rental property. However, the tenants were forced to refurnish from scratch and without any financial support from an insurance company.
Before you start checking around for the best contents cover, be mindful there is a form of contents cover designed for people living in rented properties. ‘Renter’s insurance’, according to understandinsurance.com.au, covers tenants against financial loss from risks such as fire or burglary, or against accidental loss or damage.
Renters insurance can also protect a tenant against unintentional damage to fixtures and fittings of the rental property you are renting or provide financial cover for legal liability. Better still, renter’s insurance may cover your possessions for damage when you move between properties.
As with most types of insurance, renter’s insurance policy varies from insurer to insurer. So, comparing policies to find the features that best suit your needs is a worthwhile exercise.
For more information about the benefits of insurance for tenants, contact your local Raine & Horne Property Manager for more tips.