When it comes to contents insurance there are so many questions that run through my head. I had no idea where to start when Mike and I looked into updating ours. We were confused by a lot of the terminology used on the comparison sites, we didn’t know what we needed to insure and why were there so many different levels of cover. After a lot of searching for answers, we found what we thought was right for us and have since signed up to a years worth. But through our searches, we noticed that there’s a lot of options and it’s different for flat owners, homeowners and renters so I’ve teamed up with Urban Jungle to answer some of the questions my Twitter followers wanted to know the answers to.
What’s the difference between contents and buildings and do you need both?
The difference between buildings and contents insurance is that buildings insurance covers the actual physical structure of the property such as the walls, roof, and floors, while contents insurance covers items inside the property, like furniture and freestanding appliances. Contents also includes the likes of your computer, bed, and most of the items within your home. Needing both is dependant on where you live; if you own a home then you will need both, if you live in a flat you will just need contents as your building should be insured by your landlord, this should also be the same for renting.
Insurance for flat owners, do I get contents or home?!
As mentioned, leasehold flat owners should only need to get contents insurance. Your landlord should have the buildings insurance but be sure to check your lease and paperwork to ensure you do!
As a renter, what kind of insurance do I need?
Recent research by Mintel suggests that as few as 40% of renters currently have some form of home contents insurance. This is insurance which covers personal possessions against theft, fire and water damage when they are at home, though many policies can be extended to cover accidental damage and items that you regularly take out with you. This is the kind of insurance you will need as a renter.
A lot of people skip out on contents insurance as they think the chance of them needing to claim is really low, but for a small fee per month, you could be covered for up to £50,000 worth of damage. Think of there being a fire and you lost everything; your PlayStation, camera, jewelry, your wardrobe, plus there’s all the little things: kitchen equipment, household appliances, maybe some furniture, bedding, pictures, lighting, books, and even all the food in your cupboards. It all adds up. How would you pay to replace it all?
I share a flat with strangers, what do I need?
In this scenario, shared contents insurance would be best suited to your needs. If you’ve got a few items that you care about, such as a laptop, camera, and mobile phone then this will suit you as it’s specially created for people in shared houses and flatshares. It can also help to protect your deposit too, by covering your landlord’s carpets and furniture they may have. There are variants of shared contents insurance which means you can just insure you, insire you and a partner or all of the residents
What is Tenants Liability Insurance, and do I need it?
Tenants Liability Insurance applies to those that rent as it covers you in case anything in the flat belonging to your landlord gets damaged. It covers aspects from things as little as that wine stain on the carpet, or the accidental broken lamp, to more serious situations like broken windows or burst pipes. This is a particularly helpful cover for people living in pre-furnished flats, as there’s a lot more there to get damaged. But please note, this doesn’t replace your security deposit, it’s designed to reduce the risk that you will lose your deposit if anything does happen.