Nearly half (49%) of renters have never taken out contents insurance, according to a survey.
This could leave tenants out of pocket if their belongings are stolen or damaged as landlords’ insurance is likely to only cover what the landlord owns – and not tenants’ possessions.
Kate Devine, an insurance expert at MoneySuperMarket, which commissioned the research, said: “While your landlord will have their own policy, this tends to cover buildings and landlord’s liability insurance – they rarely extend to a tenant’s possessions.
“It is important to always check your contract to confirm what is covered in your landlord’s policy, in order to identify if further cover is needed to protect your furniture and personal items.
“When you consider the overall cost of the possessions we own – from furniture to tech and electronics – assuming you’re covered could be a very costly error.
“That’s why it’s so important to ensure that you have the right contents insurance in place. Policies are very affordable, with some of the best on the market cheaper than an annual streaming subscription. On top of this, many policies also include tenants’ liability cover which provide you with protection in case you damage items in the property that you’re responsible for.”
Some 1,250 renters were surveyed.
Here are some general tips for renters from MoneySuperMarket:
1. Check your deposit is protected.
According to MoneySuperMarket’s research, the average renter claims to have lost £329 on deposits over the course of their lifetime. However, many deposits are protected by Government-backed schemes.
2. Use an app to help you split bills.
Free apps are available which can help you and your housemates make sure that you are splitting outgoings fairly.
3. Boost your credit score by making timely rent payments.
If you are privately renting and regularly making your payments on time, this could improve your standing with credit scoring agencies.
For example, the app Canopy enables people to report rent payments to Experian and Equifax to help improve credit scores.
Experian has also launched Experian Boost, which allows people to share information about their regular spending, such as payments to savings accounts, council tax payments, and digital subscriptions including Netflix, Spotify and Amazon Prime.
4. Discuss shared outgoings.
You and your housemates could sit down once a month over food and drinks to discuss all the payments you need to make, as well as any issues you might want to raise with your landlord.
5. Check the inventory.
When you occupy a new property, check the inventory, which may include meter readings, previous utility bills and details on the condition of the building.