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Why do renters in the UK need contents insurance?

By Ruth Sedar Published in Personal 3 min read

Contents insurance might not be top of your to-do list when you’re moving into a new rental flat or house. But as you carefully wrap up your fragile belongings and rummage around for a spare box to fill, you want to know that your stuff will be safe in your new home. Accidents happen, and keeping your prized possessions bubble-wrapped forever just isn’t the best idea. 

In the UK, 19% of all homes are rented — that’s 4.4 million households. If you’re a renter in the UK, you’ll have signed a tenancy agreement to agree to look after your landlord’s belongings and fixtures and fittings. But guess what your rent doesn’t cover? The safety of your own belongings.

Do I need contents insurance as a tenant?

Getting contents insurance as a tenant is actually a very good idea. And we’re not just saying that — it’s to help you! In the UK, tenants pay rent to landlords which will cover the building’s insurance, which obviously belongs to the landlord. However, you might be surprised to discover that the rent you pay doesn’t cover your personal belongings against damage or theft. So if your rented flat or house was burgled, there’s no safety net to help you claim for or replace your stolen belongings.

What does contents insurance cover?

As well as covering your belongings against theft, contents insurance also covers your stuff against accidental damage and water damage. And if a devastating fire happens like the one at Springfield Mill, contents insurance for tenants can even help you find alternative accommodation. Here’s what happened.

Case study: Springfield Mill

In April 2020, a huge fire destroyed many homes in Springfield Mill in Derbyshire. The development is a converted grade II-listed building holding more than 100 apartments, and many tenants escaped with just the clothes on their backs. Their personal belongings were lost to fire damage and water damage where fire-fighters tackled the blaze. Some tenants were never able to return to their rented homes and had to live in hotels at the landlords’ and local authorities’ expense.

How contents insurance helps tenants

If the tenants in Springfield Mill had Contents and Liability insurance, they would have been able to claim for their lost possessions as well as alternative accommodation. Plus, if tenants in our case study had a policy with Rubber Ring, they would have had Tenants Liability as part of their Contents Insurance policy, meaning anything belonging to the landlord, like fixtures and fittings in the flats, would have been covered too. 

Rubber Ring’s Tenants Liability covers renters for up to £35,000, which should cover a lot of the landlord’s fixtures and fittings your tenant’s agreement says that you’re responsible for. So even if something major gets damaged or stolen, or if the bath falls through the ceiling, you won’t have to pay a penny for repairs.

How much does contents insurance cost?

The answer might be less than you think. There are many different Contents Insurance policies on the market, and ours is by far one of the most affordable options. From just £3.99 per month — that’s less than 13p per day — you can get covered for up to £5,000 of your stuff. Perfect for rented households with an average TV, smartphones, laptops, push bikes and more. And with a Tenants Liability policy covering you for up to £35,000, you can sleep soundly at night. As long as your neighbours are the quiet types.

Get a quote from Rubber Ring today

Find out more about our insurance policies and get 90 second quote today to see how much peace of mind costs. You might just be pleasantly surprised.