What is Tenants contents insurance?
When you rent a furnished or unfurnished property, even if it is not for a long time, it will be in your best interests to take out tentant contents insurance.
Whether you have rented a fully furnished or unfurnished property, you will most probably be asked to pay a deposit, usually of one month’s rent, which is partly to secure the flat, and also to protect the landlord against damage to their property.
Should your property be fully furnished, you will not own the contents, but you will be responsible for certain types of damage to them. Should the furniture become the victim of wear and tear, the tenant may not be responsible. But damage that can be attributed to your irresponsibility, or that of any visitors, can be charged to you, and taken off your deposit.
An advantage of this is that since you can be held responsible for accidental damage to your landlords’ property, you can cover yourself for this as well.
The landlord actually will need to insure his/her contents as well, but you may want to cover the value of your deposit. Also, you may have some personal possessions in the furnished flat which you will want to cover.
In an unfurnished flat, then you are responsible for insuring your own contents. In addition, you can cover your personal possessions outside your rented flat by extending your policy to “all risks”.
You can cover yourself for household goods, personal effects, furniture, coins, stamps and other collections, along with other valuables. You could even have the option of covering the value of the frozen food in your deep freezer. Sometimes, you can be covered for money and anything else that belongs to or is the legal responsibility of you as a tenant. You can cover yourself against all of the usual standard perils. But ultimately, this kind of insurance is covering you for the value of your personal possessions along with the deposit you have paid.
Most policies will cover you for the cost or replacement locks due to keys that have been lost. You should also get alternative accommodation and any rent that is legally due. You should also find out if the contents will be replaced on a new for old basis.
Landlords need to be aware of their responsibilities here. They are completely responsible for getting buildings insurance, because they own the buildings, and they should also get contents insurance to cover their property in the flat. The deposit may not be enough to cover all of the possible damage that can occur when your property is rented out. This insurance, together of course with careful referencing of your tenants, could reduce the risks you take on significantly.
How are home insurance quote premiums calculated?
Insurance companies differ in the questions that they might ask you, and this can sometimes depend on the particular type of insurance that you are asking for.
Quotation forms are usually quite detailed. You will need to have a good deal of information to hand when you fill out the form. You need to provide details that are full and correct, because you will not have a valid quotation should you have not given correct and true facts.
Your premiums will be calculated based on the answers to certain questions. Answer these questions accurately, or you will find your claims hindered, and maybe your policy annulled.
As far as your personal details are concerned, you will likely be asked for your name and date of birth. Then you will be asked for some basic details about your property. They will want to know the type of property (flat, bungalow?), and if it is self-contained or not. They will also want to know when your house was built and how many people live in the property.
They’ll want to know how many bedrooms there are and whether or not your own or rent your property. If you own it, they’ll ask if it is your main residence or your second home. If it’s your second home, you should be asked if there are consecutive periods of time when the property is left unoccupied.
They will likely ask whether your property has been the victim of flooding or subsidence in recent years as well.
They will be interested in your occupation, as it can tell them about your ability to pay your premiums. They’ll ask details about your partner, if you have one, and also ask if your property is occupied during daylight hours (which makes it more secure in their view). You should tell them if you operate business activities from home.
You can also expect to be asked about the construction of the building. Is it brick, concrete or stone? Is the roof slate, tile or concrete? What is the percentage of flat roof area.
The next set of questions will be security related. They will want to know about the lock on the main entrance to the home, and whether they are mortise deadlocks. Do you have a burglar alarm? Are you a member of a neighbourhood watch scheme? Are the windows or skylights accessible?
Finally, they’ll ask whether you have smoke alarms, which can make a large difference to the chances of the house being made uninhabitable (in addition to possibly saving your life).
After all this, you’ll be asked what kind of cover you require, the value of the cover, and your claims history.