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Tenants Should Have Contents Insurance

In the event of a claim where a tenant has caused, or is held responsible for, damage to rented property a landlord or his insurance company will recover costs from the tenant.

If the tenant has contents insurance then there will be liability cover included. As long as the damage was not malicious and the tenant was legally responsible for the damage the liability section of the tenant’s policy will respond and will protect the tenant.

In one recently publicised event a coat-hanger was put on a sprinkler. This caused a flood and damaged 8 stories of an apartment building. All three occupants were named on the tenancy agreement and therefore all three faced liability for the damage. If one of the tenants did not have a contents policy which offered Legal Liability cover, all three would have had to share the $26,700 bill.

An article in the Herald recently related this story as a warning to students of the danger of not having contents insurance. We believe the same warning applies to all tenants. 

The article said that the main reasons for students not having contents insurance were: 
  • that students had very little to insure,  
  • that they thought that their parent's insurance policies covered them (some policies do have limited cover for students in halls of residence but not in flatting situations),
  • and that they could not afford the premiums.
However, if you look on insurance as something that covers the BIG events then the Liability section of a contents policy is the main reason for having the policy. If you live in a house or apartment block and you are responsible for the destruction of all or some of the building then you want to be insured for that event.

If you shop around you can get a very basic contents policy which has the same Liability cover as a higher end policy for as little as $8.00 - $10.00/week. If you are a tenant, or your children have left home and gone flatting without any personal contents insurance, please get in touch with us to discuss your options.

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