The Fixer: Home insurance for tenants

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Dear Fixer,
I am 18 and about to move out of home for the first time to live in a flat with two friends in Manchester, where we will all be working.

We have already found the flat, which is fully furnished, and are due to move in at the beginning of September.

However, the lettings agent told us that we need to sort out our own home insurance. Is this normal and what sort of insurance do we need?

N Kay, Bolton

Dear Miss Kay,

Taking out home insurance to cover the building and any fixtures and fittings such as flooring and kitchen cabinets is your landlord's responsibility.

However, while it is not compulsory to insure your home contents, it is a good idea to protect personal belongings such as your television, DVD collection and clothes against theft and damage.

Options to consider include individual, contents-only policies aimed at tenants that allow you to insure belongings worth say £3,000 and joint policies for everyone who lives in a shared property, which could prove a cheaper way of getting cover.

Just remember not to underestimate how much it would cost to replace your belongings. Going from room to room and writing down all your possessions and roughly how much they are worth is one of the best ways to come up with an accurate figure.

Other things to check include whether you have cover on a new for old basis and whether you need to name high-value items to avoid having claims rejected should they be damaged or stolen.

Many insurers limit the amount you can claim for one single item and will refuse to pay out the full value of an expensive item unless they were made aware of it.

The Fixer

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