Can you get insurance as a renter?

Coles Financial Services 12th Sep 2016 in Home insurance

Renting your home instead of buying has several advantages. For one thing, keeping the building insured is the landlord's responsibility, not yours!

But that doesn't mean you don't need to worry about protecting your possessions. Could you afford to replace everything you own if it was stolen, damaged in a fire, storm or from burst pipes in your building? 

As a renter, you’re still able to insure your personal belongings. Contents insurance protects items kept in your home, which are owned by you or for which you are responsible, and are not permanently attached to the building.

What's covered?
Things commonly covered by contents insurance include:

  • Clothing
  • Mobile phones, cameras, jewellery and watches
  • Bicycles and sporting equipment
  • Electrical items such as computers, tablets, TVs, stereos and kitchen and laundry appliances
  • DVDs, computer games and software
  • Musical instruments
  • Antiques and artworks
  • Personal cash
  • Household tools and gardening equipment
  • Tools and equipment used for your business
  • Furniture
  • Kitchenware

Contents insurance may also cover the cost of replacing or repairing household appliances that break down, and certain valuables (e.g. tablets or watches). If you have other portable valuables you'd like to protect, these can often be added to a policy too.

If you are renting, a contents policy may include fixtures and fittings installed in the home by you for your own use.

What's not covered?
Items generally not covered by contents insurance include:

  • Anything kept in an area which is not fully secured
  • Cash belonging to your business
  • Pets and other animals
  • Motor vehicles, caravans, trailers and boats

Most contents policies will limit the cover for a particular type of item (e.g. computer equipment) to a set amount, unless you specifically tell your insurer that you want higher cover. 

Read the fine print

Before taking out any insurance, it is essential to take a few minutes to carefully study the Product Disclosure Statement to understand the details of exactly what is covered and what is not.

For example, contents insurance will generally not cover you for damage deliberately caused by you or someone in your home with your consent, damage to musical instruments or sporting equipment while someone is using them, or losses caused by incorrectly stored dangerous goods.

Your side of the deal
It’s important to keep your policy premiums up to date, notify your insurer of any changes to the contents insured, and tell your insurer if you move home, or if your home will be unoccupied for more than 60 days.

It’s always advisable to keep as much evidence of your contents as possible, for example receipts and photos, to prove any claim. Also, keep any damaged goods in case your insurer wants to inspect them before paying out a claim.

Call police immediately to report any claim involving theft, malicious damage, or impact by a vehicle. Give the police a list of items lost or damaged, and keep a record of the incident or report number.

Contents cover will give you peace of mind that even though you are not the owner of the house in which you live, all your possessions are well protected.

And remember, if you’re a flybuys member and take out a Coles contents insurance policy online, you may be eligible for a discount of 15 per cent on your premium.1

Terms & conditions

1 Online discount and online/flybuys discount are calculated on and applied to your Coles Insurance premium before the application of any other discount. This discount offer may be withdrawn at any time. Full terms and conditions(PDF, 75kb)..

Underwriting criteria apply. Coles Financial Services Pty Ltd is an authorised representative of the issuer, WFI Insurance Limited ABN 24 000 036 279 AFSL 241461 882 and receives commission for each policy sold. Consider the Product Disclosure Statement available at www.coles.com.au/insurance to see if it’s right for you. Any advice provided is of a general nature only and does not take into consideration your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on any advice you should consider its appropriateness.

Tags: home insurance landlord tenant contents insurance renting