If you’re a renter and don’t have insurance, you’re certainly not alone. A recent Budget Direct Home Insurance survey of over 1000 Aussies found that while 53% of homeowners had home and contents insurance, only 15.8% of renters did.
It’s not the best statistic when you consider burglars, fires, accidents and natural disasters don’t discriminate between homeowners and renters!
While there’s a high chance your landlord has home insurance to protect their investment, this doesn’t protect you and your valuable contents. Here are a list of good reasons why it’s important you take out insurance when renting.
1. You’re protected from theft and loss – both in and outside your home
According to statistics quoted in this Budget Direct Insurance article[RL1] , just over 20% of Australian homes have been burgled. While it’s hoped this will never happen to you, taking out renter’s or contents insurance is a great form of protection.
You may also have valuable items you take with you outside your home. It might be a laptop or expensive set of headphones for the train commute, or the latest-and-greatest mobile phone that is always by your side (until you accidentally leave it at a restaurant table after a business lunch, that is!).
To protect against such loss or theft, you can opt to take out portable contents insurance cover. While they often come with limits, most apply Australia-wide with some extending to New Zealand as well.
2. You’re protected from fires, disasters and emergency events
The recent devastating bushfires that ripped across many parts of New South Wales and Victoria are a stark reminder we’re at the mercy of Mother Nature. No one can accurately predict when a fire, flood or other emergency event will hit, and that’s precisely why insurance is so important.
You might think you don’t need insurance as your landlord’s policy will cover the home. But that doesn’t extend to providing temporary accommodation for you if the home is uninhabitable, not to mention all the contents you might lose.
It may not even be something as big as a fire or flood. It could be a smaller event, such as an extended power outage that causes your food to spoil. If this happens to you, many contents insurance policies will pay for replacement items.
3. You’re protected from accidental damage you – or others – may cause to the property
Accidents happen. Your washing machine could malfunction and overflow, damaging the carpet and floor. Or you could trip and accidentally smash a glass sliding door. Many home contents insurance policies cover this.
It’s also worth noting that if the property damage is severe and your landlord claims against their insurance, there’s always the possibility their insurance company may come after you to recoup these costs. Your contents insurance policy automatically comes with legal liability coverage for at least $20 million. This means your insurer will handle the legal case, and any associated compensation costs, for you.
4. Your contents may be covered against loss and damage when you move
Some contents policies also cover your personal belongings when you move homes. As some moving companies are better than others at taking care of your valuables, this can come in very handy!
Some policies also provide an overlap between properties for a few weeks. This is particularly helpful if you have a large move to make that takes time.
Know what you need
Hopefully these reasons have illustrated why insurance is so important as a renter. If you’ve made the decision to take out a policy, be sure to do extensive research and compare as policies vary widely in terms of coverage and limitations (or contact us at Perpetual Strata). As an extra tip, generally renter’s insurance is the budget-friendly version of content’s insurance. The catch is it usually offers lower benefits and less coverage.