Do you need insurance if you’re renting?

Renting enables you to have a place to call home without committing to property ownership or the local area. You’re also spared the maintenance costs and upkeep that homeowners must factor in.

However, this convenience doesn’t mean that you’re entirely free of responsibilities. Many tenants don’t include insurance costs in their financial management when they’re renting. But if you’re renting, do you really need insurance? And what options are available?


What does my landlord’s insurance cover?

Your landlord is responsible for building insurance. This covers the structure itself. So, if there’s damage to the walls, roof, or any permanent fixtures due to an unforeseen event, your landlord’s insurance should take care of it. However, when it comes to your personal belongings inside the rental property, you’ll need your own insurance. This is called house contents insurance.


What does house contents insurance cover?

It’s crucial to differentiate between what the landlord is required to cover and what you need to cover. Your landlord’s insurance should cover structural issues like a burst geyser, as it’s part of the building. However, you need house contents insurance to cover anything that could get damaged if the geyser bursts – like your furniture, clothes, electronics and personal belongings.

When applying for house contents insurance, consider the cost and cover options. Premiums depend on factors like the value of your belongings, your location, and cover limits. To choose wisely, evaluate the total worth of the items you want covered and select cover that suits your needs. Keep in mind that while basic cover may cost less, comprehensive cover provides better protection.

Nedbank offers house contents insurance that provides valuable protection for your household possessions, whether you’re renting or not. With options for basic or comprehensive cover, it safeguards against loss, theft or damage to your belongings, including cover for food spoilage and power surge protection. Additionally, it includes provisions for alternative accommodation if your home becomes uninhabitable due to an insured event.

Consider how much it would cost you to replace everything you own if it were damaged or stolen

So, whether it’s a burst geyser or unforeseen accidents, having house contents insurance when you’re renting provides a safety net for your possessions, ensuring that you’re not left with a hefty bill to replace or repair them. It’s a smart move to protect what’s inside your rented space.


Could my landlord be required to pay for my damaged possessions?

Consider a scenario in which your possessions get damaged because of your landlord’s negligence. Suppose, for example, a flood happens because your landlord hasn’t maintained the drainage properly, resulting in damage to your belongings. In such a situation, do you have any right to make a claim? The short answer is ‘Yes.’ However, this depends on numerous factors.

In cases of negligence by your landlord, you need to understand that your rights can vary depending on the law and lease agreements. Generally, if your landlord’s actions or inactions lead directly to damage to your belongings, you could potentially file a claim against them for negligence.

To protect your interests, start by documenting the circumstances thoroughly. Take photos or videos of the damage, keep any relevant communications with your landlord, and maintain records of any repair or replacement costs. Seek legal advice to understand your rights and explore the possibility of pursuing compensation for your losses.


But do I really need insurance?

Even if you’re a tenant, insurance can be a lifesaver after unfortunate events like a break-in or a fire. While your landlord’s insurance should cover their responsibilities, it won’t cover your personal items, like your TV and kitchen appliances. Consider how much it would cost you to replace everything you own if it were damaged or stolen

Think of insurance like wearing a seatbelt in a car – most of the time you don’t need it, but when you do, it must be securely in place to avoid tragic consequences.. When you compare a monthly insurance premium to that expense, it’s no longer a grudge payment, but rather an investment in peace of mind.