What is tenants’ liability insurance?
Tenants’ liability insurance offers tenants protection against some of the most common situations that might lead to them losing their security deposit – namely, accidental damage to a landlord’s fixtures, fittings or furniture. These would include items like the bath, toilet and white goods, which could prove very expensive to repair or replace if you damage them accidentally.
It’s worth noting, however, that tenants’ liability cover won’t pay out for general wear and tear.
Frequently asked questions
Is tenants’ liability insurance a legal requirement?
Tenants’ liability insurance isn’t required by law in the UK. However, there are many landlords who will insist on tenants’ liability cover when you sign a rental agreement – especially if they’re leasing a furnished home. They’re entitled to set this requirement, so if you’re not keen on taking out a tenants’ insurance policy it might be worth finding a different landlord.
How much does tenants’ liability insurance cost?
It typically costs you a lot more to take out a standalone tenants’ liability policy, rather than simply adding it on to your rental contents insurance.
If you opt to add it on, tenants’ liability insurance can cost as little as £5 per year. A standalone policy could cost you in the region of £40 to £100 a year, and you’ll probably have to pay an excess of between £50 and £100 each time you make a claim.
Most policies offer a standard level of cover between £5,000 and £10,000, but you’ll often have the option to extend your limit, at an additional cost.
Is tenants’ liability insurance right for me?
Landlords are responsible for buildings insurance but, as a tenant, it’s your responsibility to insure your belongings with contents insurance.
If you’re taking a lot of your own possessions – like TVs, beds and soft furnishing – into your rental property, it’s worth considering a contents insurance policy. Then when you’re getting contents insurance quotes to compare, you can easily add on tenants’ liability cover – this is potentially the most cost-effective option. To work out how much cover you might need, total up what fixtures, fittings and furniture belong to the landlord as you’d be liable for these if you accidentally damage them.
If you decide against buying contents insurance, for example because you’re moving into a fully furnished place, you can always get tenants’ liability insurance as a standalone option. But you’re likely to need a larger amount of cover. It’s best to weigh up the value of your security deposit vs the cost of annual cover, in the event that you do damage something.
Do I still need a security deposit if I have tenants’ liability insurance?
Yes. Tenants’ liability insurance isn’t a replacement for your security deposit, but it can help you hold on to it. This type of cover has been specifically designed to reduce the risk of you losing your deposit, due to accidental damage.
See more in our guide to deposit protection schemes.
Where can I get tenants’ liability cover?
Here at Compare the Market, we can help you compare home insurance quotes from a range of trusted UK providers. All you need to do is tell us a little bit about yourself and we’ll find you a list of relevant policies in a matter of minutes.