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All about tenant insurance

October 09, 2009 16:14 IST
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There is a plethora of insurance options available for different reasonsĀ -- health, disability, automobile, fire, home etc. We know about these kinds of insurance because these are the most common ones that people opt for. Home insurance is particularly known with people waking up to the fact that protecting their houses is critical for a secure future.

But what about people who live in rented accommodations? What happens when a tenant's belongings are damaged by a fire? Or what if some of the landlord's fixtures are accidentally broken by the tenant? Your answer to the former question is that the tenant would just have to forget his loss and move on. For the latter, the landlord will deduct the amount from the tenant's deposit.

But what if there was a kind of insurance which protects the tenant from such things when they happen? Though, this is something not present in India as of now, this particular kind of insurance is something which is becoming fairly common in the West.

What is tenant insurance?

Tenants insurance offers a person living in a rented house cover against losses arising from theft, fire and natural calamities, among other things. This type of renters insurance allows a tenant to protect his/her possessions during unexpected events, as landlord's insurance covers only belongings, such as the building, fixtures and fittings. One form of tenants insurance is tenants' contents insurance.

What are the types of coverage?

Although the types of coverage vary from one insurer to another, there are usually the following kinds:

Content coverage: The basic premium covers the repair or replacement of belongings if they are damaged or lost

Liability coverage: An additional premium covers damages done by you or your guests to the house as well as covers damages to be given to people who get injured in your house

Special coverage: By going in for a higher premium than the basic, special items such as LCD televisions, jewellery, sporting equipment etc. can be covered.

What are the benefits of tenant insurance?

  • Covers the cost of replacing his/her assets, such as clothes, appliances and furniture, in case they are stolen or destroyed.
  • Covers injuries suffered by other people or loss of their property when they were in the tenant's suite.
  • Covers additional living expenses in case a renter needs to relocate to another accommodation due to damages to the rented suite.
  • Provides cover if you accidentally cause damage to another unit.
  • Covers loss of your personal property, such as cash and jewelry, while you are traveling with the possessions.
  • Covers losses to the structure of the house and to the landlord's belongings.

What things need to be considered when going in for a tenant's insurance?

  • The cost to replace the contents of your suite.
  • Protection against liability claims.
  • Items that are expensive and need special coverage.
  • Photographs of your personal possessions.
  • The presence of a fire extinguisher and latest safety devices.
  • A roommate who is not a relative.
  • The presence of a 'home-based' business.

These are the most common points which will help you immensely while opting for the right coverage. As mentioned before, this kind of insurance is fairly common in the West. However, the possible reason that this kind of insurance is not yet available in India is because nobody has shown the need for the same. For people staying in rented accommodations, the landlord inadvertently becomes a person not to be argued with. Damages, which may be accidental, are quietly borne by the people staying in the house. Although, this mentality is slowly changing, it will be a long time till something like tenant insurance will make a foray into the Indian market. Till then, just be careful!

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