Renter's insurance: A couple unpacking many moving boxes

Renters: protect your possessions with tenant’s insurance

The rental market across Australia continues to feel the lingering presence of prolonged lockdowns, and Victoria is certainly no exception. With opportunities in some areas to rent at cheaper prices, Aussies are choosing to take advantage while they can. If you’re one of the opportunists thinking of snatching up a bargain, make sure you don’t skimp on renter’s insurance. As a renter, insurance can cover your personal assets and certain liabilities, which won’t be protected through your landlord’s property insurance. When you take out tenant’s insurance, you’ll get the peace of mind from a safety net that protects you if something goes wrong.

Australia’s current rental market

Falling rental prices in specific areas across Australia comes down to a decrease in demand as well as an increase in supply. With less international tourists and domestic travellers, a large number of short-term rental providers have shifted their properties onto the long-term rental market.

Rental vacancies have increased sharply in some markets, with CBD vacancies in both Melbourne and Sydney remaining elevated. Melbourne’s endured lockdown has caused the city to be hit particularly hard with border closures, declaring it the worst city to be a landlord in 2020.

Why is renter’s insurance important?

If you’re about to rent a property, don’t just assume that your landlord will cover for any accidents or damages related to your contents. It’s your responsibility as a renter to take steps to protect your own belongings and ensure they’re properly insured.

Tenant’s insurance exists to protect your assets if they’re stolen, damaged or destroyed due to a range of events like theft, fire or wind. Without cover, you’ll find it more challenging to land back on your feet after an unexpected incident knocks you down. If your rental home becomes uninhabitable as a result of a covered peril, your renter’s insurance policy will pay expenses above and beyond your usual living expenses.

Getting adequate rental cover

With renter’s insurance, the cost of replacing or repairing your items will be covered, but make sure you pay close attention to the exclusions and limits of your policy.

Before taking out a policy, take the time to precisely estimate the total value of your possessions to ensure you’re suitably covered. You can use a contents calculator to get more accurate results.

Once you’ve obtained your renters insurance, you’ll still need to keep a detailed record of your belongings – just in case you ever need to make a claim. Hold on tight to things like receipts, photos and valuations, as they could be necessary to verify any losses and support your claims.

How will renters be compensated?

Depending on your insurance provider, a successful claim could mean that your insurer will either repair or replace your damaged belongings, or pay you the amount it would cost for you to repair or replace them. Most providers will offer ‘new for old’ replacement on your covered items – meaning that the full cost of the item is considered, and your belongings will be replaced with new ones.

Other providers might offer the value of your lost or damaged belongings by looking at what the item is worth at the time it’s insured. This could mean that the cost of replacement for you is higher, because you would be paying for a new item after only being compensated for an older one.

What won’t be covered with renter’s insurance?

It’s important to know that renter’s insurance will very rarely cover damage to your personal property for some specific perils, such as natural disasters, pests and items belonging to roommates. These could be covered in specific add-ons if you pay extra, so it’s important to determine your particular risks and consider all of your options.

Hassle-free tenant’s and renter’s insurance

At Western General Insurance, we work to take the headache and hassle out of your insurance and give you peace of mind. Our renter’s insurance policies make sure that you have a safety net in place if things go wrong, so that you can enjoy your new home from the get-go. Contact us today for more information or to get your free quote.