Long-term renters are on the rise and about two million Australian households now rent their homes - a figure that has almost doubled in the past 30 years.
Regardless of their rental situation, all renters face the issue of how to safeguard their treasured possessions while they’re in a home they don't own and may share.
Yet research for the Insurance Council of Australia’s understandinsurance.com.au website has found that 74 per cent of renters don’t have contents insurance, compared with just 7 per cent of homeowners.
However, renters are twice as likely to need to make a claim for theft or burglary.
Here’s how contents insurance for renters stacks up – and why you should consider it.
1. Your landlord is not responsible for loss or damage to your property
It’s a common myth amongst renters that your landlord covers your personal belongings but in actual fact, your landlord is only responsible for the property you're renting.
So if you’re unfortunate enough to experience some unexpected circumstances like a fire, flood or burglary and you don’t have contents insurance, you’ll be paying to replace your belongings out of your own pocket.
2. Renting for longer means more accumulated assets
If you've been renting for a while, you probably have quite a lot of stuff.
In fact, as you get older it’s only natural that you’ll accumulate assets.
Consider if you could still move your house contents in the back of your car?
If not then it's likely that to replace it all would cost a fair amount.
3. Your assets are probably worth more than you think
If you’re a long-term renter then you may underestimate the value of your belongings.
It’s easy to add up the cost of bigger items like the couch or fridge, but how about all the smaller items (of which there are many) – your clothes and shoes, bed linen, kitchen utensils and jewellery for example.
Most people are surprised to find out how much it amounts to.
Research shows that renters who have just moved out of home have about $15K's worth of furniture and belongings.
Plus you may have things that have become collectors items that are worth much more than when you bought them.
Kate Fielder, 35 has been renting in and around Newcastle since she left home 11 years ago.
“You just need to think about all the things you own and how much it would really cost to replace them all – think about the furniture you’ve bought, electronics and home entertainment you’ve invested in over the years.
It really does add up.”
TIP: Use a tool, such as a Home Contents Calculator, to help you get an idea as to the amount you should be insured for.
4. Contents insurance is relatively inexpensive
Contents insurance for someone renting could be as low as $5 a week.
For Kate Fielder her monthly premiums are, “less than what I spend on coffee a month, plus I get the peace of mind that everything at home is protected – it seems like a fair pay off.
As I’ve gotten older and own more things it’s far from a luxury – it’s a necessity.”
Be prepared for (almost) anything
Taking out a renter’s contents insurance policy means that you have the peace of mind that your belongings are covered – if the worst should happen.
So secure your financial future against the unexpected like natural disasters, storms, fire and even animal damage.
Whatever life has planned for you, you won’t be out of pocket.