Tenants need to insure their own belongings

Tenants often labour under a misconception that their personal belongings are covered under their landlord’s insurance cover for the property.

So says Berry Everitt, CEO of the Chas Everitt International property group, who notes that the confusion usually arises because the insurance policy on the property owner’s bricks-and-mortar may well cover damage to a tenant’s belongings if that damage is caused by something that went wrong with the building itself – a burst geyser, for example.

“However, damage caused by any other event, such as a storm, or loss through theft, will not be covered and tenants need to know that for such instances they need to have their own household insurance.”

But, he says, before signing up for an insurance policy, they should:

  • Get at least three quotes from different companies so that they can compare apples with apples and choose the best cover, for the most reasonable monthly premiums, and with the lowest excess payments in case of claims.
  • Be very honest about the value of the goods they are insuring – if their estimate is too high, they are going to pay higher premiums than necessary, and if too low, any claim will only be proportionally paid out.
  • Make sure what will be excluded from the cover and which items will have to be included in the “all-risks” section. All-risks items usually include goods that are often taken out of the home, such as cell phones, sunglasses or golf clubs.
  • Check that possessions will be covered if they often go away for work or on holiday. Some policies will not pay out if the home is unoccupied for more than 30 days a year.

Article by: www.harcourts.co.za