With a deposit to find, rent and bills to pay, it is easy to overlook contents insurance.
It isn't compulsory to insure your belongings, but it is usually a good idea. You might not think you own many personal possessions, but their value can soon add up. Do you have a television, an iPod, a laptop computer, a DVD collection, a mobile phone? Also, how much would it cost to replace all of your stuff if it was stolen or damaged by fire?
Contents insurance for tenants covers your possessions against loss or damage by fire, smoke, lightening, theft, flood and escape of water and oil. It does not only cover personal belongings, but also typically includes any furniture and electrical items such as washing machines and tumble dryers - even your bicycle.
However, different insurers offer different policies. Some, for example, will not insure your contents if you live in shared accommodation, such as a student house. Others might refuse to quote if you rent a property that is already furnished.
Don't confuse contents with buildings insurance, which covers the structure of the building and is the responsibility of the landlord.
If you buy only basic contents insurance for tenants, it will usually be cheaper than a policy that offers wider cover. But some added extras might well be worth the added premium. You can extend your policy to cover your personal possessions when you take them out of your home e.g. your mobile phone, iPod or camera. The extra cover shouldn't be too expensive and will buy you peace of mind.
Most insurers will also agree to insure your own and your landlords contents against accidental damage - and the cover can be very useful. If you include accidental damage, your insurance would pay out if, for example, you spilt paint on the landlord's carpet. You would not only save yourself the expense of a new carpet but would also safeguard your deposit.