Specialist contents insurance policies

Some groups of people may be eligible for a specialist insurance policy. These policies, tailored to the lifestyle and living situation of the holder may often work out to be cheaper than the standard policies offered by most providers.

Students and Shared Accommodation

Students living in halls or sharing accommodation may be subject to much higher premiums than is necessary – especially if they share a room. Standard questions asked by policy providers, such as the number of people with access to their building and the number of non-family members living in the building with them, can make policy premiums rocket. Most standard policies only pay out for theft of an item if the doors and windows of the property are properly locked at all times, something a student in a shared house or in halls may not be able to guarantee.

Because of this unusual arrangement some firms offer specialist student insurance policies. These offer cover that is not only cheaper but also tailored to student life. Items such as laptops stolen or damaged while on college property may be covered as well as theft from “walk ins” through an unlocked door. Unlike most standard policies a student policy may allow you to insure only the items within your own room so that you do not end up paying for your housemates as well as yourself. Policies covering only one room usually have a set amount of cover for items damaged or lost while outside of your room for example a DVD collection kept in a shared living room or cooking equipment kept in the kitchen.

However policies tailored to students will have exceptions like any other policy. One common example of this is that items left in a room unoccupied for a certain number of days, for example over the holiday period, may not be covered under the terms of the policy so be sure to leave the small print before leaving valuables in your room over summer.

Older Residents

Homeowners and tenants over the age of 50 may be eligible for discounts on their home insurance, in the same way as is offered by some car insurance firms. The basis behind this is that older residents generally cause less damage to their properties and so make fewer claims on their policies. This fact can help to bring policy premiums down and if combined with a significant “no claims bonus” it could lead to large savings on your policy premium.

Shop around between the offers made my more traditional policy providers and the policies provided by specialist insurers to make sure you find the best deal for your contents insurance. And remember to get any antiques valued separately. An old painting in the attic may end up being worth more than you think and it’s important that everything in your home, even items in storage, is valued and insured for the correct amount.

Flats and Apartments

If you are living in a home that makes up part of an apartment complex or a block of flats you may have some additional considerations to make when purchasing contents insurance. Specialist insurers will take situations that do not apply to other types of property into account: for example theft from your property by a tenant or the previous tenants of the flat sill having keys to the property. Firstly check your insurer’s views on shared entrances to your building, there may be hidden clauses that either raise or invalidate your policy if people who aren’t members of your household have access to the main entrance of your building. On the other hand apartment complexes that have a doorman on duty may be eligible for reduced rates under some specialist policies so it is vital that you consider all the options in order to get the best deal.

When living in a shared building it is not just your property that is at risk but also that of others. It is possible that an overflowing bath or broken washing machine in your property may leak through the ceiling of the flat below and cause damage to a third party’s possessions. For this reason liability insurance is important when living in this kind of arrangement. Liability insurance will cover the cost of this damage and may also cover any legal action taken against you.

Contents Insurance for Landlords

As a landlord you will be required to have buildings insurance for the property you rent out in addition to many other types of specialist insurance policies such as rent guarantee insurance and public liability insurance. It is often considered the tenant’s responsibility to insure their own contents but despite this their insurance may not cover the items their home has been provided with.

If renting to students they may insure their computing equipment and DVD collections but they may not account for the sofas or beds that furnish the property and curtains and carpets may not seem as important to them as making sure they are covered if their bike gets stolen. Because of this it may be advisable to have a minimum level of contents insurance for your property to cover the items that you would need to replace in the event of a disaster such as flood or fire. Specialist providers may offer cover that includes only the basic furnishings of your home leaving you covered whether or not your tenants take out their own insurance policies or not.