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To the tenant

How to insure your belongings as a tenant? 

Insuring your own home is self-evident, however even when living in a leased space you should think seriously about insurance matters.

As a tenant it is definitely reasonable to insure your belongings, i.e. the movable. There is no need to ask the landlord’s permission for that. However, if the leased apartment is not covered with home insurance and you as a tenant wish to sign it, you should have consent of the owner.  The obligation to insure the leased space can be foreseen with the lease contract and this can be considered as a written consent of the owner.

If the apartment owner has already insured the apartment and you as a tenant insure only your own belongings, there will be no need to fear double coverage, since the insurance covers different assets. In case of an insured event, the indemnity shall be paid to the owner of the assets, e.g. in case the belongings in the apartment were stolen, you, as the owner of the belongings will receive the indemnity, however if also the interior of the apartment was damaged during the break-in, this will be indemnified to the owner of the apartment. This goes also for other damages – everything that concerns the interior, walls, floors, of the apartment and such, shall be compensated for to the owner and damages to the movable, that is the belongings, to the tenant. If you as a tenant insure both, the apartment as well as the movable inside, the insurance cover will compensate for the damage to the apartment to the owner of the apartment and damage to the movable to you as the owner of the assets. It is not necessary to specify in the lease contract to whom what is indemnified.

Besides insuring your household property, you as a tenant should also think about liability insurance. Under liability insurance, damages accidentally caused to third persons by you will be compensated. Damages shall be compensated if caused through your fault and/or if you are liable for the incurrence of the damage in accordance with the law. An ordinary event under liability insurance would be for example, when a tenant by accident leaves the water in the bathroom running in the leased apartment, as a result of which the overflowing water damages the apartments downstairs. In this case the tenant has to compensate for the damages to the below neighbours.

What you as a tenant should observe:

  • Background. First, ask from the owner about the insurance of the apartment, such as, whether only the apartment is insured or just the assets inside. There is nothing worse than discovering after an accident that the entire cost is to be borne by you.  
  • Agreement. Agree on who will be responsible for which damages. It is reasonable for a tenant to cover damages caused by its own activity, e.g. the consequences of a water accident caused by leaving the tap open. The owner however will assume the responsibility, if the problem starts from the condition of the apartment, such as bad wiring.  
  • Neighbours. Please keep in mind that also the damages caused to your neighbours have to be compensated. If your washing machine causes flooding and damages the ceiling of the apartment downstairs, the injured party shall be entitled to turn to the owner and the latter in turn to you. In this case, the liability insurance would be helpful. 
  • Everyday use. The responsibility for ensuring that the apartment is used pursuant to the rules lies with the actual resident of the apartment. This means that checking the smoke detector is the concern of you as the tenant!  
  • Your belongings. If you are living in a leased apartment that basically contains your own property, you should definitely think about insuring it.  

How much do the household property and liability insurance cost? 

Example: 

Household property EUR 6,400
Excess EUR 100
Total risk insurance
Monthly premium ca EUR 2 

Liability insurance EUR 7,000
Excess EUR 100
Monthly premium ca EUR 1.3

When insuring the movable, the minimum sum insured is EUR 6400 and for liability insurance EUR 4,000.

If you wish to insure your household property together with liability insurance, you need to know the address of the covered place for calculating the premium and concluding the contract, since this insurance is tied to the specific location, where you live.