Which insurance policies must a tenant take out?

Are you renting a house or an apartment? Then it is not enough to pay the monthly rent correctly, and you also have to be in order with the insurance.

The tenant must pay some insurances in a renting apartment or house, others by the landlord. This article explains how it works.

Is tenant or landlord liable?

In some countries, like European countries, you as a tenant are obliged to take out insurance for your liability against fire and water damage. In many African countries, such an obligation does not apply unless it is of course, imposed in the contract with the owner.

If, as a tenant, you leave the tap open, causing the parquet to warp or causing damage to an underlying apartment, you are liable. The same applies if your pan on the fire causes a fire and the house or apartment is damaged. The owner must be insured for damage caused by the building itself – for example, a chimney falling in.

As a tenant, you can also fulfill your insurance obligation by including coverage for any liability in the owner’s insurance.

Distance of story

The same goes for your waiver clause. This means that the landlord (or his insurer) can no longer turn against you as a tenant, should a claim occur. The owner is then immediately sure that the insurance has actually been paid. He can also pass on the part of his insurance premium that relates to this waiver of recourse to you.

However, that way out is not without danger. The waiver of recourse only applies to the owner-lessor and his insurer, not to third parties. Is a fire caused by you, causing damage to a neighbor? Then the tenant still remains financially liable to that neighbor. In that case, damage to the tenant’s property is also not covered if he is held responsible for the fire.

In addition to fire insurance, there are other insurance policies that are not mandatory but can be useful for you as a tenant. Consider, for example, a legal assistance policy, which you can rely on in a legal dispute with your landlord.

Student room

A specific situation is renting a student room. If a student is still domiciled with his parents, then he is covered by the fire insurance that his parents have taken out. Are you a student? Make sure to check whether this is also the case with you. Also, check carefully if there are any restrictions and exclusions.

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