Expats in rentals urged to get home content insurance

Published:  13 Sep at 6 PM
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Given the soaring cost as well as the legal difficulties of owning a home in expat relocation destinations, renting is now the most popular option.

Expats arriving overseas for a stint at their employer’s international office almost invariably opt for renting an apartment or house, hopefully for the duration of their relocation but more normally on a short-term lease. However, many believe the owner’s house insurance policy will cover any unforeseen damage to their contents. Unfortunately, most rental contracts in popular destinations worldwide put insurance of their property and goods firmly on the side of the tenant.

Traditionally, home content insurances provide cover for loss and accidental damage and also include cover for renters’ legal liabilities in the case of third-party accidental injury or death. Most rental contracts aimed at expats hold tenants responsible for furnishings and fixed installations in the property, and the landlord’s insurance policy, whatever it covers, will only pay out to the policyholder. Also important for tenants is third-party insurance against accidental injury, known as personal indemnity cover.

Given the above, it’s only sensible for expats to arrange contents and indemnity insurance immediately the rental contract is signed. Cover should include all contents as well as personal liability in the case of accidental injury or property damage. If you’re travelling as part of your job, extending the insurance to cover valuables and personal belongings worldwide is a good idea, and separate insurance for valuables such as jewellery and watches can also be included a an extra. Taking care to estimate the value of your possessions rather than just taking out the insurance with the cheapest quote is sensible, as is checking the insurer’s benefit limits as against your potential losses in the worst scenario.
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