We insure all our buildings against the usual risks. However, our buildings insurance covers the structure itself and the fittings (such as sinks or heating systems) that we provide. It doesn’t cover anything in the house that you own, or any alterations to the house (such as laminate flooring) that you may have chosen to install.

However, we don’t provide insurance for your own belongings. We strongly advise you to take out a ‘house contents’ insurance policy to cover them against risks such as fire, water damage or theft. Please bear in mind that anything that you have fitted – such as laminate flooring – won’t be covered by our insurance and, if it is damaged (say, by a water leak) your insurance company would need to meet the replacement cost.

You can also obtain insurance cover for accidental damage, for example if you accidentally spilled something on a sofa, leaving a permanent mark.

House contents insurance, despite its name, can also be extended to cover items that you use outside the home, such as a bicycle. However, you will need to check that such items are covered by the policy. You may also need to notify the insurance company of any particularly valuable items, such as a laptop or a particularly expensive television set, so that they can list them separately on the policy.

This kind of insurance needn’t be expensive and is, in our opinion, almost essential. We’re not allowed to give you detailed advice on the policies available, but there are many websites which allow you to compare what they offer. You may also be able to arrange insurance through a local insurance broker, a bank or other outlet. Some policies are tailored especially for housing association tenants.