Home contents insurance for council tenants

Home contents insurance for council tenants

Chesterfield Borough Council does not insure your home contents (the possessions you would take with you if you moved home) as part of your tenancy agreement.

Would you replace your precious possessions if your home was burgled or you had a burst pipe? Or, if you had a fire in your home, could you afford to replace your furniture out of your own pocket?

Accidents in the home do happen and dealing with the damage can cost a lot of money. We therefore strongly advise our tenants to insure the contents of their home by taking out home contents insurance.

Tenants are reminded to check their smoke alarms regularly. This is the easiest way to protect your home and family from fire is with a smoke alarm. More information on smoke alarms is available from Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service. 

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Protect your home this winter

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What is an escape of water claim?

'Escape of water' is how insurers describe an incident where water has leaked from the mains supply, which includes water escaping from a washing machine, dishwasher, or central heating system.

Escape of water is a common home insurance claim. Unfortunately, even the smallest leak can cause significant damage to your home.

Here are some tips to help protect your property and prevent further damage when you suffer a leak:

  • turn off the main water supply to stop the flow of water
  • turn off the power and avoid using electrical appliances, get in touch with an electrician first if there is any safety risk
  • contact us and report the leak as soon as possible
  • place buckets or towels to catch dripping water and prevent further spread
  • take photos or videos of the leak and any damage to support any insurance claim

Is escape of water the same as flooding?

Escape of water and flooding have different causes, which is why insurance companies distinguish between them.

Floods are caused by an external water source, for instance a river bursting its banks or heavy rainfall may lead to flooding. This can be destructive and can cause widespread damage to homes.

Unfortunately, in the UK and the cold winters, tenants and residents could suffer escape and water and flooding, and that is why it’s worth considering home contents insurance. 

Our Home Contents Insurance Scheme offers cover for damage to your home contents and belongings in the events of an escape of water or flood, and other perils.

As gifts may be stacking up under the tree, so may the total value of the contents inside your home.

Our Home Contents Insurance Scheme automatically increases the contents sum insured by £1,500, or 15% of the sum insured (whichever is greater), for loss or damage to gifts bought, for one month before and one month after Christmas Day.

Top tips for keeping your home safe at Christmas:

  • where possible avoid leaving presents in an unattended vehicle. If you must, then make sure that they are out of sight in a locked boot 
  • when putting presents under the Christmas tree, make sure that they are not easily visible from the outside, or store away somewhere safe 
  • think twice about what you post on social media -avoid details of expensive presents, and do not advertise if you are going away over the festive period and leaving your home unoccupied 
  • if you are going away over the Christmas period, make sure your home is left secure. If possible, ask a trusted neighbour or friend to keep an eye out 
  • even if only popping round to the neighbours for a festive tipple, always lock your front door 
  • secure any outbuildings or sheds, as they may store tools that could be used to break into your home 

We hope that you will never suffer a theft or break-in, but these things do happen and that is why we suggest all tenants and residents take out home contents insurance, either through our scheme or by making your own arrangements.  

Please remember it is your responsibility for insuring your home contents and belongings against fire, theft, flood, and vandalism. 

Pay As You Go Home Contents Insurance

The council offers a home contents insurance scheme for its tenants and for an additional premium you can also insure against accidental damage to your possessions.

The scheme is very easy to join – you can just call 01246 345467 or email insurance@chesterfield.gov.uk for more information.

About the scheme

We have teamed up with Thistle Tenant Risks who provide specialist Tenants Contents Insurance policies. 

The scheme is a specialist insurance scheme provided by Thistle Tenant Risks and all tenants living in social and affordable housing are eligible to apply.

The scheme can offer you insurance for the contents of your home including cover for items such as furniture, carpets, curtains, clothes, bedding, electrical items, jewellery, pictures and ornaments.

Payments for the insurance are made weekly with your rent.

Please remember - if you have arranged your household insurance through the council, your insurance policy may be cancelled if your rent account goes into arrears.

Why choose Pay As You Go Home Contents Insurance?

  • no excess (you don’t pay the first part of the claim)
  • covers theft, water damage, fire and many more household risks
  • covers tenants improvements (up to £2000 or 20% of the sum insured, whichever is the greatest)
  • covers theft or attempted theft of contents in sheds, outbuildings and garages (up to £3,000)
  • covers damage to external glazing for which you are responsible
  • covers replacement and installation of locks for outside doors or windows and alarms, if keys are lost or stolen
  • you don’t need to have special door or window locks (just a lockable front door)

Who is this policy for?

Thistle Tenant Risks Contents Insurance has been designed to meet the demands and needs of social housing residents looking to purchase home contents insurance and Thistle have approached a single insurer Ageas Insurance Limited. The cover is subject to the terms, conditions, limitations and exclusions contained in the policy wording document, which you should read carefully.

If you are unsure whether this insurance policy is right for you please contact Chesterfield Borough Council.

How do I apply and get further information?

If you’d like to apply for home contents insurance, you can do so by completing an application form or by calling Chesterfield Borough Council on 01246 345467. Prior to completing the application form, please review the Important Customer Information Document and Insurance Product Information Document. These documents give you important information on your rights and how we deal with you and your insurance and key information regarding the insurance cover. 

All relevant documents can be found at the bottom of this page.

Please note that the insurance policy provided is arranged on a non-advised basis. This means that you will be provided with the key information to be able to make an informed decision on which cover is appropriate for your needs.

What to do if you have a complaint

Chesterfield Borough Council always aim to get things right first time and we are committed to ensuring that we achieve the highest level of service for our customers. If you feel this hasn’t happened, we would like to hear about it so that we have an opportunity to put things right for you and to improve our service in the future.

Contact us if you have a complaint about the sale or service of your insurance policy: 

Chesterfield Borough Council Insurance Team
Town Hall
Rose Hill
S40 1LP
Phone: 01246 345467
Email: insurance@chesterfield.gov.uk 

Alternatively, a copy of Thistle's complaints procedure is available below. 

Thistle Tenant Risks is a trading style of Thistle Insurance Services Limited. Thistle Insurance Services Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority FRN 310419. Registered in England under No. 00338645. Registered office: Rossington’s Business Park, West Carr Road, Retford, Nottinghamshire, DN22 7SW. Thistle Insurance Services Ltd is part of the PIB Group.

Please note 

The council is not responsible for insuring your personal belongings or furniture – it is your responsibility to take out home contents insurance.

The council is under no obligation to provide compensation or financial assistance in the event of an accident, disaster or theft from your home.

If our documents are not accessible to you, you can request a different format here.
Application form - Pay As You Go Home Contents Insurance PDF (PDF 928 KB)
Policy wording - Pay As You Go Home Contents Insurance PDF (PDF 961 KB)
Important Customer Information Document PDF (PDF 126 KB)
Insurance Product Information Document PDF (PDF 63 KB)
Thistle Insurance Services Complaints Policy PDF (PDF 114 KB)


Last updated on 02 October 2023