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Housing Insurance For a Shared House

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 2 May 2016 | comments*Discuss
 
Consumer Rights Shared Housed Tenant

Many people are often unsure about insurance when it comes to shared houses or flats. It doesn’t matter whether you’re one of those renting or the owner they stand in a different category to single-family or single-person residences.

The problem is that you’re putting together a group of people in a dwelling who often don’t really know each other, and who might have different views on security, safety and property.That can affect both the other renters and also the owner, who’s taking a big chance. It often means relatively hefty security deposits, which can cover damage, negligence, as well as renters who leave without paying the rent.

Renters

Each renter needs insurance for their contents, their possessions, within the shared dwelling. However, a renter might find that companies are reluctant to offer quotes. The reason for that is that they see it as a much greater risk – after all, you’re sharing the place with other who might not be honest, which means theft becomes more likely, not only from the other residents, but from their visitors.

What you might find, if you’re trying to obtain insurance, is that companies will only offer coverage for theft where there’s evidence of forced entry – meaning that if your housemates or their visitors steal from you, you won’t be able to make a claim.

Even where you can get a quote, you may well find it’s quite high for a limited amount of cover, and some insurers recommend insuring computers, mobile phones, etc. under separate policies. One thing you will find is that if your have a laptop and take it with you, you’re covered for theft on it anywhere in the UK, however, which is a plus.

As a renter, you don’t need to worry about coverage for the building (that’s the responsibility of the owner). But you should make sure that the coverage you buy is enough to replace your contents if the case of theft, fire or flood. You should also pay attention to any deductible – that’s the amount you have to pay before the insurance kicks in. The bigger the deductible, the lower the premium, as a general rule, but you need to strike a good balance between the two, in case you do need to make a claim.

Owners

As with any property, you’ll need insurance for a rental house you own. It will be a condition of your mortgage (and some might require mortgage insurance, too), and you should make sure you have ample coverage.

When looking for insurance, you should disclose that the property will be used as shared accommodation. Many insurers will see it as a greater risk, meaning increased premiums (some companies might not even want to offer a quote), but that comes with the territory, unfortunately.

Investigate thoroughly before you take out insurance, to make sure you’re receiving the best coverage at the best price, with the balance between premium and deductible. You also want to be sure, if you make a claim, that the company you’re dealing with processes it quickly, rather than erecting stumbling blocks – after all, if your property isn’t occupied with tenants, it’s costing you money.

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ADAM - Your Question:
Hi there, I wanted to ask in the case of a succession of council property from my late father to myself, I have been told I am liable for any arrears on the rent account, I am okay with this however when I asked about whether I accrue my late fathers Right to Buy discounts I was told I am only able to claim for the amount of years I myself have accrued at the address. Is this True? or am I entitled to claim my late fathers accrued discount ? Thanks regards Dean

Our Response:
Yes if you succeed a tenancy you are responsible for the arrears. As for the right to buy question, we can't find a definitive answer to this one - some councils that say only named tenants have the right to buy, so you will need to build up your time as a tenant to acquire the right to buy and associated discount. Other council information seems to be that you acquire the right to buy when you succeed. We'll keep researching and let you know. If any local authority housing officers are reading this, perhaps you can let us know for sure.
ConsumerRightsExpert - 5-May-16 @ 11:07 AM
Hi there, I wanted to ask in the case of a succession of council property from my late father to myself, I have been told I am liable for any arrears on the rent account, I am okay with this however when I asked about whether I accrue my late fathers Right to Buy discounts I was told I am only able to claim for the amount of years I myself have accrued at the address. Is this True? or am I entitled to claim my late fathers accrued discount ? Thanks regards Dean
ADAM - 2-May-16 @ 7:15 PM
@cazza. We're sorry but we cannot recommend specific insurance companies here.
ConsumerRightsExpert - 30-Jan-15 @ 2:19 PM
Good morning could you give me some recommended house insurance providers for house sharing insurance for my son and daughter, please as havering phoned a couple of insurers realise that no everyone does this type of insuranc.I look forward to hearing from you. Regards Carolyn Moyle
Cazza - 29-Jan-15 @ 10:49 AM
Most renters will find coverage of £40,000 to be standard, and you're not likely to need more than that. You should probably make the insurance company aware of any special items, such as valuable collections, although these days there's no need to inform them of computers unless you have several. Opt for the lowest deductible you can afford, so you won't be out of pocket too much if your possessions are stolen or damaged. If you live in a flood area, make sure your items are covered for that.
Tom - 2-Jul-12 @ 12:46 PM
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