Does having a lodger affect your home insurance?

Understanding the costs as well as the benefits of taking in a lodger
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UK housing is in crisis, it has been for some time and many struggle to afford their own homes. That’s one reason that more and more people are taking in lodgers. Those that cannot afford to buy can find accommodation and property owners can share the cost of running their household.

What’s more, the Government’s Rent a Room Scheme means that live-in landlords can earn up to £7,500 tax free per year from letting out furnished lodgings.

While you could benefit financially from having a lodger in your home, you may find that there are other costs to consider. At worst, you could invalidate your home insurance if you claim and it’s discovered that you did not update your policy details.

Why does having a lodger affect insurance?

When taking out home insurance, you will have stated who lives in the property. If you take in a lodger and forget to update your cover then this could be seen as ‘non-disclosure’, meaning that your insurance could be void and won’t pay out on claims.

Other reasons why lodgers could affect your home insurance include their own circumstances, such as:

  1. Unspent criminal convictions must be declared to your insurance provider. Your lodger may be reluctant to share this information but you should ask them to sign a declaration that they haven’t got any convictions when completing the rental agreement.
  2. What a person does for a living can impact cover levels too. High risk occupations, like the military, can push up your insurance premium. Likewise, students can drive up the cost as they are typically believed to be a higher risk.
  3. Letting a room in your home means that you need to take responsibility for maintaining the property and all appliances to a certain standard. You will need to have gas and electricity safety checks carried out by a registered engineer. Any furnishings in the lodger’s room will also have to meet fire safety standards.
  4. Make sure your lodger knows that their belongings are not covered by your insurance. They will need to source separate contents insurance for personal items, like their laptop and clothes.
  5. To cover your back, you might be interested in taking out additional cover for legal expenses or missed rent. Hopefully your lodger won’t default on a payment but if they do then you’ll probably want insurance in place to cover it.
  6. You may well find that your existing insurer refuses to continue your cover when you declare that a lodger is living in the property. You can’t afford to be uninsured in these circumstances, so speak to a specialist insurance provider that offers lodgers insurance.

HomeProtect can insure numerous circumstances, including live-in landlords that have taken in lodgers. Our cover is designed to help customers find the cover that they need online. We can offer a quote online in 97% of cases; get a quote today.

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