If you’re living in a shared house, you might assume that your things are covered if the property is burgled or there’s a fire, but that’s not always the case.
That’s why it’s important to check with your landlord whether your belongings are protected in the event they are damaged, destroyed or stolen. If they aren’t, you should consider getting your own policy.
There are insurance policies out there if you live with other people, but they may cost you more and you might need to have certain features to qualify.
Covering you or your housemates
Usually you’ll be able to choose whether you want just your own belongings protected, or if you want to enter into a household policy.
This will depend on the relationship you have with your housemates. If they are all your close friends, it might be worth chipping in for a group policy that protects all of your belongings from fire, theft, vandalism, weather-related damage and other things out of your control like burst pipes.
If you live with people you don’t know very well, or you’re in shared student halls, you might want to look at just insuring your own belongings separately. This can be easier to sort out, but you might need to meet certain demands. For example, you might need to have a door that locks from the outside so only key-holders can access it. Some insurers will refuse to cover you if your room doesn’t have a lock, as your belongings are less secure.
With shared house contents insurance, you may find that there are certain exclusions to what’s covered. Things like musical instruments and bicycles are more difficult to insure, so you may have to take out an extra level of cover for them. Similarly, you might have to pay to be covered for accidental damage and you may not be able to get any money if your belongings are stolen but there’s no sign that someone forced their way into your home.
This is why you must read the terms of your policy before paying for it, as you may not realise some of the things you’re not covered for.
Guard your gadgets
Often, our gadgets are some of the most expensive items we own, so it may be worth insuring these separately. Things like laptops, mobile phones and tablets can be worth more than just their cash value to us, and they’re often not included in a standard contents insurance policy.
It’s a good idea to shop around for an attractive gadget insurance deal here. This is especially true if you live in a shared house or in student halls, as there’s a higher-than-average number of people all in one space, each likely to own several expensive gadgets. This can make accommodation like this attractive to thieves looking to make some quick cash.
Contents insurance might not seem like a must-have when you’re in a shared house, but ask yourself whether you can afford to replace – or do without – your belongings if something happens to them. If you can’t, contents insurance is definitely worth looking into.