Insurance for your share house

on 16 February 2016 by Fred Schebesta - Finder.com.au

Living in shared accommodation and struggling to find contents insurance?

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Well, you’re not alone. The reality is, most insurers will either decline to cover those living in a shared house, or attach extra exclusions to the policy – however, all is not lost.

It can be difficult to locate an insurer willing to provide you with the protection you require, and while it’s highly unlikely you’ll be compensated if your housemate decides to steal your hair straightener as revenge for your inability to remember bin night, there are insurers prepared to provide contents or renter’s insurance for shared accommodation.

To save you from having to consult another confusing forum or contact another insurer only to be met with an inevitable ‘no’, we’ve made a couple of calls for you. We’ve weeded out the insurers who’ll deny your request, we’ve asked what you’d have had to and we’ve compiled some information that’ll (hopefully) make your sharehouse experience a little more comfortable.

Typically, renter’s insurance will cover frozen produce, artwork, collections, stationary equipment, entertainment devices, money, jewelry, minerals of worth (such as precious stones) and tools of trade. However, a claim on these items won’t be granted if being made due to negligence, if have been subject to general wear and tear, if due to a power surge or if the result of electrical/mechanical breakdown.

The items you intend to insure need to be well documented ­ so gather up any receipts, take detailed dated photos, record warranties and brands … the more you record, the easier it will be to receive a refund if your items are stolen (by someone other than your housemate/s) or damaged (by someone other than your housemate/s).

Unlike your bin situation, one housemate doesn’t have to rely on the other to organise insurance. Although less common, there are options available that allow for individual cover. Separate policies per household afford you the ability to protect your own items, without having to convince another party to chip in.

The majority of insurers offering cover for shared houses, however, require all housemates take out cover. This situation increases in difficulty if you’re living with more than three non­related others.

Remember, conditions vary considerably depending on your situation, and in order to prevent your policy from being declared invalid, it’s in your best interest to disclose as much information as possible. So while contents insurance won’t protect your from a vengeant housemate, it is accessible in a share house situation and unless you can afford to replace the majority of your items in the case of theft or fire, it’s worth exploring the options available to you in your specific situation.

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  • Fred Schebesta - Finder.com.au
  • support@flatmates.com.au
  • Fred Schebesta is the Co-founder and Director of finder.com.au, a website that helps Australians compare credit cards, savings accounts, home loans, personal loans, travel insurance, life insurance, shopping deals and more.