If you’re looking to get a lodger to bring in some extra income from a spare room then you might need to consider lodger insurance, as home insurance with lodgers can be a little complicated.
Lots of home insurers do allow you to have lodgers as part of your house insurance policy but may have additional requirements within their insurance so you should check what requirements they need to provide you cover.
At Emerald Life our home insurance is very accommodating of lodgers, although we do require you to inform us if you have or are going to get lodgers in the near future as there will need to be some endorsements that may limit cover on your insurance. For example, you cannot get insurance for a lodger’s belongings, as they do not belong to you.
With Emerald, we let you have up to three lodgers at your property at no extra charge – so when you declare your lodgers in our fast online quote form they will have no impact on your premium.
Are you frustrated searching for home insurance with lodgers and having to deal with insurance companies that don’t understand you? This is why we started Emerald Life to be an insurer fit for the modern age, understanding that our customers are real diverse people with a huge range of situations that need insuring properly.
We want to end assumptions and unfriendly service so you can get the cover you need without the stress. For something as simple as lodger insurance you can get a quote online, but if you need help feel free to contact us by email or phone.
If you already have home insurance then you need to check your cover policy wording and ask your insurer if you are invalidating your insurance by taking in a lodger.
To get home insurance with lodgers at Emerald Life, simply visit our fast online quote form and when asked about lodgers answer truthfully using the dropdown.
Don’t forget that Emerald home insurance includes a number of other perks including free legal cover. Plus we also a variety of add-ons such as accidental damage cover – for damage you cause yourself – and cover away from home for valuables such as jewellery and watches.
Who Else Needs To Know?
Getting a lodger may seem like a fast way to raise some extra cash and so you might decide it’s best not to wait around. There are now plenty of websites like SpareRoom that allow you to advertise to potential lodgers for your property quickly and easily. If you’re in a high-demand area – which with average wages growth slumped behind the increase in property and rental prices is very common – you could have your room filled in a very short time.
But don’t rush in yet. There are a lot of other factors to consider before you get a lodger depending on who else is involved in your property.
Whether you can have a lodger or not depends a lot on your living situation. It is best not to make any assumptions and check with all relevant parties to make sure you are not breaking any rules. It may seem obvious but your home is where you live and it is important to have stability. So if your property is a flat, check that the lease says about short or long-term lodgers and what else you may need.
Besides the emotional value of your home, there is also the significant financial value tied up in the building as well. Don’t risk breaking your mortgage agreement or lease even if it could bring in some extra money each month.
And clearly you don’t want to invlidate your home insurance either.
- If you own your home outright then having a lodger is pretty much your choice.
- If you own your home but have a mortgage then you should inform your lender and ask if they have any requirements.
- A leasehold property – normally a flat or maisonette – should have rules about lodgers in your lease. If not you should check with your freeholder to see that they need.
Don’t forget to consider other issues like tax. If you live alone then you may lose your single occupancy council tax discount if you have a lodger.
Also consider your own income tax liability from having a lodger. You may have to register for self assessment and fill out a self-assessed tax return as income from lodgers is often taxable.
However, there are also potential tax benefits to having a lodger. The government Rent a Room scheme lets you earn up to £7500 a year if you let a furnished room. That could easily be motivation to research lodger insurance and find out what cover is right fo you.
Home Insurance With Lodgers – What is Covered?
While plenty of home insurance policies let you have lodgers without invalidating your policy, there are limits as to what is covered.
Just like landlord insurace, lodger’s contents are not covered and so if your lodger wants protection they should seek their own contents insurance separately.
Similarly, you are unlikely to be able to claim for damage caused by your lodger, or theft. Therefore you should obviously be very careful about who you decide to allow to rent a room in your home. Get a firm reference (or two) to give you some peace of mind.
However, the important thing is making sure your home insurance still stands despite having lodgers so that if you have to claim for any number of possible events that could happen regardless of having a lodger, you can still claim.
Lodger Vs Tenant
A crucial distinction to make when buying insurance is whether you have a lodger or a tenant. The difference can seem minor but also has significant implications for your home insurance.
A lodger is someone who has a room but shares the same facilities as you, such as the kitchen and bathrooms.
If you don’t live in the property then they are clearly a tenant. But if you live at the property but they don’t share any living space with you then they are a tenant.
A lodger should also not have a lock of their door or be able to stop you entering their room. These are classed as “exclusive occupation” which would make them tenants.
If you have tenants and not lodgers then you may need landlord insurance, which is a separate product we also provide at Emerald Life.
You would also then have to reconsider some of the above questions about tax, your lease and your lender if you have a mortgage as they may also have different policies depending on whether you have a lodger or a tenant.
Live in Landlord Insurance
If you are a live in landlord then make sure to consider if you have lodgers or tenants (see above). Live in landlord insurance is easy with Emerald Life and we can also cover short term lets and AirBnB situations.
Alternatively, if you are a live in landlord but you are definitely only renting to lodgers then you should be able to have a standard home insurance policy providing your insurer knows about the lodgers.