Housemates behaving badly can set Brits back £4600

11 May 2020

More than half of house sharers (58%) have found themselves out of pocket as a result of their housemates’ habits, according to new research from Halifax.

From everyday slip-ups like staining the carpet, to potentially more hazardous situations like leaving a candle unattended, horror housemates can set Brits back as much as £4,600.

Two in three people who share their home admit their housemates have caused damage at one point or another. One in five (19%) have battled with blocked toilets and sinks, whilst others have dealt with damaged furniture (15%) or the walls needing a fresh paint job (13%).

In the current climate, homes have never been so in use. In some instances, this has encouraged the purchase of new equipment; from dumbbells for fitness fanatics to tablets for school children. However, more than a third (36%) of house sharers don’t have contents insurance to protect their belongings at home.

Almost a third (31%) feel they don’t need the cover and more than one in four think it is too much of an expense (28%). The average value of home contents for people sharing is £2,864 per home – yet a quarter (24%) don’t think they have the valuables to justify taking out insurance.

Tim Downes, Senior Claims Manager, Halifax Home Insurance, said:

“Most people are spending more time indoors and adjusting to using front rooms as offices, classrooms and even gyms.  

“Sharing your home with others often means there are more personal items in one household which may be of material or sentimental value. Despite this, more than a third of house sharers don’t have insurance to protect their belongings in the event of accidental damage. There are a few simple actions worth taking to protect the belongings of those living under one roof at this time.”

Tops tips from Halifax Home Insurance on handling house shares:

  • What counts as contents? - Contents are those items you would normally pack up and put in a removal van if you moved home, so any fixed items such as built in wardrobes or built in kitchen appliances would be covered under buildings insurance. For renters, buildings insurance is the responsibility of the landlord and it is worth noting that this does not cover your personal belongings.
  • Do the maths – It’s important to have an awareness of the total value of your personal possessions in order to select appropriate cover and also, whether you are prepared to cover your individual belongings or your housemates’ too. Most traditional contents insurance policies tend to cover between £75,000 - £100,000 as standard but for some people, this may be beyond what they require. For example, those renting may opt for a specific renters’ insurance to protect contents up to a lower amount, such as £10,000.
  • The devil is in the detail - When completing checklists for contents insurance it’s important to record as much detail as you can and to update your list each time you purchase something of value to you. To help with proof of ownership you need to remember to keep receipts, corresponding documents and potentially photographs and videos of items.
  • Cover on the go - Use add-ons to improve your levels of protection such as Anywhere Cover. This addition provides up to £10,000 of extra cover for up to 5 selected items for when you’re on holiday or simply on the go against accidental damage, theft or loss. Meaning that your treasured belongings are safe both in the house and when you’re out and about.