Can I get renter's insurance if I live in a share house?
If you're living in shared accommodation and need contents insurance, you may struggle to find an insurer willing to offer you the protection you need.
However, all is not lost. There are home insurers out there that will provide people living in share accommodation with insurance cover, although there may be a couple of caveats. Conditions vary considerably when it comes to share-houses and the partial leasing of your home to a tenant. You should check with your insurer about the specific conditions of your policy before letting out a room or taking out a policy.
Who offers cover for share houses?
Finding cover for a share house can be tricky. The conditions surrounding share accommodation can be confusing and, often, the specific details are not listed in the product disclosure statement (PDS). So we contacted several Australian home insurance brands and asked them to answer the most important questions for house sharers:
Can I get cover for individual contents or does the policy have to be taken out for the entire household?
|Woolworths||The policy covers all tenants|
|Youi||The policy covers all tenants|
|AAMI||You can get individual cover|
|Allianz||The policy covers all tenants|
|Australian Unity||The policy covers all tenants|
|CGU||The policy covers all tenants|
|GIO||You can get individual cover|
Is there a maximum number of unrelated people that can live in the home?
|Woolworths||Maximum of three (3) unrelated people|
|Youi||Maximum of three (3) unrelated people|
|AAMI||No maximum listed (unable to confirm)|
|Allianz||Maximum of three (3) unrelated people|
|Australian Unity||Maximum of three (3) unrelated people|
|CGU||Maximum of two (2) unrelated people|
|GIO||Maximum of five (5) unrelated people|
Does the insurer require proof of tenancy?
Can I pay my premiums monthly?
What should I look for when it comes to getting renter's insurance?
When looking for renter's insurance for a share house you'll want to find a policy that offers:
- Cover for damage to your contents in case of fire or theft
- Removal of damaged contents after fire or theft
- Storage for undamaged contents after fire or theft
- New for old replacement
What is covered by renter's insurance?
Renter's insurance typically covers you for:
- Artwork. Items covered include antiques, art objects, paintings, pictures, ornaments, sculptures and works of art.
- Collections. Items covered include currency no longer in circulation, medals, collectors pins, stamps and stamp collections.
- Frozen or refrigerated food. Includes cover for items of food or medicine kept in the fridge or freezer.
- Home entertainment. Items covered include audio and video media, and computer and game console software.
- Home office equipment. This include items used for a everyday business activity.
- Jewellery. This includes rings, watches, earrings and other items containing precious metals and stones
- Money. This includes cash, documents able to be cashed or traded, phone cards, money orders, smart cards, stamps or vouchers.
- Precious metals and stones. Items covered include bullion, gold or silver nuggets, ingots, and uncut or unset gems.
- Tapestries. Cover for carpet or rugs that are hand woven.
- Tools of trade. This cover tools and equipment used for a business activity.
What's not covered by renter's insurance for share accommodation?
When it come's to renter's insurance and share accommodation, there are two main conditions to ask your insurer about:
- How many people can I get cover for? You won't find this condition listed in the PDS, so you'll need to ask the insurer directly. Most insurers provide cover for a maximum of three (3) unrelated people living in the share-house. We've outlined the answers for several major insurers above.
- Am I covered if my roommate steals from me? Unfortunately, you're going to have a hard time finding any insurer that will cover you for theft-by-roommate, so be careful who you agree to share with.
General exclusions from most renter's insurance policies include:
- Claims related to tenants, boarders or guests of your roommate
- Illegal acts or activity
- Computer viruses
- Biological, chemical, other pollutant or contaminant
- Building extensions
- Consequential loss
- Deliberate acts of damage
- Failing to care for contents
- Electrical or mechanical breakdown
- Electronic data
- Power surge
- Wear and tear