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Lodger insurance

Compare home insurance quotes for live-in landlords with lodgers

What’s lodger insurance?

Lodger insurance is for live-in landlords who have taken in a lodger.

The cover is adapted to allow for the increased risk of damage to your property and possessions while lodgers are living with you. And you’ll still be covered for the sorts of unexpected things that could happen, whether you have a lodger or not.

Lodger insurance can also extend your policy to cover your legal liability for accidents to lodgers while in your home – for example, if they were to fall down the stairs and hold you responsible.

lodger insurance

Does having a lodger affect your home insurance?

Taking on a lodger – someone who pays to live in your home where you are the main occupant – is a good way of boosting your income. But it can also increase the risk to your building and contents when it comes to damage, loss and theft.

This might mean you pay higher premiums or need some extra cover bought as an add-on. For example, accidental damage or public liability insurance, in case your lodger's injured in your home.

If you rent out part of your home to a lodger you’ll need to let your home insurance provider know, as failing to inform it could invalidate your policy.

Your home insurer might refuse to cover some circumstances while you have a lodger, for example theft without an obvious sign of a forced entry or break-in.

It’s just as easy to get home insurance quotes when you have a lodger – you need to say who you live with when you get quotes and declare them. You’ll only be shown quotes from insurers that can cover you.

Do I need insurance as a lodger?

If you’re a lodger and want your personal possessions to be covered for loss or damage, you will need to take out your own contents insurance.

Your belongings are unlikely to be covered by your landlord’s insurance policy.

Buildings insurance and cover for anything that the landlord owns, like furniture and electrical goods, will be their responsibility to insure.

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If you need to claim on your home insurance - for example, if your building is damaged by subsidence or your possessions are stolen - your free home excess cover will refund up to £250 of your excess.

There’s no hidden charge. But you won't be covered for things like accidental loss such as leaving a laptop on a train or accidental damage, such as spilling wine on your carpet or drilling through a pipe.

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Frequently asked questions

A lodger is someone who pays to live with you in your home and shares facilities like the bathroom and kitchen.

But tenants live in separate accommodation from their landlord, usually with their own locking entrance.

Tenants might live in the same building as a landlord but will have their own entrance and separate facilities, for example a self-contained basement or a granny annexe.

The biggest difference is that tenants have more legal rights than lodgers, because of the contract they have in place. Typically, tenants have an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) agreement which provides more security with a fixed-term tenancy.

No, your lodger’s possessions will not be covered under your home insurance. They’ll need to take out their own contents insurance policy separately.

Your home insurance will only cover your own property, so you’ll need to let your lodger know this and encourage them to take out cover for their own belongings, if they need it.

If you have a lodger and experience a theft, but there’s no obvious sign of a break-in, your insurer could refuse your claim.

Some insurers add exclusions to your policy when you have a lodger, which say you can’t claim for theft where there’s no evidence of forced entry.

For peace of mind, you can do some background checks on your potential lodgers before they move in. You can ask them to complete and sign an application form that will allow you to check on things like their references, employment status and credit history, or use a tenant referencing service that can do this for you.

You’ll need to ask your insurer. Some insurers will be able to cover more than one lodger.

It’s likely your home insurance premium will increase with multiple lodgers. This is because more people coming and going will increase the chance of accidents and damage.

If you take in more than two lodgers, who each come from different ‘households’, your home is classed as a house in multiple occupation (HMO). Becoming a HMO means your property must meet additional standards and obligations around fire, gas and water safety measures.

Home insurance only covers your property and possessions – it won’t cover you for loss of rent from a lodger.

But if you qualify and register your property as an HMO, you can take out HMO insurance. This can cover loss of rent and alternative accommodation for your lodgers following an insured claim.

If your lodger is unable to pay because they’ve lost their job, they might be eligible for financial support from the government which might help them to pay their rent.

This will depend on your circumstances:

  • If you have a mortgage, you need to let your lender know before you take in a lodger – you might need their permission before renting out part of your home.
  • If you’re a leaseholder or live in a shared ownership property, you may need permission from the freeholder or landlord, so check with them first.
  • If you’re a tenant, you’ll need to check your tenancy agreement. You may not be allowed to have a lodger or you may need written consent from your landlord beforehand.
  • You will need to inform your local authority as taking in a lodger could affect your council tax.