08 January 2016

Does your home insurance cover you for letting to lodgers?

The rise of Airbnb has alerted many homeowners to the possibility of renting out a spare room to supplement their income.

There’s plenty of potential in England alone, where, according to flat and house-sharing website SpareRoom, there are around 19 million empty bedrooms in owner-occupied properties (figures correct as at July 2015) .

Government plans to raise the tax-free allowance for owner-occupiers letting furnished rooms only add to the appeal. From 6 April 2016 it will raise the amount that can be earned tax-free from £4,250 to £7,500 a year through its Rent a Room scheme.

Before you rush off to let to lodgers, check that your home insurance covers your new money-maker.

How does letting affect your insurance?

A residential buildings and contents policy is designed to cover damage or loss caused by you or your family members while they are in your home. If you’re taking money from a lodger you may need to update your home insurance to ensure you have the right type of cover.

As long as the customer is a resident in the property, some home insurance providers, including Nationwide, will also cover homes with up to two lodgers. This may not be included as standard, however so, if you’re thinking of renting out your home or a room, it is best to notify your insurer of the changes to make sure that your policy continues to give you the cover that you need. Remember to ask whether any exclusions apply and how this will affect your premium.

If you are renting rooms to multiple lodgers, or renting out the whole house you could be considered to be running your property as a business and you may need specialist landlord insurance. Landlord insurance products have different terms and conditions because they are designed to protect you as the owner of the property.

“Whether you no longer live in the property but retain ownership, or let out rooms in your home which you live in, it’s still vital to ensure that you have the right type of buildings insurance policy,” says Martyn Dyson, Head of General Insurance at Nationwide, “to make sure you are still covered should something go wrong that requires a claim.”

Get the right cover

Find out more about how Nationwide home insurance could offer the cover that you need.

If you have home insurance with us and are renting a room out in your house, make sure you get in touch to let us know.

Nationwide Home Insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited

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