Contents insurance for one room

If you live in shared accommodation, you’ll want to ensure your possessions are protected. But this doesn’t mean you’ll need to insure everyone else’s belongings too.

Find out how you can get room-only insurance for your shared house.

If you live in shared accommodation, you’ll want to ensure your possessions are protected. But this doesn’t mean you’ll need to insure everyone else’s belongings too.

Find out how you can get room-only insurance for your shared house.

Chris King
Home insurance expert
minute read
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Posted 8 JANUARY 2020 Last Updated 20 MAY 2022

I live in a shared house. Can I get contents insurance for my room only? 

If you live in shared accommodation, you can find contents cover for the belongings in your room only. Rental contents insurance can offer cover if you live in a shared house or flat, while halls of residence cover could be sufficient if you’re in university accommodation.

Do I need contents insurance if I am living in shared housing? 

Contents insurance isn’t required if you live in a shared house, but it’s always a good idea to make sure your belongings are protected from theft, fire and water damage, for example. Think about the cost to replace your possessions if someone was to break in and steal them, then weigh that up against the cost of contents insurance.

Living in a shared house is generally considered riskier because you have less control over who’s in your house and your home’s security. For example, you might share your house with someone who likes to invite over their mates after a night out. Or you could have a forgetful housemate who leaves the back door unlocked when they go out. That’s why it’s a good idea to keep your room locked when you’re out and to make sure you have appropriate contents insurance.

What does shared housing contents insurance cover? 

Room-only contents insurance in a shared house will normally offer the same cover as standard contents insurance, including:

  • theft
  • fire
  • flood
  • water damage from leaks
  • storm damage
  • vandalism
  • explosions.

Your shared house contents insurance will typically include any belongings stored in your room up to the agreed level of cover. That could be:

  • clothes, shoes and bags
  • jewellery and watches
  • furniture, such as your desk, bed and wardrobe
  • electronic equipment, like your TV, computer, laptop, tablet and phone
  • books
  • money
  • sports equipment
  • musical equipment and instruments.

It’s important to estimate the value of your room contents accurately to make sure you have the right level of cover. And watch out for the single item limit. It’s the maximum you can claim for any one item. If you have belongings worth more than the policy’s single item limit – such as a bike or musical instruments – you’ll have to list them separately on your policy to make sure they’re covered.

What doesn’t shared housing contents insurance cover? 

As with standard contents insurance, you won’t be covered for general wear and tear.

And insurance providers might not offer cover if you’re burgled and there’s no sign of forced entry to your room. To check, look for the exclusions under the “theft” section of the policy booklet or any endorsements that have been added to the policy.

If you’re insuring the items in your room only, you probably won’t be covered for theft or damage to any belongings while they’re in communal spaces. That could mean, for example, that your bike isn’t covered if it’s stored in a hallway. And you’ll have to notify your provider of any high-risk items – small, valuable items that are easily stolen, like a laptop or watch – to make sure they’re covered.

It depends on your policy, but your belongings may not be covered for accidental damage, unless you add on extra cover.

What are the conditions of contents insurance for shared accommodation? 

Contents insurance for rented accommodation, also known as tenants’ or rental insurance, provides cover for people who rent. Some policies offer the option of covering your room only if you live in a shared house or flat. 

However, a few conditions could apply to room-only cover: 

  • You must be able to lock the door to your room.
  • The policy will cover you for damage or theft from your room only.
  • Your belongings won’t be covered when you take them out and about, unless you buy specific cover for this, commonly known as personal possessions insurance.

Can I extend an existing contents insurance policy? 

If you’re moving away from home temporarily and your parents already have home contents cover, they may be able to extend it so your belongings are covered under their existing home insurance policy. Check with the provider to see if this is an option.

Remember that even if your parents are able to cover the contents of your room while you’re away at university, you’ll still need to get personal possessions insurance to cover belongings like your laptop and phone against theft or damage while you’re out and about.

Do I need to get shared accommodation contents insurance if I am living in university halls? 

Most universities provide halls of residence contents cover, which often includes cover for communal areas as well as your room.

If you’re moving into halls of residence, check with your university to find out what (if any) cover is provided. Then decide if that level of cover is enough or whether you need to take out additional cover.

Whatever contents insurance policy you take out, check for exclusions and limits so you know exactly what you’re covered for.

Items such as bicycles and musical instruments may need to be added individually to be covered by the policy. You may also want to add extra cover for accidental damage in case of breakages.

Compare contents insurance

You can compare a variety of policies right here with us. Compare home insurance today and find the right level of contents cover for your room.

Frequently asked questions

Should I take out a collective contents insurance policy with my housemates?

It’s an option, and it might be the cheaper option, but it’s risky. Even if you know your housemates well, circumstances change. And if one of your housemates makes a claim, it will be recorded on your claims history too and will affect the price of your home insurance in the future.

Is shared house contents insurance more expensive?

You may find that buying contents insurance for a shared house is more expensive. That’s because with more people coming and going, including friends of roommates that you might not know, the risk of theft and other incidents is considered higher.

How much is shared house contents insurance?

The cost of your room-only contents insurance will depend on several factors, including: 

  • where you live
  • who you live with
  • the level of cover you want for your belongings
  • the security of your rented accommodation
  • if you have high-value items to insure
  • your claims history
  • the amount of excess you’ll pay if you need to make a claim.

What is tenants’ liability cover?

Tenants’ liability insurance is sometimes included in rental contents insurance. It covers you for accidental damage to your landlord’s furniture, fixtures or fittings.

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