Does My Home Insurance Cover Visitors’ Belongings if They’re Damaged or Robbed?
Caeva O'Callaghan | June 27th, 2020
When you have visitors over, their belongings are at risk of fire, flood or theft as your own property. But will your home insurance cover it if the worst happens?
Yes, your home insurance will cover anything which is damaged or stolen inside your house as the result of an insured risk. This includes anything belonging to friends or family paying a visit.
In this article we’ll be covering questions such as:
- My visitors’ belongings were damaged in a fire at my house, does my insurance cover them?
- Burglars broke in and stole my visitors’ valuables, will my insurance cover them?
- Can visitors claim on my home insurance?
You don’t need to worry about your visitors’ valuables when they come over to stay, as your insurance will cover everything. There’s no need to update your policy.
Anything that can happen to your own belongings can happen to your visitors’ whenever they stay over. As soon as they bring their property under your roof, they’re liable for the same risks you face. But luckily, your own home insurance will cover them as well.
Some of the worst case scenarios are, of course, fire and flood. If you have visitors you may be marginally more likely to have candles burning, cook food over an open flame or other fire-risk activities. However, since you’re just as likely to do these on your own, having visitors over will not impact your ability to make a claim if the worst should happen.
Another risk is a home robbery. However unlikely, there have been cases where burglars have broken in while visitors are present. Having more people in the house makes the risk of a break-in marginally less likely. This is because more occupants means more activity, more lights on, etc. But again, this extra activity is very slight and will not affect your home insurance.
Luckily, if anything belonging to your visitors is damaged or stolen during a break-in they’re covered under your home insurance policy. Whatever your guests bring over are equal to your own belongings when making a claim.
Visitors vs lodgers and tenants
To claim for visitors’ belongings on your home insurance policy, they do need to count as visitors. Permanent and semi-permanent guests are treated differently. But, the line between visitors and paying lodgers can get blurry. For example, if your mother-in-law insists on slipping you a note every so often for letting her stay while builders work on her house, she isn’t necessarily a paying guest. On the other hand, if you let a visitor stay for a while in a portion of the house which is separate from yours, they aren’t always a tenant.
The difference between a lodger and tenant is that a lodger is someone who lives in the same property as you. On the other hand, tenants pay rent for a property you own but don’t live in, such as a second home. This would make you a landlord, and you will need landlord’s insurance.
In both cases, lodgers and tenants pay to live in your property. Many providers exclude theft cover if you have a lodger, but not all.
For example, Allianz covers up to 6 paying guests are automatically. You can extend cover up to 12 paying guests. If you don’t tell your insurance about your lodger, your cover may be invalidated.
So as you can see, it all boils down to whether your visitor is paying you to stay. If they are, they will be a tenant or a lodger. If they aren’t, they are a visitor. But even if your policy covers you for paying guests, you still need to tell your insurance they’re staying with you. This helps you avoid problems making a claim.
Making a claim
Claiming for visitors’ belongings after a disaster or robbery at your home is the same as making a claim on your own possessions.
This is because as soon as their belongings enter your home, your home insurance considers them part of your household. Your visitors cannot claim on your home insurance policy, only you can.
That’s why it’s vital to get accurate information from your guests before they leave.
If you have any questions about visitors staying over and the level of cover you have, call us today!
If you are not sure of what level of cover you have for visiting guests to your home, call us any weekday between 8.30am and 5.30pm on 0818 224433 or 042 9359051. We are here to answer all your home insurance questions
If your house insurance policy is due for renewal you can get an instant home insurance quote on QuoteMe.ie. We compare insurance from 12 of the leading providers to help find you the insurance cover for your specific requirements. We look forward to hearing from you.